Introduction to Precious metals

Precious metals gold, silver, and platinum have been used to create beautiful pieces of jewellery for centuries and they make the perfect gift for you and your loved ones, especially to mark a special occasion.

This guide tells you about the different features of these precious metals and the hallmarks associated with them enabling you to choose the perfect ring, necklace, or bracelet with confidence. If you have any further questions, our fully trained staff in store will be happy to help.

Quality & purity

On all pieces of gold, silver, and platinum jewellery there will be a hallmark stating the quality and purity of the metal. Hallmarks have been used on precious metals since 1238, when King Henry VIII appointed 6 Goldsmiths to ensure standards for gold and silver. Since then, hallmarking has been a standard of quality.

The mark indicates that the metal has been assayed (analysed) and indicates the purity of the metal. For more details on Hallmarking download the guide below:

British Hallmarking Council - Hallmarking guide.pdf

Types of precious metals

Gold

GoldKey facts: Gold is very malleable and easy to work with, making it perfect for jewellery. It is also very ductile, meaning it can be drawn into wire. When gold is used in jewellery it is alloyed with other metals to make it stronger and more durable. Gold does not rust, corrode or tarnish, except in very unusual circumstances.

Source: Gold ore is gathered by a mining process & is mainly found in South Africa. South Africa is currently the world’s largest producer of gold.

Colours: The final colour of the alloyed gold is dependant on the alloy metal used:
• Yellow gold – copper and silver are added
• Rose gold – copper is increased
• White gold – silver or palladium are added.

Rolled gold: Rolled gold consists of base metal with a thin layer of gold foil covering fused to it. The sheet is then rolled to the required thickness for the items needed.

Gold plating: consists of base metal or silver which is subjected to an electro chemical plating process. This technique was introduced in 1840.

Quality & purity: Measured in carats, the higher the carat weight the more gold is included, ie. 24ct Gold has 999 parts per 1000, 9ct Gold has 375 parts per 1000.

 

Silver

SilverKey facts: Silver, like gold, has been used for making jewellery for centuries due to its metallic shiny lustre. Silver is alloyed with other metals making it very malleable and ductile, perfect for creating jewellery.

Source: Silver is usually found in other metals such as lead, nickel and gold.

Quality & purity: Measured in fineness, the majority of silver is 925 fineness, otherwise known as Sterling Silver.

 

Platinum

PlatinumKey facts: Platinum is a versatile precious metal used in many industries, such as jewellery making or manufacturing. Like gold and silver, platinum is ductile and malleable, making it ideal for jewellery. Platinum will never fade or change colour and because of its purity it is kinder to the skin and does not cause any allergic reactions.

Source: Platinum is extremely rare which makes its price higher than gold. Platinum is 35 times rarer than gold and can only be found in very specific places around the world.

Quality & purity: Measured in fineness, Platinum is usually 95% pure and this will show on a hallmark as 950 parts per thousand.

 

Don’t forget, if you have any further questions, our fully trained staff in store will be happy to help.

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