Renowned for its gleaming luster and denseness, gold is known as the softest and most pliable natural metal. In its purest form, gold is bright yellow in color, but is often mixed with other metals, such as silver and copper, to form a more durable alloy that's more resistant to everyday wear and tear. Additionally, these alloys help color gold and produce shades of white, yellow, and rose. At Brilliance, we specialize in high-quality 14 karat and 18 karat pieces, the standard for fine gold jewelry.
There are various grades of gold purity, determined by the ratio of their alloy composition and rated by a karat system. Typical karat purities range from 10 karats to 24 karats (pure gold), with a wide variation of usage from country to country. In the United Kingdom, the most popular composition is 14 karat gold.
Below are some of the most common gold densities, along with the characteristics and pure gold content of each:
24 Karat Gold
In its purest form, the metal is comprised of 100% gold with virtually no alloy metals. Pure gold is extremely soft and pliable, which is why it's often mixed with other metals, such as copper and silver, to forge jewellery.
22 Karat Gold
This level of gold is 91.7% pure which is still too soft to make jewellery and not as durable as 18K or 14K.
18 Karat Gold
This alloy consists of 75% gold and 25% alloy metals. 18 karat gold has been found to be the perfect balance between gold purity and strength. Brilliance offers a variety of exquisite 18 karat gold jewellery.
14 Karat Gold
14 karat gold is 58.3% pure gold; the remainder is comprised of alloy metals. Any gold purity less than 14 karat gold is not recommended for high quality jewellery.
10 Karat Gold
This tier of the metal consists of 41.7% gold. This is the minimum purity that can still be considered gold in the United Kingdom and is not used for high quality jewellery.
Some countries use a required hallmarking system to imprint each gold jewellery piece with the karat count. Hallmarks for gold will typically appear as the karat weight (for example, 18 or 14) followed by 'K', 'KT', or 'karat'. Although this is not a government-mandated law in the United Kingdom, many of our pieces are stamped with the karat weight as a means of ensuring a confident, informed jewellery shopping experience.
Due to its inherent softness and malleability, gold is rarely used alone when forging a jewellery piece. Instead, it's blended with other fine metals to lend more hardness and durability. When pure gold is combined with these other metals, it takes on a variety of rich shades that have become desirable in their own right. At Eternity Diamonds, we offer an assortment of contrasting hues in our fine gold jewellery:
The most popular shade of the precious metal, yellow gold is used to create a majority of the fine jewellery on the market today, especially engagement rings and wedding bands. It gets its warm, lustrous hue from the silver and copper alloys with which it's mixed. Within the yellow gold family, there can be a marked difference in shading based on the karat weight-for instance, an 18 karat yellow gold ring will be richer and more brilliant in colour than one measuring 10 karats.
Another popular choice for engagement and wedding rings, white gold gets its gleaming silver hue from the addition of alloy metals, including palladium, zinc, copper, tin, and manganese. The highest quality of white gold jewellery is generally 18 karats, consisting of a mixture of pure yellow gold and palladium. At Eternity Diamonds, we coat each of our white gold pieces with a protective plating of Rhodium, a gleaming, near-white metal coating that's comparable in appearance to platinum. White gold can be re-dipped in Rhodium periodically to help maintain its original luster.
Often heralded as a romantic metal, rose gold gets its striking colouration from the addition of copper and silver. The larger the ratio of copper, the darker the rose colouration will be. Referred to as 'crown gold,' the most precious rose gold has a 22 karat weight. The more common 18 karat rose gold is comprised of 25% copper and 75% gold.
Although gold is resistant to corrosion, it may become dull or dirty with frequent wear. Periodic cleanings of your fine gold jewellery can help to restore its original luster and keep it looking its best. Below are some tips and techniques on safely maintaining your gold jewellery:
- For a cleaning solution, use a mix of mild non-abrasive detergent and warm water. Gently scrub the surface of the gold with a soft-bristled jewellery brush. Using a small brush will help to cleanse hard-to-reach areas, such as in between the prongs of a diamond ring setting or the clasp of a gold watch. Use a soft cloth to polish the jewellery piece. Be sure to wipe until the gold is completely dry.
- When not in use, store your gold jewellery safely to avoid contact with other pieces, which can cause scratching. Ideally, each gold piece should be kept in its own plastic zip-lock bag or soft cloth pouch to avoid tarnishing. At Eternity Diamonds, we offer a finely crafted jewellery box to help preserve, protect, and organize your cherished valuables.
- Avoid contact with chlorine, bleach, harsh soaps, and lotions, as these can damage or compromise the surface of the gold.
