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Finishing Touch: How to Select the Right Metal Finish for Your Jewelry

Written by Anna Currell
August 29, 2023

There are so many ways that a piece of jewelry can be personalized to reflect your unique style. You can get engravings, e-coatings, or intricate settings that accentuate your vibe, but did you know that you can also select a custom metal finish to give your jewelry a specific look? In this article we’ll explore the different types of metal finishes, how they can influence the overall style of your jewelry, and how to go about selecting the best one for you. Let’s get started!


A matte tungsten ring

Different Types of Metal Finish

A finish refers to the texture and surface treatment applied to a metal base to create different effects and impact the overall style of a jewelry design. Here are some popular finishes commonly used in metal jewelry:

  1. High Polish: A high polish finish is the most common and classic option for jewelry. It creates a mirror-like shine, reflecting light and highlighting the metal's natural luster. The smooth and glossy surface of a high polish finish creates an elegant look.
  2. Matte Finish: A matte finish, also known as a satin or brushed finish, offers a more subdued and textured appearance. The matte look is achieved by lightly brushing the metal surface, creating fine lines and a soft sheen. This process reduces the reflective quality of the metal, giving the jewelry a contemporary and understated look.
  3. Hammered Finish: Hammered finishes are characterized by a surface textured with deep, round indentations all over. This finish creates a rustic and artisanal effect, adding depth to the jewelry instead of featuring a single flat plane. Hammered finishes are very popular in bohemian designs.
  4. Florentine Finish: The florentine finish features a crosshatched or crisscross pattern carved into the metal surface. It creates a distinctive texture and adds a bit of intricacy to the jewelry. Because of the dramatic effect, florentine finishes are often used in statement pieces or as accents to highlight specific areas of a metal surface.
  5. Sandblasted Finish: A sandblasted finish involves using fine-grained abrasive materials to create a textured, matte surface. It produces a frosted appearance that diffuses light and adds a contemporary and edgy look to the jewelry. Sandblasted finishes are often used in modern and minimalist designs.
  6. Diamond Cut Finish: Diamond cut finishes involve precision cutting the metal's surface to create facets that mimic the brilliance of diamonds. It adds sparkle and dimension to the jewelry, enhancing its visual appeal. The diamond cut finish is frequently used to maximize light reflection in earrings, pendants, and bangles.

A hammered 22k gold ring

How to Select the Best Metal Finish for You

Now that you know all of the options for metal finishes, you can begin to think about which one you prefer. Here are some tips to help you select a metal finish that reflects your style:

Determine your style

When you’re in the market for a new piece of jewelry, first take some time to assess your personal style. If you haven’t done this before, start with your wardrobe and your current jewelry collection to develop an idea of what you naturally find attractive. Lay out your pieces — jewelry, clothing, and accessories — in front of you, and try to describe the general feeling they give. What adjectives would you assign to the collection as a whole? Bohemian, classic, modern, edgy, colorful, romantic, whimsical, effortless, dramatic, retro? There are no wrong answers.

Once you’ve determined a few different words you associate with your style, consider how you’ll apply this to your next piece of jewelry. For example, if you tend to choose classic, minimalist, and simple pieces for your wardrobe, you might want to consider a high polish or matte metal finish that will contribute to that overall look. If you steer more toward a romantic, whimsical style, maybe a sandblasted or hammered metal finish is the right call. 

Consider the type of jewelry

Next, think about which type of jewelry you’re shopping for — the same type of metal finish can look different on a watch versus a ring, for example. If you’re looking for a bangle bracelet or a metal watch, you might have more surface area to appreciate a detailed metal finish. A ring or pair of small earrings might have smaller surface areas that leave less room for intricacies. 

Similarly, if you plan on wearing your rings at the same time, you might want to think about how they’ll look together. Maybe you want them to be all matching with high polish, or maybe you want to add some variety on each finger so adding a florentine finish piece might be the move. 

Consider the type of metal

Another factor to consider is the type of metal you choose. You have several options when jewelry shopping: you can choose precious metals like silver, gold, or platinum that are rare and durable, or you can opt for base metals like copper or brass that are coated with a precious metal for a more affordable price. 

To make the choice between any of these metals, you should consider their color, aesthetic, durability, price, and the maintenance required to keep them looking great. For instance, precious metals will cost more, but they’ll be more durable and require less maintenance. And between the precious metals, you’ll get a different aesthetic and color between silver, gold, and platinum.

Now you’re ready to find your next piece of jewelry with a metal finish that complements your style. No matter which metal finish you choose, be sure to take great care of your jewelry to keep it shining. We recommend getting your pieces polished twice a year to keep your metal jewelry in excellent condition and the occasional gold plating or rhodium plating service to preserve your jewelry’s luster. Send your pieces to us in the mail — our professionals at Quick Jewelry Repairs would be delighted to help you keep your metal jewelry looking its best.

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