When used in jewelry applications, precious metals are typically combined with other metals, forming what is called an alloy. When gold and copper are combined, for example, the result is red gold. Typically, every jewelry piece will be an alloy to some degree. Each of the precious metals has its own unique properties that make it especially well suited for jewelry. It is these characteristics that have led to the growth in popularity of metals such as platinum in recent years. Gold is not necessarily the standard anymore.