Monday, 21 October 2013

Dinny's Jewellery TLC tips

 A little guide all about the precious metals we use ....

The king of metals! Platinum will not oxidise at any temperature meaning it will not tarnish. Platinum is most commonly sourced from South Africa which produces 80% of the world's supply - although it can also be found on the MOON, it is one of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust! Without a valid hallmark no expert could tell the difference between platinum and white gold with a rhodium plate.

Platinum Hallmarks


White Gold
The raw colour of white gold is a gun metal shade and so most jewellers give it a rhodium plate (which is in platinum family) in order to attain its characteristic shiny cool white colour. It is tough and holds gemstones well but please note that all white gold products should be re-plated from time to time as the polish can get dull looking after much wear and tear.

Yellow Gold
The pure colour of gold is a bright yellow colour that keeps its luster as it does not tarnish in air or water so it needs little aftercare as it remains shiny and tough over time, although do be careful when using chemicals to avoid daily abrasions. No real need to clean or re-polish  over time - that's why we jewellers love using it so much. Carat is a unit of purity which is used to measure the pureness of gold alloys. Yellow Gold is usually mixed with copper (red hue) and silver (green hue) alloys to give the precious metal its signature warmth.

Gold Hallmark
585 - 14k - 58% pure gold
750 - 18k - 75% pure gold
916 - 22k - 91% pure gold
999 - 24k - purest gold

Rose gold
It is formed from gold and copper so there is no such thing as 'pure rose gold'. The colour differs the copper content in the metal - the more copper - the redder in colour the gold will be. Over the past year or so I have been producing more and more collections in rose gold and rose gold vermeil as I love the pink tones in the gold and copper alloy mix.

Gold Vermeil
Vermeil originates from a French word, meaning silver that is plated with a sufficiently thick layer of gold. For an item to be considered vermeil it must be coated in at least 10 carat gold and be 2.5 micrometers thick. Dust gold plated jewellery with a soft cloth or wash in warm soapy water, rinse and pat in gently dry. The original fire-guilding process of created a vermeil piece was banned in France in the 18th Century when artisans reported they had gone blind from using mercury in the process, nowadays we use electrolysis which is a very safe procedure.

A warm white loveable metal, which is very malleable but when worn is not so tough as gold, it doesn't hold gems well unless it has a chunky setting. Over time silver oxides and can go some odd shades under some particular conditions. Keep clean using silver dip or a silver polish cloth. Don't expect fine silver chains to last a lifetime!

Silver Hallmark


Shop our 14k and 18k Gold, Gold Vermeil, Rose Gold Vermeil and sterling silver.


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