Much-loved gold is a versatile metal to work with and retains its glorious lustre, unlike many other metals. But not all gold has the same value or durability – it all depends on the karat factor (not ‘carat’, which refers to diamonds).
The karat is the standard measurement for gold and is divided into 24 parts. Pure gold is 24 karats, meaning 24 out of its 24 parts are gold – this makes for your ‘yellowest’, most classical-looking gold, but it’s also a pretty soft gold to work with. To increase its strength, gold is diluted with other metal alloys, decreasing its purity but increasing its strength. For instance, 14K gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other alloys, while 18K gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts other alloys. The alloys used can also affect gold’s colour: ‘pink gold’ is created by adding large amounts of copper while green gold requires copper, silver and zinc. For white gold, mix it up with copper, zinc and nickel or palladium.
When it comes to rings, most people still prefer the more ostentatious, traditional yellow gold; but white gold settings are better for white diamonds because they won’t cast a yellow hue into the diamond. In some jewellery pieces, white and yellow gold are paired together for a lovely two-tone look.
White or yellow, black or rose – browse our affordable range and you’ll be excited.