The Case for Cobalt Jewelry

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The Case for Cobalt Jewelry

Triton Jewelry 22-3436Q

Metals in jewelry have diversified over the years. While gold and silver still remain the popular metals of choice, other metals have taken center stage and for good reasons, which range from hardness, durability and unique coloration to price appeal. Such is the case for cobalt.

Raw Cobalt. Image courtesy of UC Davis ChemWiki

 The word cobalt derives from the German word kobold, which was a superstitious term used among miners for goblin. Cobalt is a chemical element which, like nickel, is found in the earth’s crust in chemically combined form. Its use in jewelry, as well as pottery and ceramics, dates back to the third millennia BC in Egypt and Persia. Today the Congo in Africa is the largest single source of the metal, producing just under half of the world’s supply.

Cobalt is a very hard metal – much harder than platinum, gold, silver and even stainless steel. It’s also fairly ductile and malleable, rendering it capable for resizing by placing it under extreme temperatures. When cobalt is combined with chromium and molybdenum, the resulting alloy is called cobalt chrome, giving it even greater durability and scratch resistance.
Cobalt has a silvery color with bright luster, comparable to that of white gold and platinum, and its coloration never wears out. Though cobalt is often compared to titanium and tungsten, two other very hard metals, its white luster is much greater than titanium and tungsten, which have a deeper gray hue. And although the color of cobalt is closer to white gold, platinum and silver, you will find that its price tag is substantially less.
Looking for a cobalt wedding band? Gold and Gems has a fine collect that you can shop for here.