Jewelry Buying Guide > Precious Metals

Gold Karat

• 100% pure gold is 24 karat and is always yellow. 
• Other metals are mixed with gold to increase hardness & durability 

24 karat - Pure Gold = 100% 
18 karat - 18/24 Parts Gold = 75% 
14 karat - 14/24 Parts Gold = 58.3% 
10 karat - 10/24 Parts Gold = 41.7%

Sterling Silver

• A more affordable precious metal option
• Sterling silver is a metal alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% base metal. The base metal is added to make the silver more durable.

Gold Over Silver

• Base metal of sterling silver with a surface plating of 14, 18 or 24 karat gold 

• Look of gold without the cost


• Patented combination of silver, Platinum, and base metals
• 92.5% silver and 5% platinum, 2.5% base metals
• 30% harder than sterling silver

Stainless Steel

• Low scratch resistance 
• Very Affordable 
• Durable, strong metal 
• Hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant


• Low scratch resistance 
• Naturally gray or black in color 
• Very lightweight and strong 
• Hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant


• Higher scratch resistance than titanium 
• Naturaly white in color 
• Appearance of platinum with weight similar to gold 
• Hypoallergenic

Gold or Silver Over Brass

• Base metal of brass with a surface plating of 14k gold or pure silver

Metal Information

Gold Alloys

• Pure gold is a very soft metal. Alloys provide hardness and durability, as well as color variations in gold, depending on the type of alloy metals added. 

• Alloys are created when at least two different metals are combined. 

• All karat gold jewelry uses alloys to help enhance the pure gold

Gold Color

• Gold as found in nature is yellow in color 

• The mixture of other metals to gold will determine the final color (white, yellow, or rose gold color) 

• When gold is mixed with certain other metals to create White Gold, the yellow color is diminished but not completely. Therefore, to achieve a nice white color, the finished piece is plated with Rhodium (a bright white, harder metal). This plating will wear off in time and can easily be reapplied by a qualified jeweler and is a covered service under the JCPenney Protection Plan.


• Chain & Bracelet clasps are often made with an internal spring that will maintain its strength as it is used. This tiny spring is made of a harder metal that will attract to a magnet. 

• All other forms of gold such as 10K, 14K, 18K will have some magnetic properties due to the other metals that are contained in the alloy mixture such as Cobalt. And so, the presence of minimal magnetic properties does not mean the item is not gold. 

Caring For Jewelry

• Jewelry worn over time will collect soap, lotion, dirt, and oils in all the small intricate surfaces. To properly clean your jewelry, use a very-soft bristled toothbrush and a bowl containing a mixture of mild soap and water. Dry your jewelry with a soft cloth. 

• If you prefer, you can purchase a jewelry cleaner/polish that will perform nicely as well. Remember that gold is soft by nature. When cleaning DO NOT USE abrasive materials or harsh cleaners with ammonia or chlorine.


We offer several gold and silver chain styles. Here are the more popular styles available to purchase from JCPenney.


Singapore chain is constructed using a series of flat diamond cut chain links.


Figaro is a popular gold or silver link chain design that incorporates a pattern of 2 or 3 small circular links with 1 elongated oval link.


The box chain is a necklace that’s made up of square links, each connected to the other, to form a smooth chain.


Snake chain is a very tight-linked chain that has a round or square cross-section and has links that create a zigzag look.

Curb or Cuban

Curb chain’s flattened loops are typically oval and all the same size. The links interlock with each other when laid flat.


Rope chain creates the effect of two twisting strands spiraled together, created by many small links not completely joined.


Byzantine chain incorporates a rope-like texture and intriguing textural design. The chains are supple and flexible, draping gracefully about the neck.


Wheat chain is formed of very long, thin teardrop-shape links that all point in the same direction. The joint of each link is like a tiny hinge, meaning this style is not as flexible or fluid as some others.

Gemstone Guide

Some Gemstones may have dedicated months, but birth month or not, everyone has a favorite. Check out our Gemstone Guide and learn about what makes each one unique.

Ready To Make Your Purchase?

Shop Rings

Shop our selection of Fine Rings

Jewelry Protection Plan

Comprehensive coverage to give you extra assurance for your next purchase.