Gold comes in different purities and colours. Gold naturally is pure and comes in a very rich yellow colour. This can be alloyed to effectively dilute the gold content by adding in other metals, this makes the overall metal tougher and allows variations in colour. 9ct Yellow Gold is very hard wearing as it contains the least amount of Gold, this also means it has quite a bronze tone. 18ct by comparison still has a lovely warm yellow colour and is generally regarded superior, although softer.
White Gold can sometimes be Rhodium plated as the alloyed metal may still have a slight yellow tinge. Rhodium is a metal from the Platinum group and gives a white plating over the surface. This however will wear over a period of time to expose the true colour underneath leading to disappointment, we prefer not to plate our white Gold for this reason but instead use an alloy that is much whiter in the first place.
The Assay Office markings for 9ct (375) & 18ct (750) Gold
Typical Alloy Mixes:
9ct White: Gold 37.5%, Silver 62% (inc. Ni, Pd)
14ct White: Gold 58.5% + minimum 26.5% whiteners ie white coloured elements (of which 16.5 per cent are primary whiteners ie Ni or Pd or both) + 15 per cent other alloying elements.
18ct White: Gold 75% + minimum 17.5% (of which 13.5 per cent are primary whiteners ie Ni or Pd or both, combined with other alloying elements) + 7.5 per cent other alloying elements.
Most commonly White, Rose (also called Red) and Yellow Gold are used in jewellery, sometimes at the same time to create striking tonal pieces. Diamonds can appear whiter if they are set in white metals, just as Pink Sapphires or Rubies can have their colour enhanced by being set in a Rose Gold setting.
Gold has been the metal of choice for rings for a very long time. Yellow Gold has been very popular over the last few centuries but recent trends have been for whiter metals. This means that White Gold and Platinum have been the most popular choice of late. We recommend 18ct Gold, as this has a brighter richer colour, is still hard wearing and has a purity of no less than 75% pure Gold. The alloyed colour choice is totally individual preference. Metals such as Gold can be stronger when they are produced with better alloy metals and worked instead of being cast.