A little guide all about the precious metals we use ....
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.
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.
585 - 14k - 58% pure gold
750 - 18k - 75% pure gold
916 - 22k - 91% pure gold
999 - 24k - purest 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.
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!