- Every so often, it's a good idea to invest in professional jewellery cleaning to ensure the beauty and longevity of your gold. At Eternity Diamonds, we offer complimentary cleaning and polishing services for every fine jewellery product we sell. Contact us to learn more about how your favorite gold jewellery can look new again.
Discovered as early as 3,000 BC, gold has served as an ornamental and economic fixture for many centuries. A chemical element, it's a highly prized metal mined from rocks and sediment. From the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome through the Middle Ages and the modern period of the 1800s, gold has figured prominently in the history and culture of societies spanning the globe. In 1848, the California gold rush brought about a drastic spike in the production and distribution of the metal. Today, gold lends timeless beauty and longevity to a majority of the fine jewellery on the market today. At Eternity Diamonds, we're proud to offer a hand-picked assortment of gold rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, available in a rich medley of colours and karat weights.
Valued as a precious metal since ancient times, silver is used to craft many of the fine jewellery pieces on the market today. Once considered more precious than gold, pure silver is a soft metal with a white, lustrous hue. In addition to jewellery making, silver is used in a wide variety of industrial and decorative applications, including fine serving ware, flatware, decorative accents, personalized gifts, coins, and electrical components. Silver is produced as a by-product of the mining of other metals, including gold, lead, copper, and zinc.
At Eternity Diamonds, we proudly offer a wide assortment of sterling silver jewellery pieces. Preferred by many for its budget-friendly value and versatile colouring, silver exhibits a timeless elegance and easy-care durability.
Often heralded as just as beautiful as the gems it displays, platinum boasts a silvery-white luster that imparts unmistakable elegance and blends well with a variety of metals and stones. Four times stronger than gold, platinum is renowned for its hard-wearing properties, resistance to damage and wear, and its substantial heft.
At Eternity Diamonds, we're proud to offer a wide assortment of platinum settings for our finest jewellery pieces. All of our platinum consists of at least 95% pure platinum, with a maximum of 5% alloy metals. Nearly all of our solitaire and engagement rings have platinum prongs to keep diamonds securely in place.
Considered among the most pure and precious metals used in modern-day jewellery making, platinum has become synonymous with luxury and longevity. Because of its hardness and durability, pure platinum is often mixed with other metals to make it more malleable. The most common alloy metals paired with platinum are copper, palladium, rhodium, iridium, and titanium.
Although some alloys may be billed as platinum by jewellery sellers, there are stringent requirements for what constitutes a 'pure' platinum piece. Only metals marked with a 950 or 900 purity designation are considered high-grade platinum. Alloys containing a lower ratio are often used to make jewellery, but these pieces don't impart the same high standards of quality, longevity, or beauty. At Eternity Diamonds, we use only the purest platinum alloys to craft our fine jewellery.
Pieces marked with a 950 purity are a blend of 95% platinum and 5% alloy metals (usually copper, cobalt, iridium, rhodium, tungsten, or palladium).
Pieces marked with a 900 purity consist of 90% platinum and 10% alloy metals (usually palladium or iridium).
If you're examining a piece of jewellery forged from a precious metal, look for the hallmark as a way of indicating its purity. Pure platinum is often marked simply with the letters 'PLT', 'PLAT', or 'PLATINUM', which indicates that the piece consists of at least 95% platinum. If other alloys are added, such as copper or palladium, the hallmark will indicate the number of parts-per-thousand, such as '900PLAT' (900 parts of platinum out of 1000).
Although it is not a government-mandated law in the United Kingdom to stamp a piece of jewellery with its hallmark, Eternity Diamonds stamps many pieces of our high quality platinum jewellery as a means of ensuring a confident, informed jewellery shopping experience.
In recent years, palladium has gained in popularity as a comparable, more economic alternative to platinum. Hovering somewhere in between gold and platinum in terms of rarity and price, palladium weighs substantially less than platinum. Because jewellery price is determined largely by its mass, its lighter weight makes palladium significantly less expensive than platinum.
Many jewelers prefer palladium because it's softer and more malleable than pure platinum, making it easier to work with. Its dark grey colouring allows palladium to blend favorably with sterling silver pieces, and it retains its original shine longer than platinum (although it will eventually acquire the same dull, matte finish over time). Like white gold and platinum, palladium can be refinished to regain its original luster.
Due to its high level of inherent softness, pure silver is actually too malleable to be used alone in jewellery making-it is easily dented and scratched when exposed to daily wear and tear. Instead, silver is typically mixed with other alloy metals. Copper is the most commonly chosen companion; its durable resilience lends stability and longevity to sterling silver pieces.
