Here you can find information on the metals that we use for our cremation ashes jewellery. We have ordered them in value order where Stainless Steel is the cheapest metal choice and Platinum is the most expensive.
Stainless steel does not corrode, rust or stain with water as ordinary steel does, but despite the name it is not fully stain-proof. Made from a alloy of readily available alloys it is a cheaper alternative to precious metals. It can be highly polished to look almost like silver to the untrained eye.
Sterling silver is a white-grey coloured metal which is less expensive than gold, platinum and titanium. Silver is a softer metal than gold or platinum. Silver is prone to oxidisation, sometimes causing the silver to turn black. The silver jewellery can easily be made to look like new again if you use a silver jewellery cleaner (available from most supermarkets) or by having it cleaned by a jeweller.
Gold plating is the term used to describe the process of plating sterling silver with a thin layer of gold. The downside to gold plating is that, if proper care is not taken, the piece can be scratched exposing the silver below. It also naturally wears thin with time although this time will depend on many factors.
Gold vermeil is essentially gold plating, however, to be considered vermeil, the gold must be a minimum of 1.5 micrometers thick and a minimum of 10K. If you were to cover sterling silver with brass, for instance, this could not be 'vermeil'. The sterling silver is electroplated with 120 layers of gold. The benefits of gold vermeil is that the gold will not tarnish or wear off when properly cared for.
14ct yellow gold is made by mixing 58.5% pure gold (585 parts per thousand) with 41.5% (415 parts per thousand) other metals such as copper, zinc and silver.In practical terms, 14ct generally holds up to everyday wear better than sterling silver and tends to look better as it ages over the years.
14ct White Gold is made exactly the same as yellow gold above, however, when white gold is new they are coated with another white metal called Rhodium. The natural colour of white gold is actually a light grey colour. The Rhodium is very white and very hard, but it does wear away eventually.
Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewellery in almost its pure form (approximately 95% pure). Platinum is extremely long wearing and does not require Rhodium plating. Platinum is, however, very expensive. Generally speaking platinum pieces of jewellery will be, at a minimum, double the price of an exact duplicate in 14ct Gold. Platinum is prone to scratching so does require regular maintenance.