So the first two weeks have gone by, and we have been getting used to the routine that includes way too much distance learning and meetings than what I’d like to spend my time on. I am a fan of practical learning, and I would never exchange a normal, on-premises learning for distance learning. Of course I understand the current situation forces institutions to make changes, and I hope this pandemic will not permanently switch campuses on-line.
Metals and their properties
So what is the difference between gold, silver and platinum? Well sufficed to say, they are not the only metals out there. We call this group the precious metals because they have a high economic value. Other metals used in jewelry are for example rhodium as well as copper, but their economic value doesn’t come close to that of gold, silver or platinum. Link to wikipedia here. Palladium is also a precious metal and it also has an ISO currency code, as do silver, gold and platinum. This means that they can be used as investment or industrial commodity. Also note that precious metal are sometimes called noble metals because of extremely low reactivity.
Metals are found in the periodic table. Gold is shortened to Au, and silver to Ag. Platinum is Pt. They all have specific qualities about them that make them unique. Here are the listings of their unique elements for each gold, silver and platinum, as well as comparisons.
Easily considered the king of metals, gold is has been deemed historically as the most precious commodity. Its use dates back thousand of years. Gold’s atomic number is 79, which makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur in nature. Gold occurs in nature in nuggets or grains, in rocks and in veins and in alluvial deposits.
Gold is resistant to most acids, and its the most malleable of all metals. Gold in color is slightly reddish yellow, but gold’s color can be changed with different types of alloys, such as rose gold, in which copper is added. Gold has only one stable isotope. From the gold produced today, 50% goes to jewelry. Gold production is associated with contribution to hazardous pollution.
Because of gold’s softness in its pure form, it is often alloyed with other metals. This affects in which temperature the alloyed gold melts, how fast it hardens, how ductile it is and what color it is. Gold solder has to match the gold base on pureness, and color.
Silver has a atomic number of 47, and it is soft, whitish and lustrous with excellent conductivity. Silver is found usually as an alloy with gold and other metals, as well as in minerals. Most silver is produced and refinery byproduct.
Silver has a wide variety of uses, and is often utilized in solar panels and in electrical conductors. Silver compounds can also be used as disinfectants. Silver is an extremely soft, malleable and ductile transition metal, but not as soft as gold. Silver is not a colored metal. Silver does not react with air.
Silver has for ages been used to produce tableware, such as cutlery. For this silver is superior metal due to its antibacterial properties. Silver is usually alloyed with copper due to its softness, and the most common silver fineness is 925/1000. The drawback in alloying silver is that it makes silver subject to tarnish. Silver can be alloyed to create other types of silver compounds, such as argentium silver, which is more resistant to tarnish than fine silver.
Platinum has a atomic number 78, and is dense, malleable, ductile metal, as well has highly non-reactive. Its color is very whitish, an it is a transition metal. Platinum is one of the least reactive metals, and it is very resistant to corrosion. Platinum is an extremely rare metal.
Not a lot of platinum is used in jewelry, and most platinum finds its way to vehicle emission control devices, conductors and other industry use. Platinum is considered due to its rarity a metal of luxury, and it has also been marketed as such. Platinum has to be separated from other metals in jewelry making process.
- All precious metals can be alloyed.
- Gold and silver can be worked in the same environment, but platinum requires a clean work environment.
- Producing platinum jewelry is about 30% more expensive than producing gold jewelry.
- The color of gold can be changed depending on what alloys are used, silver and platinum keep their same elemental color.
- Gold and silver can be soldered with less effort than platinum.
- Due to its excellent conductivity, silver jewelry pieces heat up differently, usually dispersing heat to a wider area, makes soldering a specific spot more of a challenge.