At Eternity Diamonds, each of our sterling silver pieces boasts a purity of 925, which denotes a silver content of 92.5% and an alloy composition of 7.5%. This is the standard that determines whether a jewellery piece can be designated as "sterling" or pure silver-anything less than 92.5% does not qualify.
To maintain the beauty and shine of a piece of platinum jewellery, be sure to clean it periodically. It's safe to use the same cleaning methods you would use for gold. Immerse it in a mild, non-abrasive jewellery cleaner and then gently rub the surface of the metal with a soft cloth. Every few months or so, have a professional jeweler perform a thorough cleaning and buff the surface free of any scratches. If you'd like, you can also ask the jeweler to polish the metal for a shinier look; otherwise, it will acquire a matte patina over time. At Eternity Diamonds, we offer complimentary cleaning and polishing services for every fine jewellery product we sell. Contact us to learn more about how your favorite platinum jewellery can look new again.
When you're not wearing your platinum jewellery, it's best to store it in its own cloth bag, sealable plastic bag, or lined box to keep it from coming into contact with other pieces, which can result in scratching.
Platinum is a metal with a rich and deep-rooted history. Mined in Russia and South Africa, it was first used in decorative applications in ancient Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. Preferred for its remarkable strength and longevity, the metal was used to adorn Egyptian coffins. The South American Inca Indians also made use of platinum to decorate their artifacts. With the Spanish conquest of South America, the metal's value was diminished, as the Spanish people considered it to be far inferior to silver. It wasn't until the 1800s that platinum began to reclaim its original status as a precious and treasured metal. Today, it's regarded as the premier choice for the setting of fine diamonds and other gemstones.
The most reliable method of ascertaining the purity of a sterling silver piece is to examine it for hallmarks. First implemented in France and Great Britain as early as the 14th century, a hallmark is a stamp or marker applied to a piece of silver jewellery to indicate the amount of its pure silver content, and in some cases also signifies the date of production and country of origin. These stamps are usually applied with a special branding tool or small hammer. A stamping of ".925," "Sterling," or "coin" all indicate that a silver jewellery piece meets the "sterling" or pure silver standard.
Although it is not a government-mandated law in the United Kingdoms to stamp a piece of jewellery with its hallmark, Eternity Diamonds stamps many pieces of our high quality silver jewellery as a means of ensuring a confident, informed jewellery shopping experience.
Pure silver possesses a milky white or grey colour that has inspired the nickname "metal of the moon." At Eternity Diamonds, we coat all of our silver jewellery pieces with a layer of Rhodium metal to create a lustrous, long-lasting shine comparable to white gold. The Rhodium coating can be re-applied periodically to return the piece to its original high gleam.
Silver is more prone than other precious metals to tarnishing from oxidization, which can cause its surface to turn dull or black. You can help prevent these undesirable effects by following the proper guidelines for polishing and storage.
To help extend the longevity and beauty of your silver pieces, you should follow the proper guidelines for care, cleaning, and storage. Since it's much softer than other metals and gemstones, silver requires special methods to retain the integrity of its texture and composition.
To remove oil, dirt, tarnish, and smudges from the surface of silver, you should polish it regularly with a soft cloth. Never use rough or coarse fabrics, as these can result in scratching. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners, which can cause discolouration. Every few months, you might consider taking your silver piece to a professional jeweler for a thorough cleaning, and perhaps a fresh coating of Rhodium to recapture its original shine. At Eternity Diamonds, each of our fine silver jewellery pieces comes with complimentary professional cleaning and polishing services to restore your purchase to its original luster. Perhaps even more important than a proper cleaning regimen is the method of storage used for your silver pieces. To prevent the oxidization that can cause dullness and tarnishing, each silver piece should be stored in its own dedicated soft pouch, plastic bag, or box lined with tarnish-resistant material. Avoid keeping silver in warm, moist environments, such as bathrooms. Instead, store jewellery in a dry, cool area.
Silver has enjoyed a long and heritage-rich history. In ancient Egyptian times, the metal was revered as possessing religious and spiritual significance, and was often used during worship. Originally considered much more precious than gold, silver did not become available to the middle class until the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 1800s, nobility began using silver in their tableware, flatware, and other serving accessories.
Dating back to the time of primitive man, silver has been referred to by many different naming conventions. The story of how the word "sterling" was incorporated into the name is rooted in 12th-century lore. As payment for English cattle, an association of eastern Germans compensated the British with silver coins dubbed "Easterlings." Eventually, the Easterling was widely accepted as a standard of English currency. The name was ultimately abbreviated to "Sterling," which is now used to refer to the highest grade of silver metal.