Precious Metal Guide

PRECIOUS METALS

STERLING SILVER

Silver is the most common of the precious metals. It is popular and not as expensive as gold, although stronger and lighter in weight. However, it can tarnish as well as scratch or bend easily. Sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% base metal for strength.

GOLD

All our fine gold jewellery comes in 9, 14, 18 or 24 carat gold. We also do gold-plated jewellery, which is when a layer of gold covers silver or another base metal.

14, 18, or 22 carat gold over sterling silver is called vermeil. To be considered vermeil, the gold must be at least 10 carat and 2.5 micrometres thick. There's also gold filled jewellery, which has a thicker (one carat) layer of gold over the underlying metal.

PLATINUM

Platinum is the most expensive precious metal. It is very strong and has a white, silver colour making it ideal as a mount for diamonds. This is a popular metal for engagement and wedding rings and has become increasingly fashionable in recent years.

NICKEL CONTENT

Some customers may be allergic to the nickel content in jewellery. As jewellery is made from a mixture of metals, products might not be entirely nickel free. In order to conform to the 'nickel safe' standard, manufacturers ensure that the nickel content is kept to a low level. All jewellery now produced is deemed nickel safe, however, customers who react strongly to nickel should buy gold of a high carat.