Iris + Mill

Choosing a metal

Learn more about the precious metals used in jewelry crafting and how to find the right metal options for your engagement, wedding, and fine jewelry.



Platinum is known for its silvery white beauty, durability/workability, and rarity. Platinum will last forever, never fading or changing color, and perfectly accentuates the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond. 

Platinum is the most expensive of the precious metals, due to its lustrous silvery appearance, superior durability, and low maintenance.


How to care for platinum


Platinum is incredibly durable, and like gold, will never tarnish. Simply clean it wish a soft cloth or bristled brush and use a mild solution (ammonia or detergent) or warm soapy water.



Did you know that pure gold is too soft (or malleable) to be used in fine jewelry just by itself? Gold has to be combined with an alloy to strengthen its shape for everyday wear. 

The gold fine jewelry at Iris & Mill is crafted with U.S. Grade 14k and above.

The amount of alloy mixed with the gold is what determines the karat weight (for reference, pure gold is 24K).


18k: .750 gold/.250 alloy
14k: .583 gold/.417 alloy
10k: .416 gold/.584 alloy


How to care for gold


Gold can be cleaned with a mild detergent or diluted ammonia solution. Make sure to use a soft brush or cloth as abrasive materials can scratch the gold. Simply rinse and wipe gold jewelry after cleaning.

Colored gold

While it's true the pure gold is yellow, gold can also be changed into a variety of shades depending on the type and percentage of included alloys. At Iris & Mill, we offer three types of colored gold options in our jewelry designs.


Yellow gold

Appearance: Yellow gold features the famous rich golden hue that we all love and a stunning luster.

Durability: Yellow gold is mixed with alloys that strengthen the metal. This allows gold (which is normally quite soft) to maintain a durability suited for everyday wear.

Price: Yellow gold is more affordable than platinum, and roughly the same price point as the other colored golds.


White gold

Appearance: White gold has a similar appearance to platinum, with both featuring a silvery white appearance. White gold is often alloyed with a mixture of nickel, palladium and silver, or zinc and copper.

Durability: White gold features rhodium plating (an extremely hard element) which increases its durability, making it the sturdiest of the colored golds. Because of this, and its ability to enhance the color of gemstones, its often used in diamond settings (and engagement rings).

Price: White gold is more affordable that platinum, mainly due to the fact that it requires more maintenance which can raise costs in the long run.


Rose gold

Appearance: Rose gold has a subtle but lustrous pinkish tone to it. It is usually mixed with a copper alloy to achieve this effect.

Durability: The copper gives rose gold an enhanced durability suited for everyday use. 

Price: Rose gold is more affordable than platinum, and usually has the same or similar price point as white gold or yellow gold.