Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver &
Other Jewelry Metals
How to Identify, Select and Care for Them
About gold, platinum, palladium, silver, copper, bronze, brass, iron, stainless steel, Damascus steel, titanium, niobium, aluminum, tungsten carbide and cobalt chrome. Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver & Other Jewelry Metals explains how to test, buy, sell, and care for jewelry with precious and alternative metals. High-quality color photos show how these metals are creatively used in jewelry. Besides providing an historical perspective and interesting facts about the metals, this book discusses jewelry manufacturing methods, plating and responsible mining & business practices.
♦ How to read the stamps on jewelry mountings
♦ How to identify jewelry metals
♦ How to determine the gold content in jewelry
♦ How to prevent and remove silver tarnish
♦ How and where to sell your unwanted jewelry
How to spot a fair consignment contract
♦ How to select refiners and prepare jewelry metal for them
How to clean metal jewelry
Author: Renée Newman
Publisher: International Jewelry Publications
$19.95, Trade paperback, 256 photos, 136 pages, 6" x 9"
"Congratulations on a wonderful job! You have managed to include a
tremendous amount of very useful information on a very expansive and
potentially dry subject, while staying concise, interesting and even
entertaining. Honestly, I learned a great deal about metals I did not know
- so much so that this book will now be with me on the job at all times as
a primary reference."
Kapler, Refining Sales Manager, David H. Fell & Company, Inc.
must say that you have put together a well-crafted tome. Your book is very
informative & easy to read & understand. You have obviously done
your research & clearly know much more about metallurgy than the
average person in the industry, certainly more than I know! Unless you
wanted to add a chapter about refining, there is nothing I would change or
could add to what you have written. Kudos!!!"
J. Thompson, Jewelers Refining Group, Inc.,
"What a fascinating book! I've been in the jewelry business since
1972 and yet even with all that experience, your book provided new
Booth, Exotica Jewelry,
latest work really is incredibly informative, even for us who work with these metals
every day, and certainly for a public that has no ready access to any
information at all on this subject!
Every time you announce a new topic, I am amazed that no one else ever
thought to focus on it: exotic gems, rare gems, each of those merited a
book, but no one thought of isolating them. Each time one of your books
appears, I slap my head and think: why didn't anyone think of that before?
Each of your books fulfills a real need, and you perform the rare magical
act of identifying with your reader, never talking down or assuming.
As always, the presentation is impeccable, photos, text, clear and succinct. I loved the tables of alloy composition, and enjoyed the tour behind an appraiser's methods. Kudos, I can't wait to see what you do next!"
"This current book by Renee Newman, GG, is an excellent and comprehensive guide to everything concerning the metals used in jewelry design. It is written clearly and concisely and has an abundance of charts and color photographs. It is not excessively technical yet it covers the topics thoroughly. I have always felt that my background as a BFA graduate with a major in metalsmithing and jewelry design gave me an advantage in appraising jewelry. In my opinion this book will help close this knowledge gap for anyone interested in jewelry metals, be they appraisers or consumers.
Renee covers everything from ancient markings to X-ray diffraction testing. From the tedious ancient processes of hand crafted Mokume Gane and Damascus Steel crafting to Cad Cam and Concept Laser Additive Process manufacturing of the 21st century.
The chapters are laid out in a logical progression from covering alloys to caring for metals. The only deficit I noted was that she did not say how much a “box” of baking soda is as a measurement when giving a handy recipe for cleaning silver with the Aluminum retraction process, a very minor detail.
The various metals used and methods used to test them are thoroughly covered; though today most appraisers use digital metal analyzers and only use touch stone testing as a back up. I especially liked the chapters on “Green” metal practices as well as the advice on evaluating Vintage and Antique Jewelry. As appraisers, we have been trained to thoroughly examine the jewelry that crosses our desk and look past the obvious. The chapter on “How much is your jewelry worth?” will encourage the lay person to stop and take another realistic look at the jewelry they own.
As I have found with the other books Newman has written, this newly revised Metals’ book is a must have for the appraiser’s library as well as the book shelf of the clients we serve in our stores and offices."
Kate Pearce, GG, The Jewelry Appraiser, published by the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
Everything you didn’t know about jewellery metals is included in this book. As a gemmologist I found this information most useful bridging the gaps in the jewellery knowledge that is usually not covered in gemmology. It also opens your eyes to look differently at metals you would not normally consider as jewellery metals.
From terms and trademarks to gold prices and the history of gold, we begin the journey of jewellery metals. The pros and cons of gold with a high or lower carat value are discussed. We learn that even gold is plated with gold to achieve uniform colour so that components can be matched. We are constantly educated by Newman’s diverse knowledge and a few more foreign terms – mokume gane and shibuichi in our vocabulary.
Typical of Newman’s books, is the proliferation of luscious photographs and excellent tables – an inspiration for any jeweller. It is also packed with technical information that can be referred to time and again. Not to mention the fascinating tidbits of information, such as surgical instruments initially being made of silver due to their bacteria killing properties.
The chapter on silver is most informative with a large section devoted to avoiding silver tarnish, tarnish resistant silver, and removing silver tarnish on both old and new pieces of jewellery.
Some information is a chemistry lesson in itself. Now where did I put that magnet?
“Manufacturing Methods” offers the layperson real insight into the way a piece of jewellery is produced. The meaning of “handmade” is discussed. Interestingly chain manufacturers consider chains that have been assembled by had to be “handmade” even if the links have been formed by a machine. Advantages and disadvantages of the various methods are listed in detail.
Tests are discussed to determine whether a metal is real or fake and what its carat value is. You will learn how to read jewellery stamps and the significance of the shape of the surround.
