WANT TO TRY ON SAMPLES FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME? CLICK HERE!
CHOOSING PRECIOUS METALS
When you are choosing a piece of jewellery, the metal you opt for is as important as the stone and the design. Some styles look completely different with a yellow-coloured metal compared to a silver-coloured one, and some metals will look better against your skin tone than others will.
Things to Consider
You need to consider what other jewellery you wear close by – if you have a gold engagement ring, then you would want to choose a gold wedding ring to wear alongside it. A soft metal like gold will be gradually worn away by a harder metal like platinum.Furthermore, for those who are contemplating the differences between white gold and platinum, the two precious metals are virtually indistinguishable. White gold and platinum are optically identical, and they only differ in terms of their durability and density.
Platinum is denser than 18k white gold, so the same piece of jewellery would feel heavier when set in platinum than if it were set in gold. Also, platinum does not wear down over time, and will weigh approximately the same in many years to come, as the day it was purchased. Gold on the other hand is softer and wears down over time, so will be lighter in future years.From our own experience, we would advise that if you are considering 18k white gold, platinum would be a better choice, as it negates the need for rhodium plating, a process which is harmful to the environment and incurs more costs in the future.
Here at Ethica Diamonds, we use part- recycled or Fairtrade precious gold wherever possible in our fine jewellery, as part of our commitment to being environmentally responsible, and we are a Fairtrade Foundation registered jeweller. We use recycled metals to decrease the global demand for newly mined metals, as this will diminish the environmentally and socially destructive effects of dirty gold and other metal mining practices. Where many other jewellers take the low-cost option and outsource their production to countries where labour and environmental standards are weak or poorly enforced, Ethica Diamonds is committed to responsible labour practices. All our jewellery is hand-crafted in the United Kingdom, under strict labour conditions, safety standards and fair pay.
World history features yellow gold jewellery from the beginning of civilisation. The timeless style of yellow gold endures evoking images of opulence and wealth. Who could forget the elaborate headdresses and collars worn by Egyptian Pharaohs, Roman Emperors, royalty and clergy the world over?
Amongst bridal jewellery, yellow gold is once again becoming the most popular–synonymous with tradition and classic styles.
Pure, 24 carat gold is not suitable for crafting into everyday jewellery as it is too soft. In order to achieve 18 carat gold, 75% pure gold (naturally yellow in colour) is blended with 25% other white metals, also known as alloys
An expert mixture of copper, silver and pure gold gives this precious metal its signature warmth and a lovely rich colour. Like all gold jewellery, yellow gold needs to be polished every 12-18 months depending on how often it is worn.
Which to choose?
Gold in its natural state is yellow. In order for white gold to appear white in colour, gold must be mixed (also known as alloyed) with a white metal(s) like nickel, palladium or silver which makes white gold a light grey colour.
To give white gold its sought after sheen, it is then rhodium plated. With time, rhodium plating will wear away revealing a yellow-ish tinge, and the ring will need replating every 12-18 months to maintain its lustre and radiance.
The bad news is that plating involves the use of cyanide or other toxic chemicals which is not an environmentally friendly process. However, at Ethica, we use white gold that has a higher concentration of palladium, which extends the life between plating and some people actually prefer the soft champagne colour of this metal once the plating has worn off or choose to not have it plated at all, especially if they select the Fairtrade gold option that we offer.
Platinum is not only denser but also stronger than gold and will require less maintenance over the years, while offering a similar finished appearance to white gold due to its natural bright white appearance.
Platinum is a naturally occurring lustrous white metal and never discolours or tarnishes. In fact, platinum’s shine is easy to retain with a simple polish. This precious metal is mined at a rate of 1/10 that of gold and because of its pure properties, Platinum is hypoallergenic and will therefore not irritate the skin.
Platinum will inevitably show signs of wear over time, however due to its durability and strength, scratches are merely a displacement of the metal and none of its volume is lost.
Both metals make excellent choices – it’s totally down to personal preference having taken the level of maintenance and processes involved into consideration.
100% pure gold is too soft to wear as jewellery, so it is alloyed with other metals that give it strength and durability. Silver, copper, nickel and zinc are used, with palladium added to white gold, and higher quantities of copper used in rose gold. Karatage, denoted by a number followed by “k” indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewellery is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold, 100% gold. We craft our jewellery using 18k which is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough for everyday wear.
|24||100%||Too soft for fine jewellery|
|22||91.7%||Too soft for fine jewellery|
|18||75%||Ideal for fine jewellery|
|14||58.3%||Ideal for fine jewellery|
|10||41.7%||Not acceptable for fine jewellery|
Caring for your Jewellery
Since gold and platinum are natural elements, they are affected by harsh chemicals such as chlorine or other cleaning products. We recommend that you remove your jewellery when using chemicals, to reduce daily abrasions and prolong the lustre. To clean jewellery, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap with a soft-bristled brush. When not worn, store your jewellery in soft cloth bags or the original box, to protect them.