Laura Preshong jewelry is made with recycled metals, minimizing our impact on the environment and the mining industry. Most metals are recyclable, with the ferrous metal steel being one of the most recycled metals in the world. Non-ferrous metals like gold, platinum, silver, copper and nickel are often recycled. Recycling does not change the structural integrity or quality of the metal. The metal to be recycled is heated to a molten state to burn off any impurities rendering the metal back to its pure state containing no other elements. The pure metal is then mixed with alloys to create the desired Karat and Color.
Karat refers to the purity of gold. 24 karat being pure gold it is considered soft and is not usually used in jewelry fabrication. The higher the karat, the denser the pure gold content, and the heavier the gram weight will be. For instance a ring made of 18k gold will weigh 20% more than the exact same ring made of 14k gold, so a ring made of 18k gold costs more because of weight and purity.
White gold is achieved by combining pure yellow gold (24K) with alloys such as silver, nickel and palladium. As the natural color of white gold has a gray-ish hue, almost all white gold jewelry is plated with a metal called Rhodium, which is a member of the Palladium family of metals. Rhodium is used to brighten the color of white gold, and even the surface finish. Rhodium is very white and very hard, but it does wear eventually, particularly on rings. It is a common practice to have rings re-plated with Rhodium every few years, and most local jewelers will offer this service. 14k white gold will appear less yellow than 18k white gold due to the lower yellow gold content, it is also harder and thus will hold a surface design longer.
Platinum is a grey-white, dense, precious metal and is more rare than gold. Platinum is often used in fine jewelry because of the beautiful color, its wear and tarnish resistant characteristics, and its ability to receive design and engraving. Platinum settings are more expensive than gold because of the density of weight, often twice the weight of the same piece made in gold, and because of the metals rarity.
Sterling Silver is an alloy of 925 parts per thousand pure silver with the remaining 75 parts being other metals, usually copper. As pure silver is too soft for manufacturing into larger objects and for everyday wear, copper is generally used to give it strength while at the same time preserving the pliability of the metal and its beauty.