When it comes to selecting a precious metal for your jewellery to be crafted from, there are various options depending on your desired look, level of durability and budget. Discover more about the most common choices below.
Gold is the most popular choice of all precious metals due to its versatility and anti-tarnish properties. Pure gold is 24 carat however as this is far too soft for jewellery, it is mixed with different metal alloys to increase its strength. At Class A Jewellers, we predominantly offer two different carats of gold - 9 carat and 18 carat. 9ct gold is 37.5% pure gold (62.5% alloys) and stamped onto jewellery as ‘375’, whereas 18ct gold is 75.0% pure gold and stamped onto jewellery as ‘750’. Although 9ct gold is stronger and has a lower price point, 18ct is the more desirable choice due to the higher gold content. On the whole, gold is less expensive than other precious metals as it is highly accessible and widely available.
Yellow gold is the classic choice for jewellery. Pure gold (24 carat) is deep yellow in colour so when mixed with differing degrees of other metal alloys (such as silver, copper, nickel and zinc) it can result in different shades of yellow.
White gold is when white coloured metal alloys (such as silver and palladium) are mixed with gold and then plated with a hard, white metal known as rhodium to give it a bright silvery-white appearance. Over time, this plating will wear away and a slight yellow hue of the gold will begin to show (quite often at the base of the ring). The former appearance of white gold is easily restored by re-rhodium plating the ring. Although it differs vastly between individuals, white gold rings generally should be rhodium plated every 12-18 months.
Rose gold (also known as pink gold) has a warm pinky hue due to the copper alloys that are mixed with the gold. The more copper present, the more rose in colour the gold will be.
Platinum is a naturally white metal which beautifully accentuates the brilliance of diamonds. It is the strongest and most durable of all precious metals meaning that it makes a great choice for engagement rings. As platinum is 95% pure (5% alloys), it is naturally hypoallergenic so it won’t cause irritation to sensitive skin. Another benefit of platinum is that it will never discolour or fade meaning platinum jewellery does not require re-plating like white gold jewellery. However, as platinum is far rarer and purer than gold, it is the more expensive option of the two.