Different Kinds Of Metals In Jewellery
There's so many terms used now to describe the different kinds of metals used in jewellery that it's sometimes so confusing!
In this guide, I'll cover the types used in my handmade jewellery so you're better informed about what you're buying from me.
1. "Solid gold"
Solid gold refers to gold items that are not plated in any way. Gold comes in different carats‑ 9ct, 14ct and 24ct to name a few. 24ct is pure gold, however it's too soft to use in jewellery. It's mixed with different metals like silver and copper to strengthen it. The higher the carat of gold, the more vibrant yellow it is!
Solid gold can tarnish but can be cleaned with a polishing cloth to restore its colour and shine.
The Aster rings (e.g. below) features 14ct gold.
2. "Gold filled"
Gold filled metal is when a thick layer (5% of the total weight) of at least 10ct solid gold is mechanically bonded over a base metal (silver, brass or copper).
The gold layer in gold filled jewellery is much thicker than any other plated alternatives, and can last for 10‑30 years even with daily wear.
3. "Gold vermeil"
Gold vermeil (pronounced "ver‑may") is Sterling Silver electroplated with a thick layer of solid gold. It's one way of getting the vibrant yellow of 24ct gold in jewellery.
Gold vermeil's biggest advantage over other forms of electroplating is that it doesn't turn your skin green, unlike when metals like copper is used underneath. You get the best quality with a fraction of what you'd normally pay for high carat solid gold.
With proper care, gold vermeil jewellery can last for years. Once gold vermeil's gold plating wears off, it will need to be re‑plated.
4. "Sterling Silver"
Sterling silver is pure silver mixed with other metals for strength, with the silver making up 92.5% of the total weight of the metal.
Sterling silver is ideal for daily wear. It doesn't tarnish except when exposed to certain chemicals (like chlorine, etc.). A good clean with a soft polishing cloth should bring it back its colour and shine.