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Platinum, while used after WWII, did not regain widespread popularity until the 1990’s.

White gold is the newest alloy that you will see in pieces described as antique.

Some white gold alloys tend to have a yellowish cast, especially the nickel alloy white gold, and pieces are often rhodium plated to produce a shiner, whiter piece.

Some white gold is relatively brittle due to the presence of nickel, which causes a loss of malleability and ductility.

There are some very nice antique ‘Bohemian Garnet’ pieces set in brass.

Pieces, such as these, are also made in low karat gold alloys and with quality karat gold settings, so all merit a careful examination.

Due to its’ characteristics, silver is not as durable a material for some items as gold.

The 19 The ability to use platinum in the production of jewelry allowed for the development of new styles of jewelry in the 1880’s.


Platinum was popular from its first usage until about WWII. Palladium, a platinum family metal, is used in some pieces from this period, often in an alloy that included iridium.This finish will not hold up to daily wear in an item such as a ring, and will not survive some types of repair work.For as long as gold and silver have been used in the production of jewelry, someone has been trying to duplicate the look with something less expensive.The majority of pieces made before the mid-19th century will be European, which includes Great Britain and Russia.

The practice of hallmarking jewelry and objects made of precious metal started in the 1400’s and continues to the present. Not everyone hallmarked their work, and the passage of time and repair work has marred or eliminated many marks.

The most famous of the copper and zinc alloys used in jewelry is Pinchbeck, developed by Christopher Pinchbeck, a London watchmaker, at the start of the 18th century.


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