World of precious metals
Many centuries ago, people noticed that some metals are different from “relatives”. They shine brighter, do not rust, and even after years do not change their original appearance. Such metals were called precious and began to use them in jewelry. Noble metals are able to surprise not only with their charm, but also with a unique history and unsurpassed properties. Learn interesting facts of precious metals and take a fresh look at your jewelry!
Pioneer in the world of precious metals
The first noble metal that people paid attention to was gold. Historians claim that the history of the precious metal began in the V millennium BC. The theory is confirmed by the finds of archaeologists – gold items made precisely during this period.
Metal in nature is found in the form of nuggets and sand. There are numerous interesting facts about the precious metal associated with its mining. For example, it is known that the ancient Greeks mined gold using lamb skins. Craftsmen took the skin of a trimmed animal, walked to the river where a gold deposit was discovered, and washed the sand. Grains of precious metal remained on the skin. From here comes the myth of the Golden Fleece.
Other facts about the gold of that distant time seem surprising. The Egyptians considered the noble metal a particle of the body of the gods, so no one could own it except the pharaohs. The first gold bracelets, rings, earrings were created by masters of the Middle East in the III millennium BC. Metal attracted them not only with its captivating appearance, but also with the simplicity of processing: the plasticity and softness of the material made it possible to create products of any shape. It was from the East that jewelry fell to the Egyptian rulers. After the death of Pharaoh, gold accessories were sent with him to the tomb.
In the modern world, gold is used not only in jewelry. Precious metal is actively used in medicine: dentures are made from it, metal particles are added to drugs. The material is widely used in the electronics industry: the details of our computers and smartphones also contain gold.
The usual colors of gold and shades that you did not know about
Precious metal in its pure form has a bright yellow color. However, pure material is not used in jewelry, because it is soft and does not tolerate mechanical influences. To increase the strength of the precious metal, and accordingly increase the service life of jewelry accessories, other metals are added to gold. This affects not only the characteristics of the product, but also the color.
Everyone knows the traditional palette of gold – yellow, red, white. Jewelry of such colors can be found in any jewelry store. However, few people know that this is far from all shades of metal. Gold can surprise with its multicolor.
Red. Copper and silver are responsible for this shade. The color saturation depends on how much copper is in the alloy: from bright red to pale pink. Most of the assortment presented in the jewelry market is made of red gold. Initially, the alloy was used for gilding of architectural elements (in particular church domes), and later began to make accessories from it.
Yellow. Although yellow is the natural color of gold, yellow gold jewelry also has “additives” – copper and silver. Depending on the proportions, the color varies – from bright sunny yellow to lemon.
White. To get a noble shade, jewelers add white metals to the alloy: platinum or palladium. White is the most fashionable gold color at the moment. And white gold is considered a symbol of respectability. Most often, just such a metal is used to frame diamonds.
Brown. Nickel, manganese and a large amount of copper are necessarily present in the alloy. An unusual shade can be obtained only through careful chemical processing of the alloy. After it, a brown film appears on the surface of the metal. Brown gold is incredibly strong, but rarely used in jewelry.
Green Olive color is a merit of silver. To get a rich emerald hue, more cadmium is added to the alloy. Gold with a green tint looks attractive, but it is impossible to make solid jewelry (for example, pendants) from it – too fragile material. Such metal is used only to create decorative inserts in jewelry.
Blue. Jewelers keep the technology of obtaining blue gold in the strictest confidence. Experts suggest that the metal owes its unusual color to iron and chromium. Blue gold is brittle and oxidizes in air, so it is used exclusively as inserts in jewelry, and even then not in all. For example, blue gold is never used in pendants: when it comes into contact with the skin, the metal will oxidize and quickly lose its former charm.
Violet. Gold of this beautiful shade is also called amethyst. To obtain a delicate color, aluminum is added to the alloy.