Cremation Jewelry Metals

Cremation jewelry is crafted from a large assortment of different metals and finishes. Understanding not only the make-up of the jewelry but how this effects the care and maintenance of your cremation jewelry can help you keep your keepsake looking it’s best for years to come.

Sterling Silver Cremation Jewelry

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is one of the most versatile metals that crosses several industries. The cool tones and easy care make it popular amongst jewelers and the popularity has spilled over into the cremation jewelry industry. Simple to care for and maintain, sterling silver is a great option for those looking for durability and versatility with their cremation jewelry.

What is Sterling Silver?

The term 0.925 grade sterling silver means that the silver is a combination of 92% silver and 8% other metals. Sterling silver is very soft on its own and adding additional metals or alloys strengthens the metal but doesn’t compromise the color of the silver.

Sterling silver versus silver plating - what’s the difference?

Silver plated is much different than sterling silver. With silver plating, the jewelry has a base of brass or another metal and a thin electroplating of sterling silver on the top. This silver plating gives the rich beauty of sterling silver but the cost is generally lower. Additionally, silver rhodium plating is often added to sterling silver jewelry. Silver rhodium plating gives the jewelry a high reflective shine as well as added durability.

14K Gold Cremation Jewelry

14K gold

14k gold is a metal that is prevalent in the jewelry industry. Available in both 14k yellow gold and 14k white gold, the metal is versatile and one of the more expensive jewelry materials. Both white and yellow gold have different attributes depending on skin tone, gemstone accents and skin allergies.

What is 14k yellow gold?

Yellow gold is a mix of gold and copper and zinc alloys. It is available in different karats such as 10k, 14k and 18k. The number tells parts of gold in 24 parts alloy so the higher the percentage of gold, the higher the karat. So, for example, with 14k gold there are 14 parts fine gold and 10 parts other alloys. Yellow gold needs to polished regularly and is prone to scratches. Complimentary to those with warm skin tones, yellow gold is a classic choice when it comes to jewelry.

What is 14k white gold?

White gold is similar to yellow gold in that is contains part pure gold and part alloy. The different is in the alloys. White gold is mixed with white metals like palladium and silver. This mixture provides a stronger, scratch proof surface and is most often paired with gemstones such as diamonds. White gold compliments the color and depth of gems, especially diamonds. Often plated with rhodium to give it a shiny and durable look, white gold is a popular option for those with a bigger budget and for those looking for a modern and trendy approach to their jewelry.

Gold Plated Cremation Jewelry

Gold Plated

Another popular option is gold plated keepsakes. Gold plated jewelry is complimentary to a variety of different skin tones and gives customers an affordable alternative to solid 14k gold. The keepsakes are easy to maintain and available in a wide assortment of styles.

What is gold plated?

Gold plated jewelry has a base of copper, brass, silver or another metal. The base metal goes through a series of chemical processes and then is dipped in a solution. The solution reacts when an electric current is applied and causes a thin layer of gold to be applied to the base metal. The thicker the gold plating the higher the cost of the jewelry.

Brass Cremation Jewelry

Brass

One of the most popular metals used in the jewelry industry is brass. The soft tones of the jewelry give it an understated appeal to men and women alike. Brass is durable and versatile and one of our most beautiful alloys.

What is brass?

Brass is an alloy that is a combination of copper and zinc. Brass displays different properties based off of the amount of zinc and copper that is used. The color of brass changes depending on how much zinc it contains. The higher the zinc proportion the lighter the color of brass.

Stainless Steel Cremation Jewelry

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is rising in popularity and is an affordable option for those that love the look of silver but are looking for something a little less expensive than sterling silver. Strong and resilient, the metal can have a matte or shiny finish and is very durable.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is steel that is combined with at least 10% chromium and smaller percentages of other metals. The 10% chromium combines with oxygen and this forms an invisible layer on the steel. This protective layer is the ‘stainless’. This layer makes stainless steel resistant to rust, corrosion and discoloration.

Titanium Cremation Jewelry

Titanium

Perhaps one of the strongest metals, titanium is durable and beautiful. Increasing in popularity due to it’s durability, titanium is an affordable alternative to 14k white gold as well as for those that are hard on their jewelry or looking for something different and unique.

What is titanium?

Titanium is unique in that this white metal is used primarily in its pure form, approximately 99% pure. The color of the metal is light gray and titanium is 100% hypoallergenic. The metal is exceptionally lightweight, more so than 18k gold or platinum. Titanium is very difficult to work with as the hard metal can damage jewelry making tools easily. It cannot be soldered which also restricts how titanium can be utilized for jewelry. The difficulty in using titanium offsets the cost of the metal, making titanium pricier than sterling silver but still more affordable than 14k white gold.

How do I choose what’s right for me?

So we’ve given you all of this basic information on different metals. And it’s a lot of information to process. Let’s take it one step further and break it down into a list of pro’s and con’s in one table so that you have everything you need to know in one place!

