Precious Metal Alloys and Purities

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Precious metals go by different names depending on their purity and how they are alloyed. Learn about different types of precious metal alloys in this presentation.

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Precious Metal Alloys and Purities

  1. 1. Precious MetalPrecious Metal Alloys and PuritiesAlloys and Purities Noteworthy metals in jewelryNoteworthy metals in jewelry making and metalworkingmaking and metalworking Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454
  2. 2. Gold and Silver AlloysGold and Silver Alloys • Gold and silver are heavily used in jewelry making and other crafts. However, they are almost never used in their pure forms. • Usually, precious metal purity is noted with a karat ratingkarat rating or millesimalmillesimal fineness ratingfineness rating. – The variety of useful purities and precious metal alloys have given rise to several nicknames, myths and misconceptions throughout history. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454
  3. 3. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 ElectrumElectrum • Electrum is a naturally occurring gold/silver alloy that often contains smaller amounts of other metals, such as copper, iron or palladiumpalladium. • Because the precise mixture of metals varies between deposits of electrum, the color also varies. – Electrum typically looks pale and greenish-yellow or whitish-yellow.
  4. 4. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Electrum vs. White GoldElectrum vs. White Gold • Electrum’s pale color compelled ancient people to refer to it as “white gold.” – However, no modern white gold jewelry has the same composition as natural electrum. • In modern jewelry making, white gold is an alloy of gold and nickel that is electroplated with rhodium.
  5. 5. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Britannia SilverBritannia Silver • Britannia silver is a standard of purity first issued by British parliament in 1697. It contains 95.84% silver (the rest is usually copper). • Britannia silver was meant to become the new metal- working standard of purity for special and artisanal projects – replacing sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure. • Aside from artisanal work, Britannia silver is also used for the bullion coinsbullion coins produced by Britain’s Royal Mint.
  6. 6. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Britannia MetalBritannia Metal • Britannia metal is a lustrous, silvery alloy but it’s closer in composition to pewter rather than silver. • Britannia metal contains 93% tin, 2% copper and 5% antimony. – Pewter usually made of 85–99% tin with the rest being a mixture of copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.
  7. 7. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Britannia Metal vs. Britannia SilverBritannia Metal vs. Britannia Silver • Britannia metal alloy is very smooth which makes it a perfect base metal for electroplating and gilding. – Britannia is also commonly used as the base metal for cutlery with silver gilded on top. • To tell whether you have something made of Britannia metal or Britannia silver, check for a mark indicating millesimal fineness. – Britannia silver should have a 958 mark – Britannia metal will have a much lower (or non-existent) mark.
  8. 8. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 OrichalcumOrichalcum • Orichalcum is a metal from Greek antiquity. • Ancient texts, like Plato’s Critias, never specifically say whether orichalcum is an alloy or a pure metal. – Most historians agree that orichalcum was actually a copper alloy, possibly mixed with gold, tin, or zinc and brass. • Orichalcum’s closest modern-day analogue would probably be rose goldrose gold.
  9. 9. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Pyrite and FoolPyrite and Fool’s Gold’s Gold • Pyrite (which can be found with natural gold deposits) is an iron sulfide that is commonly mistaken for gold – hence the term “fool’s gold.” – Pyrite is much paler than gold with a more brassy, sallow hue. Pyrite also weighs much less and is harder and more brittle than gold. • Pyrite can be mixed with silver to make unique jewelry. – It’s more commonly broken down to produce sulfuric acid for industrial applications.
  10. 10. About MGSAbout MGS Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454 • Manhattan Gold & Silver (MGS) is a precious metals refiner that has been based in Manhattan’s historic Diamond District since 1985. We are a B2B company that buys and recycles precious metal scraps that accumulate in other businesses. • We serve: – Jewelers – Pawnbrokers – Dentists – The industrial sector – Antique dealers – Machinists – And more! • MGS also creates charts, calculators, and other online tools for our customers to use. – Try our Precious Metals Prices app, which lets you monitor the real-time precious metals market situation from anywhere, right from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
  11. 11. Recycle your PreciousRecycle your Precious Metals for ProfitMetals for Profit • MGS accepts gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. • Payouts are based on the London Fixing. • Up to 99% payout (among the highest in the US) – Up to 98.5% for gold brought in for hand testing. • Not in NYC? Ship us your precious metals using our Ship & Sell service which offers: – Same day wired payment (once lot is received) – Discounted, insured shipping – Payout calculator Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454
  12. 12. Connect with MGSConnect with MGS • For amazing facts, history and news, read our gold and precious metals blog. • Join the conversation about precious metals on the MGS page on Facebook. • Follow gold, silver, and other precious metal trends at the MGS Twitter account. • Circle MGS on Google+ to hear our latest updates. • If you do business with us, connect with us on the MGS LinkedIn page. • To see precious metal melting and refinement in action, visit the MGS YouTube channel. Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454

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