metal education

What’s Best for YOU – Choosing a Metal That Will Last a Lifetime

Novell is primarily a precious metal company.

Almost all our designs are available in platinum, palladium, gold and Argentium Silver.

But we also understand that there are plenty of other metal choices out there.

We’ve made the following chart to help you compare the characteristics of platinum, palladium, gold, tungsten, titanium and cobalt.

Plus, we’ve added a few other factors to consider when choosing the metal that’s right for you.

Keep in mind that precious metals can be resized and refinished. Popular alternative metals cannot.

And tungsten can also crack or shatter.

Metal chart - easily compare popular metals for jewelry.

Download our Precious Metal Comparison Brochure

Why is Platinum The Most Precious?

Quite simply, platinum is one of the earth’s rarest elements. Its naturally white color will not oxidize or decay over time.
Scarcity makes platinum highly prized, but its demanding nature also means that only the most skilled artisans can work with it. A single ounce of platinum not only requires exceptional effort to mine and refine, it involves weeks of expert handling to craft into a piece of jewelry.

A Brief Overview to Consider


YELLOW GOLD if you prefer a yellow color metal surrounding your diamond.
WHITE GOLD if you prefer white color and don’t mind a ring that may lose its whiteness over time or due to wear.
PALLADIUM for a silvery white color that lasts, but is less treasured than platinum.
PLATINUM for an eternally white, naturally enduring metal, whose beauty and rareness will be treasured for generations

There are eight factors you should consider when you are deciding on the metal for your bridal jewelry.

This is the basic worth of a metal. Prices of all metals fluctuate according to supply in the market and demand by consumers. The more pure and precious a metal, the more limited its availability tends to be. Scarcity drives demand, making a metal like platinum more likely to maintain its intrinsic value over time.

In addition to a metal’s ability to withstand wear and tear, life span is judged by certain practicalities. Platinum is highly durable and platinum jewelry can last for generations. Tungsten is also a highly durable metal, however, it’s not considered a precious metal, and tungsten rings cannot be resized.

How much precious metal content does your ring actually have? 14kt gold is a mix of 58% pure gold and 42% non-precious metal. 18kt gold is 75% pure. Platinum and palladium, both precious metals, are at least 90-95% pure. Tungsten and titanium are also 90-95% pure, but are not considered precious metals.

Hypoallergenic metals reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response by minimizing potentially irritating substances. Platinum is the only truly hypoallergenic precious metal.

How much metal (and consequently value) will a ring lose to scratching and denting? All metals scratch, but with gold that scratch actually removes a sliver of metal. With platinum, scratching just ripples the surface. The displaced metal can be moved back into place by polishing.

Can your ring be made to look new again? Can it be refinished, re-sized, or re-conditioned easily? Platinum performs beautifully in each case. Something that can’t be said for the other metals.

This relates not only to the scarcity of a given metal, but to the demand for it in uses other than jewelry. For example, while
supplies of both platinum and palladium are very limited, platinum is utilized in far more ways than palladium. Platinum is 30 times more rare than gold. And the greater demand from medical and industrial interests, on an already smaller supply, makes platinum more highly prized.

For many, the feeling a metal has on their finger is important. Platinum is twice as heavy as palladium, 60% heavier than 14kt gold, and 40% heavier than 18kt gold. In addition to a significant feeling, this weight, due to platinum’s density, is also part of what makes platinum an extremely durable metal.

Precious Metals for Your Jewelry – What to Know

Precious metals are sometimes confusing.

Yet – here you are. You are making a commitment to or marrying a partner you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with. If you choose to purchase commitment jewelry, like an engagement or wedding band, the following will help you quickly select the type of jewelry metal that is best suited for you and for your lifestyle.Need help with precious metals for your bridal jewelry?


Who should buy Platinum?

You appreciate fine quality jewelry and want to be able to pass it on to someone from the next generation. You prefer the classic white color and are willing to spend a small premium for the noblest of all precious metals.

Why should you buy Platinum?

Fine Platinum jewelry is usually 95% pure, certified by the stamp – PLAT. Platinum is 100% hypoallergenic and cloud white in color so there is never a reason that it needs to be plated. Platinum can be combined with other colors and types of precious metals so design possibilities are limitless. Platinum is considered to be the best precious metal to protect expensive diamonds. Like all precious metal, Platinum scratches. Unlike the other precious metals, when Platinum scratches, no metal is lost. Platinum doesn’t wear down and get thinner and lighter in weight over time so Platinum jewelry can almost always be reconstructed by an experienced platinum craftsperson. Even a century later. Platinum has a premium intrinsic value.

