Precious Metal Guide

 

One of the things we get asked about most is the difference between precious metals and their unique characteristics.

Of course, I think we all have our preferences when it comes to the colour of our jewellery, but there are other things to consider when buying or designing something new.  Don’t worry, we are here to help!

Platinum

The longstanding popularity of platinum is due to its purity, colour, strength and prestige. As beautiful as it is, it’s not all about looks. Many choose this precious metal because of its hardness and resistance to tarnishing, which makes it both a practical and glamourous choice for everyday jewellery, particularly wedding and engagement rings.  Its durability and strength make it an ideal setting for Diamonds and other precious gemstones.

Whilst Gold contains a combination of metals, Platinum’s purity makes it naturally hypoallergenic, ideal for those with skin sensitivities.  Like most metals, it does wear a little over time and will scratch if it comes into contact with stronger materials.  It doesn’t chip away, but instead the scratches are seen as indentations that can easily be re-polished.  Traditional Platinum will always be stamped with a hallmark indicating its purity, and although it’s value is more volatile than Gold, its rarity means it stands the test of time, making it a great investment and perfect for heirloom pieces you’d like to pass down.

 

Gold

Yellow Gold is viewed as a timeless classic metal with a warm, lustrous golden hue.  The softness of Gold makes it malleable, so yellow Gold jewellery can be moulded and crafted into various creative shapes without it putting too much strain on the metal.  Hence it is particularly suitable for creating beautiful designs that could be engraved or stone set.  Yellow Gold in all forms is easy to care for; it’s resistant to rust and tarnishing and while the shine may fade when in contact with detergents or moisturisers, polishing with a soft cloth will soon restore its shine.

White Gold is beautifully elegant and fashionable. Portraying a shiny silvery tone, it makes a lovely alternative to both yellow gold and other white metals such as silver, platinum and palladium.  To create a silver tone, White Gold is alloyed with Gold and one or more white metals, which also makes it stronger and more durable.  Almost all White Gold jewellery is Rhodium plated to ensure it has a shiny white, polished finish.  This will wear over time but can be easily re-plated for a usually fairly minimal fee.

Rose Gold is a striking metal alloy of Gold mixed with Copper to create a delightful rosy red tint in the finished material. Its colour is suited to more skin tones than yellow gold and sets off other metal colours well; therefore, it makes a complimentary addition to any jewellery collection.

18ct or 9ct Gold?

When choosing gold, you don’t only have to think about colour, but you have to think about the carat as well. So, 18ct or 9ct? Some people have been mislead by articles they have read or by information they have been given that 9ct will last longer than 18ct. This is not true.

9ct gold is ‘harder’ than 18ct gold but 18ct is more ‘durable’ meaning, it will last longer.

Much like, a pane of glass is ‘harder’ than a sheet of Perspex, but the Perspex being more ‘durable,’ if you gave them both a whack with a hammer, the glass would break but the Perspex will remain intact.

 

Silver

Sterling Silver is one of the most popular precious metals and is associated with success, glamour and wealth. It is ductile and malleable, which means that it can be drawn into wire or beaten into sheets and is therefore ideal for use in making all types of jewellery.

Silver has been used in fashionable and alluring jewellery throughout history; plain, engraved or stone set silver is so wonderfully versatile.

Sterling Silver is an alloy made up of Copper and 92.5% pure Silver, which is where the 925 hallmark you have probably seen comes from.  Slightly harder than pure Silver, Sterling is the most popular alloy for the manufacture of jewellery and silverware.

Sterling Silver though, because it is such a soft metal, is not suitable for jewellery you wish to wear every day unless you intend to replace it within a couple of years. If you do wish to wear the piece everyday, we would suggest 18ct White Gold or Platinum.

Our ‘Love, Me’ ring is available in any of the above precious metals which you can learn more about here!