Types of plating coating and enameling are explained as well as the durability of these.
An entire chapter is devoted to “responsible Mining and Manufacturing ‘’ such important and relevant issues today.
The section devoted to valuing antiques and vintage metalwork is fascinating and emphasizes the cultural and artistic importance of those pieces.
The journey ends with tips on how to care for all these wonderful metals. There is a wealth of information in this concise book and it can be consulted regarding any question about jewellery metals – so relevant in today’s economic climate. As Newman remarks, “A solid well-made piece of jewelley will outlast other accessories.” This book will guide you to make the best choices.
The easy reading and beautiful photographs typical of all Newman’s books make this one not only a reference book, but also an inspiration to consider buying and using metals not normally considered for use in jewellery.
Carol Resnick, Australian Gemmologist
"The author of this book on the metals used in jewellery needs no introduction to gemmologists. Renee Newmans’ popular series of books on gemstones is as invaluable to retailers selling gems as to gemmology students. This volume is an updated and expanded replacement or her 2000 Gold and Platinum Jewelry Buying Guide. For gemmologists, a book on metals might seem peripheral, but the precious metals have always served a supporting role in gem-set jewellery. And this is a useful, practical handbook. . .
The properties and use of the various metals are described --- the colours of gold for example --- along with useful information ranging from how silver jewellery can be blackened to methods of testing and identification of frauds. The chapter on manufacturing techniques such as casting is up to date with its mention CAD and 3D printing. Hand fabrication is only briefly discussed --- a sad but realistic recognition that most jewllery on the market is not made by hand. There is coverage of decorative techniques such as plating and enameling, and even about responsible mining. Inclusion of chapters on copper, brass, bronze and other metals reflects how, as precious metal prices rise, many retailers are looking to less costly alternatives. . . . All in all this is a very useful brief guide, and one that will be relevant to anyone.
Jack Ogden FGA, former CEO of Gem-A, Gems & Jewellery
"Well written and profusely illustrated with many color photographs on enameled stock, this book is particularly important in today’s financial climate. Television and newspapers are filled with ads for gold and silver sales. . . . Collectors and investors both will find this book very helpful in their quests for treasure. It explains how to read the stamps on jewelry mountings, how to identify metals, how to determine the gold content in jewelry and how and where to sell unwanted jewelry among other topics. . .In addition to the informative text, the color photographs are amazing and each one conveys the proverbial thousand words. Before anyone buys their next gold ring or diamond bracelet, they should read this book and carry it with them when they go shopping."
Chuck N. Baker, The Veteran’s Reporter News
"Precious Metals charm us with their gleam, but it’s all too easy to be led astray. Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver & Other Jewelry Metals is a guide for those with an interest in jewelry, be it professional or amateur, and how to better identify these materials as legitimate, care for the metals and how to get the best price for your jewelry. With full color photography all throughout, Gold, Platinum Palladium, Silver & Other Jewelry Metals is an invaluable and much recommended resource, not to be missed."
Midwest Book Review
Table of Contents
Jewelry Metals: Key Facts 9
Metals Prices Compared 9
Terms Related to Metals 11
Terms Related to Gold Content 12
Weights, Measures and Marks 12
Miscellaneous Terms 15
A Brief History of Gold 16
Karat Value (Gold Fineness) 19
Which is Better—14K or 18K gold? 21
Gold Colors and Alloys 21
A Brief History of Platinum 25
Platinum Group Metals 26
Platinum Fineness Regulations Worldwide
Platinum Alloys 30
A Brief History of Palladium 33
Palladium Fineness Standards 36
5. Silver 38
Silver Fineness Standards 41
Avoiding Silver Tarnish 43
Removing Silver Tarnish 44
Oxidized Silver 45
6. Copper, Brass and Bronze 48
Identifying Copper, Brass and Bronze 54
Manufacturing Methods 55
Lost Wax Casting 55
Stamping (Die Striking) 58
3D Printing from CAD (Additive
CAD Milling (Subtractive Manufacturing)
Hand Fabrication 67
Handmade Jewelry 69
Why Manufacturing Methods are Often
Real or Fake? 71
Tests that Require No Acids
Nitric Acid Testing for the Layperson and
Silver Testing 78
Palladium Testing 78
Acid Testing for Jewelry Trade
Disposing of Acids 80
Safety Tips for Using Acids 80
The Consequences of Buying Counterfeit
Buying Tips for Branded Items 82
Determining Karat Value (Fineness)
Touchstone Test 83
Electronic Gold & Platinum Testers 86
Two Test Examples 87
Why Precious Metals Tests Sometimes Fail
Subtle Deception Techniques 90
Stainless Steel, Damascus Steel & Tungsten Carbide
Stainless Steel 93
Damascus Steel 95
Tungsten and Tungsten Carbide 97
Titanium & Aluminum: Colorful Alternative Metals
Common Characteristics of Niobium and
Caring for Niobium and Titanium 102
Coating and Enameling 105
Terms and Markings Related to Precious
Metal Surface Coverings 106
13. Responsible Mining and Manufacturing
Beyond Profits 112
Environmental Impact 113
Origin and Chain of Custody 114
Health and Safety 114
Social Responsibility 114
14. How Much is Your Jewelry Worth?
Jewelry Rescues: Spotlight on Valuing
Antique & Vintage Metalwork 120
Tips on Reselling Your Jewelry 123
Characteristics of Ethical Dealers and
Consignment Contracts 123
Selecting a Refiner 124
Preparing Jewelry Metal for a Refiner 125
for Metal Jewelry 127
Cleaning Metal Mountings 127
Miscellaneous Tips 129
Newman Gem & Jewelry Series Book Links