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Materials

Titanium - light, durable and elegant

Discovered in 1791 titanium is, to many people, a relatively unknown metal. The main producers of titanium are the United States, Canada and Australia.

Compared with other metals, titanium has a number of diverse properties: it is four times harder than steel but five times lighter than pure gold. Significant qualities also include a high melting point, paramagnetism and an excellent resistance to corrosion. As a result, the aviation industry and space technology have benefited from titanium's favourable properties.

In addition, titanium has one important quality: it does not create allergies. This is significant, as many people are allergic to platinum, gold and the palladium used in whitening the gold.

Titanium's colour and sheen resembles that of platinum, but it is lighter, harder and more durable. Titanium lasts longer than other precious metals. Its sheen remains shiny and the matt remains as matt considerably longer in those products that consist of titanium than of any other material.

Due to its hardness and significantly higher melting point, titanium is a difficult material to work with. Traditional tools and methods used by many goldsmiths have been inadequate so working with titanium has presented a challenge, particularly with regard to handmade jewellery. New working methods are constantly being researched and tried out.

Constant product development has made GL-Koru one of the leading manufacturers of titanium jewellery. Gad Leinson offers a unique professionalism both in designing and in manufacturing titanium jewellery. At GL-Koru we have a large collection of varied titanium jewellery, including rings, charms, necklaces, chains, earrings, broaches, tiepins and cufflinks.

Gold

Gold is surely the best known material for making jewellery. It's different from other metals including its colour. Gold has been known to be around since around 5000 years BC and it has been used to make utensils, ornaments and jewellery ever since. Gold was also used in exchanging goods and around 1700 BC the first gold coins appeared in Egypt.

You can find gold in many places around the world, but the main present day mines are in South-Africa, North America and Siberia. Gold can also be found in Finnish Lapland, in Lemmenjoki National Park area. There are several small gold mines in Finland and new findings are constantly being made in different parts of the country. The amount of gold mined, however, is very small compared to the world's huge gold producers.

Gold is mainly used to make jewellery and various ornaments. Pure fine gold is very soft thus unsuitable to make jewellery. Gold can be made harder and longer lasting by mixing fine gold with different compounds (silver, copper and zinc amongst others) into an alloy. The mostly used alloys are of 14 and 18 carat gold, where the gold content is between a minimum of 58, 8% and 75%. The amounts of compounds of silver, copper and possibly also zinc vary in different alloys. This is why the gold used in Finland is more red in colour than the yellow gold used in Southern Europe.

White gold is not mined as gold which would be "white" to start with - it is a result of mixing the fine gold with different compounds like the other gold alloys. The difference is that some whitening metal is also added into the white gold alloy. In the early years nickel was used to whiten the alloy, but the use of nickel ceased to be popular as it caused various allergic symptoms. Nowadays, instead of nickel, palladium is used to whiten the alloy. Unfortunately even palladium is not an entirely safe alternative – palladium allergy is more common than it is thought to be.

Palladium white gold is considerably softer than yellow gold. As palladium white gold is somewhat greyish in colour, the products made with it are often galvanized with white rodium metal.

 

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