Gold, element Au, was one of the first known metals. Its beauty, versatility and unique physical characteristics, and scarcity, continue to make it a very valuable commodity.
Gold is designated as one of the noble metals. This means it will not tarnish, rust, or corrode, or be affected by any acids.
Though it's very strong, it is also the most malleable of all metals.
For example - 1 gram of fine gold can be beaten out into a sheet of 10 square feet.
- 24 carat = 100% gold - (Too soft for jewellery)
- 22 carat = 91.7% gold - (Hallmarked .917) (Very soft not recommended for jewellery)
- 18 carat = 75.0% gold - (Hallmarked .750) (Recommended for fine jewellery)
- 14 carat = 58.5% gold - (Hallmarked .585) (Recommended for jewellery)
- 9 carat = 37.5% gold - (Hallmarked .375)(The minimum standard in the UK)
Pure gold is too soft to withstand the stresses of daily wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, palladium, and zinc to give it strength and durability. Caratage indicates purity and is noted by a number followed by the letter "k" or ‘ct’. Traditionally Caratage is expressed in 24ths meaning for example 18ct gold is an alloy of 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metal.
18ct gold is composed of 75% gold, alloyed with 25% other metals. Not only does this make the piece more valuable, it makes it strong enough to withstand daily wear while maintaining its traditional, rich golden colour.
18ct white gold is 75% gold, alloyed with 25% white metals to produce a white metal with a slight yellow colour. To enhance the whiteness, almost all white gold is plated with rhodium, an extremely hard and shiny white metal in the platinum group.
The colour of gold is determined by two factors:
- The type of metal alloys included in it
- The percentage of each metal alloy
The price of gold jewellery is dependent upon the purity of the gold and weight, as well as the design and construction of the piece of jewellery.
There are three compulsory hallmarks applied to precious metals as a quality control: a sponsor's (maker's) mark, a fineness mark, and an Assay office mark.
These marks establish the origin and fineness of the precious metal and ensures it has been accurately and independently tested.
Keep your gold jewellery away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning fluids.
This will reduce daily abrasions and prolong gold's lustre.
White gold - Depending on the amount of wear to a piece of jewellery, over time rhodium plating may wear off, revealing the original metal colour.
Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore your jewellery's whiteness if needed.
We recommend having your gold cleaned professionally at least once a year. Pop it into our store and we will clean and check all stones and claws on your jewellery
To clean gold jewellery, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap and wash gold gently with a soft-bristled brush.
Give your jewellery a polish after wearing with a gold cloth before you place it in its bag. The cloth is treated with cleaning chemicals and not only will it last a long time; it will give you an amazing shine each and every time.
Gold polishing cloths are available at all of the Francis Wain stores.
We recommended your jewellery is cleaned once a year in our store where settings and claws can be checked at the same time.
Store gold pieces separately in soft cloth bags or original boxes to protect them from the exposure to harsh daily elements