The items are listed in the glossary as a reference and may be confusing to some. This is because the jewelry industry in the United States readily interchanges the metric and English systems of measurements. The karat system for rating gold has been around for thousands of years and will probably be around for a while longer. It is easy enough to determine if something is gold filled, plated or has a high content of base metal. To analyze the exact content gold requires complex analysis. The US Federal Trade Commission requires that statements made to attest to the quality of precious metals meet prescribed minimum standards.
About 10% of the population is allergic to nickel which is used as a whitener in the gold. The nickel can be replaced with palladium which is a white metal in the platinum family. The addition of polladium will add considerable cost to the white gold jewlery.
Gold jewelry will react with chlorine. Never take gold jewelry into a pool or a hot tub.
Copper added will gives gold a rose color, silver and zinc will produce a green color and nickel will produce white gold.
(Note: About 10% of the population is allergic to nickel, which is used to color gold, and sometimes in electroplating as a barrier between the base metal and gold electroplate.)
Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form from 85%, 90% or 95% pure. Suzanne uses only 95% pure. Platinum is very hard and is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be Rhodium plated like white gold. Platinum is very dense making it much heavier than 18k gold.
Because Platinum is hard it is best suited for setting the large, valuable stones. The platinum prongs for setting stones would be stronger than the a setting made with softer gold.
0.925 (92.5%) pure silver alloyed with 0.075 (7.5%) copper. Only silver of this quality can be labeled sterling silver as defined by the Federal Trade Commission.
Total carat weight, referring to weight of gem stones.
Heavy gold electroplate covering all significant surfaces to a minimum of 0.0001 inches (2.54 microns) as defined by the Federal Trade Commission. The plating to meet the standard for vermeil is 15 times thicker than the minimum standard for electroplate. Used on early earrings. No longer used by Suzanne.