There are various precious metals which are used in jewellery making, the most popular metals are Gold, Platinum and Palladium. All these metals have been around for a very long time and each have their own distinct qualities which make them stand out.
Gold is one of the rarest and most sought-after precious metals in the world. Gold is used widely in making jewellery. There are different carats of gold for example 9ct, 14ct, 18ct, 22ct and 24ct.
9ct Gold - contains 37.5% pure gold. The higher percentage of other metals makes it stronger and more durable and particularly suited to the creation of Jewellery.
14ct Gold - contains 58.5% pure gold and again is a popular choice as it is harder wearing and more affordable than 18ct gold.
18ct Gold - contains 75% pure gold, with the rest made up of other more durable metal alloys used to add colour and strength.
22ct Gold - contains approximately 91.6% pure gold. The high in percentage of pure gold means it has a relatively soft structure which renders it unsuitable for stone set jewellery, however, it is suitable for plain jewellery such as a wedding band.
24ct Gold - which is naturally yellow in colour and is the highest and purest form of gold at 99%. However, it generally isn’t used for jewellery making due to its soft structure.
White Gold (9ct, 14ct, 18t ct White Gold) is created by adding white metals to the pure gold. White gold can change colour over time and become naturally more yellow and will have to be re-plated, this is called 'Rhodium plating' and is a simple process that we are able to help with.
Rose Gold - copper is added to create varieties of Rose Gold.
There has been evidence of traces of Platinum that go back thousands of years, but it is still seen as a relatively new form of precious metal. This is because the first European reference to its use only goes back less than 500 years to the 16th century.
Platinum metal is significantly rarer and therefore more expensive than gold and silver, it is a popular choice in the jewellery industry especially for wedding bands and engagement rings. Platinum is a naturally white metal so even after prolonged wear Platinum will remain in optimum condition and stay white. Scratching to the metal may still occur, however this can be re-polished. Platinum is a popular choice over white gold as it retains its colour and you do not need to have it replated. Platinum is similar to gold as it also has different fineness, for example, 850 (85% pure), 900 (90% pure), 950 (95% pure) and 999 (99.9% pure). The most common alloy metals that are paired with Platinum are copper, palladium, rhodium, iridium, and titanium.
Palladium is also in the same family as Platinum, a naturally white metal which is harder than gold but softer than Platinum. With Palladium you see two different types: 500 (50% pure) and 950 (95% pure), again paired with alloys metals.