Buy It for Life: Materials in Jewelry That Lasts a Long Time

There are so many cheap accessories flooding the market, but there is one reason why you should not buy them. Despite the very low cost, they are not worth the money. You will only waste your hard-earned income on pieces that will tarnish or break after one or two uses.

Moreover, some people react badly to cheap jewelry. Most of these accessories contain nickel which, for many people, will cause an allergic reaction. You will notice that, after wearing it, you will begin to experience itching, redness, rash, and bumps on the skin, dry patches, and blisters. If it becomes infected, it can lead to pain and may produce pus.

Some cheap jewelry pieces also contain an ingredient called cadmium, a heavy metal that, if inhaled or ingested, can lead to kidney dysfunction and osteoporosis. It also is included in the list of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in the United States.

So, instead of wasting your money and endangering your health, you should instead spend a bit more on products that will last a lifetime. For example, Bahia Fine Jewelry sells pieces that are fashionable, high-quality, do not contain harmful materials, and at a reasonable price.

While shopping for jewelry, here are the materials that you should look for.

Gold

gold

The most common and the most popular material used in jewelry is gold. It is more expensive, but you get what you pay for. Gold does not fade or tarnish. Through regular and proper maintenance, it can last forever. You can hand it down to your children and your grandchildren later in your life.

Moreover, gold continues to increase its value over time.

That, however, only applies to solid gold. When shopping for jewelry, you might encounter the terms “vermeil,” “gold-plated,” and “gold-filled.” All of these contain a layer of gold but as an addition to another material. Vermeil, for example, refers to the silver (pure or sterling) plated with a thin layer of gold, typically at least 2.5 microns thick and 10k or higher. Meanwhile, gold-plated is used to refer to brass, copper, and other lower-end metals played with a thin layer of gold. Gold-filled, on the other hand, has the thickest layer of gold but with a low-end metal as a base.

All three are of better quality than the typical cheap jewelry you can find at Forever 21 or H&M. However, they are still not solid gold. Jewelry that is gold-plated can be scratched over time while gold-filled has about 10-30 years of life. Vermeil can also last many years if taken care of properly.

Platinum

Platinum is one of the most durable materials you can ever get. It is also the rarest among all three metals used to create fine jewelry. In the U.S. and most developed nations, the standard of platinum is 95 percent pure. If you see the designation 950 PLAT or 950 Pt. that means it has high quality.

Typically, while it is advertised as platinum, the material is mixed with other similar metals such as iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium. Regardless, it is very durable. It does not tarnish or corrode. In fact, it is more durable than gold, making it perfect for jewelry worn every day such as wedding rings.

To maintain its luster, however, owners will need to polish their platinum jewelry regularly. Like gold, it can last a lifetime with proper care.

Titanium

titanium watch

Titanium is an increasingly popular option for jewelry designed for men. It is excellent for those who have an active lifestyle because it is 40 percent stronger but 30 percent lighter than stainless steel. It is also known to be resistant to salt, which means that perspiration would not destroy its surface nor would swimming in seawater. It would not rust or fade.

But, it is a little softer than stainless steel which means that it can sustain scratches. They are usually shallow and can be eliminated by buffing it out.

Titanium jewelry, especially when taken care of, can also last for a lifetime.

Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver is an alloy that mixes 92.2 percent silver with 7.5 percent copper. Silver in its purest form is very soft and malleable, making it not ideal for jewelry. It will lose its shape easily if it is used on its own. However, Sterling Silver is durable. Moreover, it does not require too much care. The more you wear it, the better it will look. You will need to clean it to restore its shine but, otherwise, it does not need too much attention, unlike platinum and gold.

It is also more affordable than gold. At its price, you cannot expect to get a product that lasts a lifetime. It will tarnish and fade eventually. However, you can get so much wear out of it. Some pieces can go decades looking as pristine as the day you bought them.

When it comes to jewelry, you get what you pay for. If you buy a necklace for a dollar, you likely will get to wear it a couple of times before you have to throw it away. However, if you save up and buy yourself fine jewelry, you have a piece that will be with you forever.