Precious Metal Guide
Gold has been an important precious metal since as early as 560BC and has been used throughout history as jewellery for religious ceremonies such as weddings, to declare status or purely for decoration. Gold is a ”noble metal” which means it will not tarnish, corrode or rust and most acids will not harm it. It is a popular and versatile choice because it is both ductile and malleable, meaning it can easily be crafted into different shapes. Most gold jewellery is mixed with other alloy metals such as silver, copper, nickel and zinc to strengthen its durability.
Gold is measured in CARATS and divided into 24 parts. Pure gold or Fine gold (Au) is measured as 24ct Gold. 18ct Gold is 18/24 parts by mass or 75 per cent pure gold. 9ct Gold is 9/24 parts gold by mass or 37.5 per cent pure gold and this enables it to be a more affordable gold choice.
9ct and 18ct gold jewellery particularly in yellow, white and rose gold are the most popular gold choices. As with all precious metals, gold will carry a Hallmark (where appropriate see Hallmarking Guide below) declaring its quality and authenticity.
Yellow Gold - 9ct, 14ct, 18ct
Gold is always a naturally beautiful yellow colour. However, because of the different carats available there are subtle colour variations. 9ct, 14ct and 18ct are still yellow but the final colour can be influenced by varying the mixture of other metals being added. Yellow gold is the ideal precious metal for traditional engagement rings, wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings.
White Gold - 9CT, 14ct, 18ct
White Gold has been fashionable since the early 1920's and has since become one of the most sought after gold colours used in the UK. To create white gold, yellow gold is mixed with copper, zinc, nickel or palladium, giving it a bright clean look, which is often favoured for use in bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and pendants.
Rose Gold - 9CT, 14CT 18CT
With the help of rising fashion trends in watches and jewellery, rose gold is fast becoming a popular precious metal for watches, earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets. Because of its warm pink shades, this alternative to white or yellow gold is becoming a contemporary metal of choice for engagement rings. It is created by combining yellow gold with a copper alloy and has the same properties as yellow gold.
Gold comes in three main colours, yellow, white and rose. You are likely to come across jewellery at The Jewellery Superstore that may feature two of these colours which will be referred to as two-colour gold. Ideal for earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants and rings.
Three-colour gold jewellery is the combination of yellow, white and rose gold in one piece of jewellery. This combination of three colours offers eye catching design possibilities particularly for earrings. A jewellery classic that uses three-colour gold is the Russian wedding ring.
Silver is a relatively light metal making it practical to use and comfortable to wear. Silver is the most reflective of all metals. Silver is an ideal metal to produce exquisite and stunningly beautiful jewellery. Silver fineness is expressed as parts per thousand and is normally alloyed with copper to make it stronger and harder. The most common alloy used in jewellery is Sterling Silver which is 925/1000 parts by mass of pure silver. It is perfect for making bigger statement jewellery and has been used throughout history for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and brooches. Sterling silver goes perfectly with precious gemstones and non-precious gemstones. As with all precious metals, sterling will carry a Hallmark (where appropriate see Hallmarking Guide below) declaring its quality and authenticity.