If you drop by your local department store's jewelry counter in search of jewelry made of White Lustrium, you're not going to find it -- White Lustrium is a metal alloy made and marketed exclusively by Jostens. That name sound familiar? You probably remember it from your days as a spring fever-infected senior. Jostens is the top of the totem pole when it comes to high school class rings, although the company also makes specialty rings for groups ranging from veterans to martial arts tournament winners. White Lustrium isn't the fanciest jewelry alloy, but it's got a lot to recommend it as a durable ring choice.
White Lustrium is a combination of two metals -- nickel and chromium. It's durable, doesn't tarnish and its silver color makes it indistinguishable with the naked eye from white gold. Jostens makes another form of Lustrium, known as Yellow Lustrium. The only difference between the two is that Yellow Lustrium contains a small amount of 23-karat yellow gold coating the nickel and chromium mixture to give it the appearance of yellow gold.
Advantages of White Lustrium
White Lustrium has one major advantage: it's the least expensive of all the metals Jostens offers as ring options. In some cases, rings made from White Lustrium can be as much as 50 to 70 percent cheaper than identically sized and decorated rings made from platinum or either yellow or white gold. And, despite being less expensive, White Lustrium can still pass itself off as 10-karat gold. It has all of white gold's impressive shine without requiring the maintenance needed to keep a gold ring from tarnishing. The color of a White Lustrium ring won't fade or change over time, and the metal is hard enough to resist scratches and nicks.
Disadvantages of White Lustrium
If having a ring made with precious metals is high on your Must Have list, White Lustrium is probably not for you. Compared with all the other ring metals available through Jostens -- platinum, palladium, rhodium, white gold, yellow gold and Silver Elite, a Jostens-exclusive combination of sterling silver and platinum -- White Lustrium is at the bottom of the heap since it doesn't contain any precious metals. As a piece of jewelry, the White Lustrium ring doesn't have the same value as rings made from platinum or gold. Of course, if you view the ring instead as a symbol of the organization or accomplishments it represents, its value is priceless.
How to Clean
Don't use harsh jewelry cleaning fluids on your White Lustrium ring. Instead, use a soft cloth -- no bristled brushes or scouring pads -- to gently scrub it with a combination of warm water and a mild liquid detergent. Dry the ring thoroughly with another soft cloth. If the ring requires some professional cleaning attention, Jostens will do the dirty work for you for free once a year.