Gold & Platinum
Gold at its purest form is 24ct. It’s a rich yellow colour, is fairly soft and is 100% pure.
There are various different purities of gold in the UK such as 9ct, 14ct, 18ct and 22ct. All of these purities have a percentage of other alloys added into them to make them up to 100%. These include copper, palladium and silver. When these alloys are added they affect the colour of the gold. For example, if you add copper, this will make the gold a rose colour, and if you add palladium this will make the gold white in appearance.
9ct – this has a hallmark stamp of 375 (375 parts per thousand pure, and the remaining is made up of other alloys).
14ct – this has a hallmark stamp of 585 (585 parts per thousand pure, and the remaining is other metals).
18ct – this is 750 (75% pure and 25% made up from other metals)
Rose Gold has a rich appearance and has been used for many years. Copper is added in to create this. 9ct Rose Gold is a lot more obvious in intensity of colour and therefore looks more copper like. This is because it has 375 parts per thousand pure gold, and 625 alloys of copper added to it, rather than 18ct Rose Gold, which would appear more yellow with a hint of copper, as this has only 250 parts of the alloy copper added into it.
White Gold is very popular because it has the appearance of Platinum, but is a more affordable alternative. White Gold is naturally an off white colour and is Rhodium Plated to give a whiter finish. This plating does not last forever, and would need re-plating on occasion.
Platinum is the most expensive of metals. It is very hard wearing and durable. It has a hallmark stamp of 950 which means is 950 parts per thousand pure. So only 50 part per thousand is added in as alloys. It is rarer and denser than gold and is therefore more valuable. It doesn’t lose its colour but would benefit from having an occasional polish.
Palladium is part of the Platinum family. It is also white in appearance and does look very similar to Platinum. It doesn’t however weigh as much but is still as hard with the same hallmark stamp of 950. It has been compulsory to hallmark Palladium from 2009 so it is classed as one of the most popular metals nowadays especially as a wedding ring.