What to AVOID!

Strong opinions about platinum, for or against, obscure the facts and should not be relevant to your decision making. Because Platinum is such a dynamic precious metal, it isn’t available everywhere, and not every jeweler is equipped or experienced enough to work on it. Beware of jewelers who advise you against Platinum. This is easily avoided by using a reputable retailer.

Want to dig deeper? Ask us a question about Platinum.

If you are looking for a splash of color in your jewelry than Gold is your best choice. You like the tradition of Gold, the way the word rolls off of your tongue…Gold.

Why should you buy Gold?

Gold is probably the most readily available precious metal jewelry product and smart shoppers can find good value because of abundant availability. Gold is almost always mixed with less valuable metals in order to make it harder or to change the color from its natural color, which is Gold, of course, so it lends itself to a lot of different creative applications. As a whole, the jewelry industry is probably most knowledgeable about gold and can usually be counted on to give accurate advice to consumers. More bench jewelers are experienced at working with gold than Platinum or Palladium. As one of the precious metals, Gold has a premium intrinsic value.

What to AVOID!

There are so many different mixtures of gold in the different products available today it is hard to compare quality and even harder to compare value. Do not have unrealistic expectations; if you wear your Gold jewelry every day, it will wear down over time. Some Gold jewelry needs constant plating to maintain the color it is when purchased. Because there isn’t one purity for Gold, it is an easy product for dishonest people to utilize in scams. Play it safe. Do not buy Gold jewelry of any type except from a reputable retailer!

BUYER BEWARE! Gold plating products are often over sold and misrepresented in a way that might lead a consumer to think they are getting gold value. The truth is that the Gold on plated jewelry is worth pennies to dollars. That is because it also falls under the category – Costume Jewelry.

Want to dig deeper? Ask us a question about Gold.

Who should buy Palladium?

You’re a trendsetter who wants a crisp white piece of jewelry with the always white characteristic of Platinum but a better value buy. You do the research, you researched Palladium and you get it!

Why should you buy Palladium?

Palladium jewelry is almost always 95% palladium pure, certified by the stamp – PALL. Palladium is only available in white. Palladium can be combined with other colors and types of precious metals so design possibilities are limitless. Palladium is often referred to as Platinum’s kid sibling, without a real reputation of its own, but it is an unfair characterization. As a Precious Metal alternative to white Gold because it is really white and does not have to be plated, Palladium is often less expensive too. It has a funky stormy white sky hue and stones look great set in it.

What to AVOID!

Good, honest information about Palladium jewelry can be hard to separate from the marketing done for and against it. Because Palladium is such a dynamic precious metal, it isn’t available everywhere, and not every jeweler is equipped or experienced enough to work on it. This is easily remedied by using a reputable retailer that has a good Palladium supplier. Like jewelry made from Gold, Palladium scratches and wears down over time.

Want to dig deeper? Ask us a question about Palladium.

About Silver

Silver is the most affordable of the precious metals. Larger designs and even fashion accessories like belt buckles can be produced without breaking the bank. Silver is soft and even Sterling Silver (92.5% Silver/7.5% hardening metal) will not hold up to a vigorous lifestyle unless the jewelry is made very heavy. That usually doesn’t translate well into wedding and engagement jewelry. Although it can be found by a persistent customer, Silver is not readily available as wedding and engagement jewelry. Platinum and Gold have dominated this category since it became traditional.

Want to dig deeper? Ask us a question about Silver.

Now you might be thinking – “Okay. I know more about precious metals. But I don’t want to buy something just off the shelf. I want my own design.”

If that’s the case, then Custom Shop can help.

What is Custom Shop?
Novell Group is extremely excited to introduce our new Custom Shop division, where our state of the art manufacturing facility brings the independent retail jeweler an easy way to say – “Yes, I can custom make that for you.”

Custom Shop offers 3D printing, so your customers can try on their jewelry before it’s put into production. Here are more Custom Shop capabilities:

• We provide price quotes and CAD renderings within forty-eight hours for customer approval.
• Finished pieces are delivered within three to four weeks.
• Every creation is 100% made in America, so there’s no waiting for your order to arrive from overseas.
• Our domestic manufacturing muscle, with casting facilities, an extensive machine shop, and a skilled hand fabricating staff, gives our authorized retailers a clear path to market advantage.
• Some of our other technologies include casting, mold making, machine fabricating, finishing, setting, jewelry work, restoration, engraving, braiding and plating.

If you want to make your very own design, contact one of our authorized retailers and tell them what you want.