Without precious metals, jewellery would not be what it is today.
Like gems, they are appreciated for their beauty, rarity and intrinsic properties. Some are more durable and resistant than others, yet they are generally malleable, ductile and easily mixed with other metals to make them tougher.
Metal alloys develop specific qualities and are therefore assigned a standard. In Canada, the standards are defined in the Precious Metals Marking Act and its regulations. Four precious metals are recognized: Gold, silver, platinum and palladium, as well as alloys of these metals.
The Precious Metals
Gold sets the standard for beauty and desirability with its bright yellow colour and untarnished lustre. It’s dense, soft and highly valuable.
Platinum is one of the most rare elements found on Earth, first widely used in jewellery during the art deco era of the 1920s.
The most common, and therefore least expensive of the precious metals, silver is abundant, versatile, and becoming increasingly valuable in its own right.