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A Guide to Metal Types and Their Uses

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Goldsmiths have been creating intricate jewelry and metalwork for centuries, showcasing their skills in manipulating various types of metals to craft exquisite pieces of art. At Goldsmiths Knysna, the tradition of working with metals continues to thrive. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of metals and explore the various types used by Goldsmiths Knysna, along with their unique characteristics and common applications.

  1. Gold

Gold is perhaps the most iconic metal in the realm of jewelry making. Known for its timeless beauty and rarity, it has been used in jewelry and ornamentation for thousands of years. Goldsmiths at Goldsmiths Knysna work with various gold alloys, including 24-karat (pure gold), 18-karat, 14-karat, and 10-karat gold. Each alloy has a different composition, which affects its color and durability. For instance, 18-karat gold is 75% pure gold mixed with other metals like copper and silver, giving it a warm, rich hue.

Common Uses:

  • Rings, necklaces, and earrings

  • Wedding bands

  • Coins and bullion

  • Decorative accents on other pieces

  1. Silver

Silver is a versatile and affordable metal that has been cherished for its brilliance and luster. At Goldsmiths Knysna, silver jewelry is crafted using sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver mixed with copper to enhance its durability.

Common Uses:

  • Rings, bracelets, and earrings

  • Necklaces and pendants

  • Silverware and tableware

  • Decorative items

  1. Platinum

Platinum is a rare and incredibly durable metal that boasts a brilliant white luster. It is a popular choice for those seeking a hypoallergenic and long-lasting option. Goldsmiths Knysna often works with platinum to create elegant and enduring pieces.

Common Uses:

  • Engagement and wedding rings

  • High-end watches

  • Fine jewelry settings

  • Dental work and medical instruments

  1. Palladium

Palladium is another white metal that has gained popularity in recent years, thanks to its similar appearance to platinum and lower cost. Goldsmiths Knysna uses palladium for a variety of jewelry pieces.

Common Uses:

  • Wedding and engagement rings

  • Earrings and necklaces

  • Men's jewelry

  1. Rose Gold

Rose gold is a stunning alloy that combines gold with copper, giving it a beautiful pinkish hue. It's a popular choice for those looking for a unique and romantic touch in their jewelry.

Common Uses:

  • Engagement rings

  • Bracelets and earrings

  • Fashion-forward jewelry

In addition to the metals mentioned above, Goldsmiths Knysna may also work with other alloys, such as white gold (gold mixed with nickel or palladium for a white appearance), and various colored gold alloys (e.g., green gold and black gold) to create innovative and distinctive pieces.


At Goldsmiths Knysna, the art of crafting exquisite jewelry and metalwork is deeply intertwined with a profound understanding of various metals and their unique properties. Whether you're seeking a timeless gold piece, a durable platinum ring, or a distinctive rose gold creation, the skilled artisans at Goldsmiths Knysna have the expertise and creativity to bring your vision to life. Each metal type used by Goldsmiths Knysna offers a unique character, ensuring that you find the perfect piece that resonates with your style and preferences.

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