18 ct Gold
Fine gold or pure gold is 24 carat. Fine gold is too soft to make jewellery, and must be alloyed before it can be used to manufacture jewellery. Alloy means to mix other metals with the gold to make it more suitable for jewellery manufacturing. 18ct gold means 18 (75%) out of 24 parts are pure gold (or 750 parts out of 1000 parts). That is why 18ct gold is stamped “18ct”, “18k” or “750”. 18ct yellow gold consists of 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts of a mixture of pure silver and pure copper. 18ct red- or rose gold has more copper than silver which gives the gold a red colour. Remember: Whether the 18ct gold is white, red, or yellow, it still has 18 out of 24 parts pure gold. The balance of 6 parts changes it’s colour and makes the gold harder. Lower caratage gold jewellery will cost less than 18ct jewellery, but it doesn’t offer the same benefits. The higher the gold content of jewellery the greater the value. It is important to note that 18ct gold doesn’t contain 2 times as much gold as 9ct jewellery, but 21⁄2 times as much as 9ct jewellery of the same volume. This is due to the density of an 18ct alloy being higher than that of a 9ct alloy. 18ct also has properties that make it easy to work with and it is less liable to tarnish and corrode than lower caratage jewellery. Despite containing more gold, however, its resistance to wear and scratching is similar to that of 14 and 9ct. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds and blue sapphires are usually set in 18ct gold. In same countries like India, Arabia and the Far East 22ct gold is widely used in jewellery. These pieces can easily be distinguished by its dark, deep yellow colour.
To make 18ct white gold, 18 parts pure gold, and 6 parts of a mixture of palladium and pure silver are used. The palladium and silver gives the gold its white-grey colour.
“WHITE GOLD” is actually a misnomer – gold is yellow in colour. In order to obtain a white or grey colour, silver and palladium are added to bleach the yellow gold to a white colour. Rhodium is then plated on the jewellery to give the very bright white finish. The colour of the rhodium plated jewellery will change to its original grey colour once the rhodium plating wears away.
Maintenance of your jewellery is important. When the bright white rhodium plating has worn off your jewellery, we can repolish the piece and rhodium plate it again.
14 ct Gold
14ct gold means 14 (58.5%) out of 24 parts are pure gold (or 585 parts out of 1000 parts). That is why 14ct gold is stamped “14ct”, “14k” or “585”. 14ct yellow gold consists of 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts of a mixture of pure silver and pure copper. To make 14ct white gold, 14 parts pure gold, and 10 parts of a mixture of palladium and pure silver are used. The palladium and silver gives the gold its white colour. 14ct red- or rose gold has more copper than silver which gives the gold a red colour. Remember: Whether the 14ct gold is white, red or yellow, it still has 14 out of 24 parts pure gold. The balance of 10 parts changes it’s colour and makes the gold harder. 14ct gold is seldom used in jewellery in South Africa.
9 ct Gold
9ct gold means 9 (37.5%) out of 24 parts are pure gold (or 375 parts out of 1000 parts). That is why 9ct gold is stamped “9ct”, “9k” or “375”. 9ct yellow gold consists of 9 parts pure gold and 15 parts of a mixture of pure silver and pure copper. To make 9ct white gold, 9 parts pure gold, and 15 parts of a mixture of palladium and pure silver are used. The palladium and silver gives the gold its white colour. 9ct red- or rose gold has more copper than silver which gives the gold a red colour. Remember: Whether the 9ct gold is white, red or yellow, it still has 9 out of 24 parts pure gold. The balance of 15 parts changes it’s colour and makes the gold harder. Cubic zirconia and other synthetic stones are usually set in 9ct gold. When you see a 1.00 ct “diamond” set in 9ct, one can have a fair suspicion that the “diamond” is a diamond simulant. 9ct yellow gold is more pale than 18ct yellow gold, because is has a lesser gold content (less than 50% pure gold).
Colours, Rose Gold, Yellow Gold, White Gold
Unfortunately, this misunderstanding has been used as one of the biggest selling points for Mined Diamonds by jewellers over the last 50 years. Customers are told their diamonds are not just a personal treasure, but also a valuable treasure, planting the idea that their purchase can be resold for an amount equal to or greater than what was originally paid. What these jewellers don’t tell customers is that the second a person walks out of the store, the diamond’s resale value drops to 30% of the purchase price, a 70% loss from the original cost. The same as when you buy a brand new car.
Ultimately, you are buying an heirloom that you can pass on for generations. As young people become even more aware and interested in products that match their values, you can feel confident they will appreciate that the Lab Grown Diamond you are sharing with them had a positive impact on the world and they can feel proud wearing it.
Precious platinum is the perfect choice for men and women of today. It is beautiful, versatile and elegant, yet it has hidden strength and resilience. Platinum is pure, rare and eternal. It has a brilliant white sheen and is hypoallergenic and therefore kind to the skin. Choosing platinum is the perfect way to express your own individuality, strength and style. Platinum and palladium, its sister metal, are natural white metals in contrast to “white gold” which is actually grey and an alloy of pure gold, silver and palladium.
Since platinum is generally 95% pure, it does not tarnish or fade and keeps it’s looks for a lifetime. Platinum is naturally white and denser than gold so a piece of platinum jewellery weighs over a third more than the same piece made of 18 carat gold. Platinum is also 30 times rarer than gold and the process of making a piece of platinum jewellery requires a higher level of craftsmanship. It’s rarity makes it exclusive and distinctive – a celebration of your individuality, a symbol of things eternal. The stamp on platinum jewellery is Pt.
Palladium has equal properties to its sister metal, platinum, and is as rare, pure and precious and naturally white as well. It was named after the Greek goddess Pallas and is a beautiful metal in its own right. Palladium and platinum, its sister metal, are natural white metals.
Palladium is, like platinum, 30 times rarer than gold. It is 95% pure but 44% lighter than platinum allowing endless possibilities for more opulent shapes and designs. Palladium is 12% harder than platinum which makes it even more durable. It is an extremely difficult metal to work with, with the result that only a handful of manufacturing jewellers works in Palladium. It won’t tarnish, chip or fade and is hypoallergenic, just like platinum. Palladium is also even whiter than platinum.
Palladium is the perfect choice for women representing a new lifestyle. It exudes luxury and beauty and has made a dramatic entrance into the jewellery market worldwide. The stamp on palladium jewellery is Pd.
There is an increasing interest in black Zirconium as a compound for the creation of men’s wedding rings. Apart from the fact that it’s something different, something edgy and something out of the ordinary, black zirconium has many other positive attributes. After all, if it’s good enough to be used in a nuclear power station, or as a component for dental implants and artificial limbs, then it must be good enough to be used in jewellery.
Zirconium is actually a light charcoal colour before it is exposed to intense heat. This then changes its appearance from grey to pitch black. It also transforms the feel of the metal into a lustrous ceramic-like compound.
Compared to traditional wedding ring metals such as gold and platinum, black zirconium is generally more affordable. Nevertheless, black zirconium is more expensive than metals such as stainless steel and titanium. This relatively new and trendy jewellery metal is, therefore, an attractive middle-of-the-road price option for those couples working on a budget.
Black zirconium has only one major drawback and that is the fact that these wedding bands cannot be re-sized. Re-sizing wedding rings is a common phenomenon, particularly a few years down the road when the middle-aged spread is likely to set in! So, this disadvantage is something to seriously consider.
A crafted black zirconium wedding ring
For Gauteng couples on the brink of marriage, there is one stand-out jeweller who can craft you a special and individual black wedding band. With decades of experience, francois jewellers in Pretoria will assist you to create a unique back zirconium wedding band.