Our precious metals guide has been put together to offer a brief explanation of the colours, characteristics and purity of Gold, Platinum and Palladium. We only work with jewellery made in precious metals to ensure quality pieces that will last a lifetime.
In jewellery two terms are used to determine the fineness of gold and precious metal alloys.
Carat or CT is an ancient measurement expressed in 24 parts, this is the original and most recognisable method of describing metal fineness. An 18ct ring will be 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy.
The modern European ‘millesimal’ measurement is when the metal is described as parts per 1000, this is the system used to determine the metal quality on all modern Hallmarks. For example an 18ct gold ring will bear the Hallmark 750 meaning it is 750 parts pure gold in 1000 or 75% gold and 25% alloy.
24ct gold is pure gold and is too soft to be used by itself for jewellery. Different metal alloys are added to produce different colours and to create different characteristics. Usually palladium, ruthenium, copper and zinc are mixed with gold to get different results.
9ct (375) is available in white, yellow and rose colours, it is the most popular grade of gold in the UK. 9ct is an affordable metal with white gold being slightly higher in price than yellow and rose. It is harder wearing than 18ct due to having less of the soft precious metal in the ring 37.5%. Yellow gold in 9ct is slightly paler than 18ct whilst white gold is rhodium plated to give it a bright white colour. All of our white gold is Grade 1 standard to ensure that the colour is retained and that the metal doesn't yellow with wear.
18ct (750) is available in white, yellow and rose colours. This is generally the purest form of gold used in creating jewellery, it stands up well to everyday wear and shows up very fine surface scratches over time without detracting from the design. Yellow gold in 18ct has a brighter gold appearance than 9ct. 18ct has a nice weighty feel and it is just more than double the cost of 9ct gold.
Platinum (950) is 95% pure platinum and 5% other alloy, cobalt or ruthenium. It is a pure white metal and is white/ light grey in colour. Platinum is a very dense metal giving it a noticeably heavy feel compared to other precious metals. The most hard wearing metal with the best wear characteristics, it tends to dull down and show very fine surface scratches over time. It is also very resistant and is not effected by salt water or chemicals. A very ductile metal making it ideally suited to accept diamond setting. Platinum is a rare metal and this is reflected in its price.
Palladium (950) is 95% pure palladium and 5% other alloy, copper or ruthenium. More grey in colour than platinum giving a slightly darker appearance. Palladium is a lot less dense than platinum, feeling lighter in comparison. A hardwearing metal that shows light surface scratches with wear and is a great choice for those looking for a white coloured, hardwearing ring at an affordable price.