 Made ofDurabilityAffordabilityIdeal for
Sterling Silver
Made of
  • 92% silver and 8% other metals.
Durability
  • Silver is a softer metal.
  • Can be prone to scratches and marks from daily wear.
Affordability
  • Pricing ranges from $50 up to $150 depending on the size of the jewelry.
Ideal for
  • Sterling silver is ideal for those that like the silver tones and are looking for something to wear on a daily basis.
  • Price point makes it affordable for most budgets.
Silver Plated
Made of
  • Base of brass or other metal. A thin layer of silver is electroplated over the top.
Durability
  • Silver plated jewelry is durable but not ideal for long term wear without maintenance.
  • Over time the silver plating needs to be replaced by a jeweler.
Affordability
  • Silver plated jewelry is much less expensive than sterling silver jewelry.
  • Most silver plated jewelry ranges in price from $30 to $75 and is a good buy for those with a smaller budget.
Ideal for
  • Silver plated jewelry is a great option for those that love the look of silver but don’t have a lot of money to spend.
  • Ideal as well for young adults or older children as there is not a large monetary investment
14K Yellow Gold
Made of
  • 14K yellow gold is a mixture of pure gold and copper and zinc alloys. 14k means 14 karats of pure gold mixed with 10 karats of alloys.
Durability
  • 14k yellow gold is high on the durability scale. However, because of the alloys it is mixed with, 14k yellow gold will scratch and should be regularly cleaned and polished.
Affordability
  • High in price, 14k yellow gold jewelry is one of the more expensive.
  • Depending on the weight and the size of the jewelry, prices can range from $500 and up into the thousands.
Ideal for
  • Ideal for those with no budget, 14k gold is a luxury item.
  • For those looking for an item to pass down as a family heirloom or that have a love for yellow gold, this is a terrific option.
14K White Gold
Made of
  • 14k white gold is made of pure gold and alloys. The alloys are white metals such as palladium and silver.
Durability
  • Because of the alloys that it is mixed with, 14k white gold is extremely durable.
  • Scratch proof and often paired with a rhodium plating, 14k white gold is often paired with diamonds as it enhances the beauty of the stone.
Affordability
  • 14k white gold is expensive and for those that have a large budget or no budget at all.
  • Prices typically start in the high hundreds and can easily go into the thousands depending on the jewelry and if it accompanies a gemstone.
Ideal for
  • 14k white gold jewelry is ideal for those that love the look of silver, are looking for durable, high end jewelry.
  • The jewelry needs little upkeep and is a great pairing to diamonds and other gems.
Gold Plated
Made of
  • Gold plated jewelry has a base of silver, brass or another metal. It is then electroplated with a thin layer of gold.
Durability
  • Gold plated jewelry is reasonably durable.
  • Because the gold is electroplated onto a base metal, the finish can wear over time.
Affordability
  • An affordable option for those that love the look of gold but have a smaller budget - this is your go to!
  • Gold plated jewelry ranges in the mid $100’s up to $300 depending on the size and style of jewelry.
Ideal for
  • Gold plated jewelry is a great option for those that want a gold jewelry item to wear on a daily basis but plan on taking the jewelry off while sleeping, exercising, etc. This reduces wear and tear on the jewelry.
  • It is also an ideal option for a young adult or teen or as a gift for a family member or close friend.
Brass
Made of
  • Brass is an alloy that is combined of zinc and copper. The color or depth of color of the brass depends on how much zinc is added.
Durability
  • Brass does not rust but will tarnish when exposed to air and moisture. The tarnish can rub off on the skin if not removed.
  • Brass jewelry can be easily cleaned with soap and water and with proper care, can have a significant longevity.
Affordability
  • Brass is probably the most affordable of all metals.
  • A mainstay in the jewelry industry, brass jewelry can cost anywhere from $25 up to $100 or more if plated with gold, silver or rhodium.
Ideal for
  • Brass jewelry is ideal for anyone. Men, women, children, close friends.
  • It's affordability makes it a no brainer but note that it does take proper maintenance in order to preserve it’s durability
Stainless Steel
Made of
  • Stainless steel is made of steel and 10% chromium. The chromium when combined with oxygen creates a thin layer over the steel - making it ‘stainless’.
Durability
  • Stainless steel is exceptionally strong and durable.
  • Takes little to no maintenance.
Affordability
  • A more affordable option than sterling silver, stainless steel is ideal for those that love the look of sterling silver yet a small budget.
  • Most stainless steel jewelry can be purchased for under $100 but you will typically not find as many options or style selections as you do with sterling silver.
Ideal for
  • For those that are looking for more casual or rugged style jewelry, stainless steel is the way to go.
  • Stainless steel jewelry is also ideal for those that don’t plan on removing their jewelry or for those that are particularly hard on their jewelry.

Knowing a little about the metals and the pros and cons of a particular material can help you make the best decision on what works for you and your lifestyle. Whether looking for silver, gold, brass or other metal keepsakes, we carry hundreds of different styles that have been crafted from the finest materials to hold the most precious of memories.