What Is White Lustrium Jewelry?

According to the website "San Diego BizMart," white lustrium is the name of a nonprecious metal alloy you'll hear bandied about wherever class rings are sold, but it's used by any number of metalsmiths and jewelers in a range of pieces, from rings to earrings. Both white and yellow lustrium tend to be the cheapest among the various metal options in factory-level jewelry making, with the advantage that this attractive metal alloy never tarnishes. Although lustrium is durable, it does not have the same characteristics as gold or platinum.

  1. White Lustrium

    • White lustrium is a mixture of nickel and chromium; it's appreciated for its extremely durable finish and full resistance to tarnishing. The website "San Diego BizMart" describes white lustrium as having the rich brilliance of silver or white gold. One of the main advantages of buying lustrium over gold or platinum is the price.

    Yellow Lustrium

    • Most people simply cannot tell the difference between yellow lustrium and 10-karat gold. This is because yellow lustrium is actually made with a small percentage of real gold, but the key is that the two metals are fused; the gold isn't merely plated to the surface. If the metal is scratched, the color will remain uniform in the fissure. Interestingly, in yellow lustrium, the amount of gold in the mixture is greater at the surface.

    Identification

    • White lustrium is ranked dead last among the series of metals used in the making of jewelry. At the top of the heap is platinum, the most precious of all the metals. More expensive than gold, platinum is a by-product of nickel mining. Gold ranks next, both white and yellow varieties, followed by palladium, rhodium and Silver Elite (a mix of silver and platinum).

    Palladium

    • Palladium is the result of copper, nickel and platinum mining. It's very similar in appearance to white lustrium (as it is to white gold). Palladium is both more expensive and longer lasting than white lustrium. Still, palladium is a cheap alternative to white gold. It has a hard finish, tends not to scratch and resists oxidation except when sulfur compounds are present.

    Rhodium

    • Rhodium, considered to be among the platinum group of metals, has a white color that's clean and brilliant. It's relatively rare and 10 times as expensive as gold, according to the website "Finishing.com." It's more white than both lustrium and palladium. It makes an ideal plating metal given its luster and mirrorlike quality. But it's too brittle to carry the day on its own. It's often plated atop silver or nickel to prevent tarnishing and restore color.

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References

  • Photo Credit Gold jewelry set image by lune from Fotolia.com

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