Capture the Wonders of Nature

What if you could capture the world’s most precious elements in a beloved piece of jewelry that you could wear every day?   Well, in fact you can and probably already do.  Most of the components used to create jewelry begin with elements from the earth – precious metals and gemstones that are mined from the ground.

Elemental (adjective, meaning): related to or embodying the powers of nature

The basic building blocks of jewelry are natural elements. The three elements most commonly used to create jewelry are Gold, Platinum and Silver. All three  are highly lustrous metals which retain their appearance well over long periods of time. They are extremely malleable, so can be transformed into any shape or design.   Let’s take a look at these three elemental metals.

Gold Nuggets

Gold is among the most precious and expensive metals.  Its long-lasting beauty, and adaptable nature makes it one of the most sought-after elements on the planet.

Throughout history, gold has played a major role in our society. The Aztecs considered gold to be from the gods.   It has been used as a form of currency, and still backs many financial systems to this day.  Gold is exceedingly valuable, in part because it is scarce – far scarcer than other metals such as silver and copper.  It also has unique properties that other metals lack.  It does not tarnish and it’s exceptionally malleable.  You could pound a single ounce of gold into a 100 square foot sheet!

According to the American Museum of Natural History, jewelers have prized gold for centuries. Gold artifacts made their first appearance at the very beginning of the pre-dynastic period in Egypt. The oldest known map of a gold mine was drawn in the 19th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt.  Egyptian hieroglyphs from as early as 2600 BC, describe gold as “more plentiful than dirt” in Egypt. Kings and queens across the globe used the precious metal to display their divine superiority.

Let’s face it, gold is eye-catching, and in fashion, we love to flaunt it.  That is why most jewelry contains a fair amount of gold. It comes in a warm yellow color, and is also available in white, and pink or rose, when mixed with other trace elements.  Yellow gold is making a comeback nowadays, and mixing multiple colors together is a popular look as well!

Electra, A Platinum and Diamond Engagement Ring

One of the most desirable jewelry metals on the planet, platinum is a popular choice for fine jewelry, including engagement rings.  Many properties give platinum its high status.  It is rare -All the platinum ever mined would fit in the average living room!  Rarer than many other metals, only about 133 tons of platinum are mined each year (compared to 1,782 tons of gold).

Because it is so rare, platinum is one of the most expensive choices for jewelry. One of the strongest metals on the planet, it is excellent for jewelry that needs to last a lifetime. This metal is quite soft, thus jewelry-grade platinum is usually an alloy of 95% platinum and 5% other metals.

Platinum has a beautiful white color that does not corrode or require polishing. It is pure, an expression of integrity, a reflection of inner truth. Platinum’s purity endows it with a brilliant white luster that helps to reflect the true radiance of diamonds.

Platinum is a symbol of true love, purity, rarity, and strength. These qualities of platinum are equivalent to the ideals of eternal true love. All over the world, engagement rings, wedding bands and anniversary rings made in platinum symbolize the everlasting endurance of love.

 

 

Silver is another beautiful white metal used in jewelry. It is also extremely malleable. Because silver is so soft, you will almost never encounter pure silver jewelry. Instead, most jewelry is made from sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals.

Like gold, silver has a timeless quality that goes with everything. As such, it is used in all types of jewelry.  Also like gold, silver has been used since ancient times to adorn people and items. At one point it was considered to be more valuable than gold.

In ancient times, silver was considered the metal “tied to the moon”, because it was luminous and cool to the touch. It is generally bright white but can also have a more grayish appearance. While typically shiny, silver also comes in a matte finish.  One of the main advantages of silver is its classic, timeless quality & neutral hue.  It can tarnish though, so silver jewelry requires care to keep it in the best condition.

There is no right or wrong choice when deciding on a metal for your jewelry. Yellow and rose gold are often chosen for their color and they are an excellent choice for their warm metal. The white metal look is still popular and then the choice is between white gold or platinum. One is no better that the other. White gold is less expensive and lighter than platinum. However when it is scratched metal can be lost and it needs to be re-plated with rhodium every few years. Platinum is very pure and strong and perfect for setting stones. It has very minimal metal loss and can develop a beautiful antique look. It is heavier and more expensive than white gold. It does scratch more easily than gold and will have to be re-polished on a regular basis.

Earth Day is also a time to celebrate jeweler’s sustainability practices, which are helping to preserve and protect the environment.  One such practice is to use “recycled” diamonds and gold – they don’t involve any mining and leave virtually no carbon footprint. Another viable option is to use vintage or antique diamonds for creating custom engagement rings or other heirloom jewelry.  Susan recently created several pieces using the customers own gold diamonds.  By melting down the gold, and then putting stones into a new setting, she was able to breathe new life into that jewelry, creating family heirlooms that will be treasured for generations.

The artisans that use these timeless elements are connected with nature at so many levels, and bring that connection to everyone in their own creative ways.  You can find jewelry inspired by nature in look and style as well- flowers, leaves and animals for example.

Whatever your style your jewelry is an elemental connection with nature that is with you always.

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