Metal Guide

Once you have determined what kind of jewelry you would like, its time to consider your options regarding types of materials your Catholic jewelry is made of.  Here is a little background information on the most popular medals used to create fine pieces of jewelry.






Gold is resistant to corrosion, tarnish and rust and will hold its brilliancy for years to come.   Because gold is considered a soft medal it is often mixed with other metals to make it stronger.  Most commonly, gold is alloyed with copper, silver, nickel or zinc.  In order to determine the amount of alloys mixed with gold a percentage or karat is used.  Karats are broken down into 24ths ,a 24k piece of jewelry is pure gold.  A 14k piece of gold jewelry consists of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy.  In the United States most pieces of gold jewelry are created from10k, 14k and 18k gold.  By mixing different alloy metals, in varying amounts, numerous shades of gold are created.  The higher the percentage of gold used to create a piece of jewelry, the brighter yellow it will be.  When gold is mixed with copper a rose colored gold is the end result.  When yellow gold is mixed with nickel or zinc it becomes white gold and appears like silver or platinum.  White gold is often finished with a coat of rhodium to give it a more brilliant finish. 



Sterling Silver



Silver is often times a more affordable option in comparison to gold, but by no means inferior.   The art of the silversmith has been around for centuries and has been used to create everything from silverware to fine pieces of jewelry for royalty.  Like gold, silver is also soft in nature and is often alloyed with copper to give it strength and durability.  Sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.  Silver jewelry can be made to have a mirror like shine or a brushed finish.  Brushed silver is silver that has been slightly abraded by the jeweler to give it a matte finish.  Whichever type of finish your silver has it may have the tendency to tarnish over time.  To keep your silver jewelry looking its best polish it as soon as it starts to turn with special jewelry cleaner or cloths made especially for silver.  Also remember to remove silver rings or bracelets that may be exposed to cleaning products or chemicals that can cause permanent damage. 



Stainless Steel



Stainless steel has the beautiful shine of silver and platinum but with 10 times the strength and durability.   For this reason, stainless steel is often preferred by men and has a growing popularity among women looking for reliable and affordable everyday jewelry.  Stainless steel is cut from a solid block of steel giving pieces of jewelry cast from stainless steel a crisp, seamless look.