A Guide to Gold and Silver Jewellery
Did you know there are more than ten types of metals commonly used to make jewellery? From palladium and sterling silver to the ever-popular gold, you’ll find jewellery made of metals you didn’t even know existed! Not only that, some jewellery pieces consist of a combination of two metals. We’ve created a mini guide on two of the most popular metals used to make jewellery – gold and silver. So next time you’re looking to treat yourself, refer to our guide to help with your decision!
There are four different ways to give jewellery a gold colour: gold plating, gold vermeil, gold-filled and solid gold casting.
1. Gold Plating
Gold plating is an affordable way to give jewellery a nice touch of gold. It’s often used in a wide range of jewellery such as costume jewellery to bridge jewellery. Bridge jewellery refers to the bridge between costume and fine jewellery. The process of gold plating involves coating a base metal with a layer of gold using an electroplating solution. Typically, gold plated jewellery are prone to tarnishing. It may also be unsuitable for those with sensitive skin!
2. Gold Vermeil
Pronounced ver-may, gold vermeil is a special type of gold plated jewellery. For an item to be considered as gold vermeil, the base metal has to be sterling silver. On top of that, the micron thickness must be a minimum of 2.5 microns. Because it’s affordable to produce, gold vermeil jewellery has become increasingly popular amongst jewellery lovers out there. Good quality gold vermeil won’t tarnish and it’s also hypoallergenic too!
3. Gold Filled
Unlike gold vermeil, gold filled jewellery is produced by creating a thick sheet of gold that’s mechanically bonded to a base metal. The layer of gold is 5% the total weight of the jewellery’s weight! Oftentimes, the gold is 14k gold but it’s not uncommon to find 12k gold either. Believe it or not, gold filled jewellery typically consists of 100 times more gold than gold plated jewellery. Because the gold is permanently bonded, it’s almost impossible for it to tarnish. It’s no wonder why it’s a fan favourite.
4. Solid Gold
Here’s a fun fact: solid gold and pure gold aren’t the same. Most manufacturers consider pure gold, also known as 24k gold, as too soft and malleable to create jewellery. Interestingly, solid gold consists of a combination of gold and other metals that provide durability and structure. Gold content is measured by karat or 24 parts. A 12k gold item means 12 parts gold and 12 parts alloys, while an 18k gold means 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloys. The higher the gold content, the more expensive it is. The great thing about solid gold jewellery is that it’ll never tarnish!
1. Silver Plating
Silver plating is a great way to produce affordable silver jewellery. However, there are some downsides to it. Silver plated jewellery rubs off easily and may cause irritation to the skin. Besides that, it can depreciate in value over time. Luckily, it’s not difficult to find better quality silver jewellery. Most brands, including Nalu Jewels, offer jewellery made of sterling silver!
2. Sterling Silver
Just like pure gold, pure silver is malleable and soft to be used on its own. To ensure that silver is durable, manufacturers typically combine them with copper. The most common of these mixtures is sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. If you come across jewellery that has ‘925’ stamped on it, know that it’s sterling silver! The three-digit number signifies that sterling silver is 925 parts silver and 75 parts alloys. Generally, sterling silver is easy to clean and won’t rust over time!
Now that you know a thing or two about gold and silver jewellery, you can confidently shop for your next piece! If you’ve been wanting to add some sterling silver pieces, check out what Nalu Jewels have to offer. From rings and necklaces, there’s so much to choose from! As you have probably noticed, we currently only offer our pieces in 925 sterling silver. However, we will soon be releasing many new collections in 18k gold. Stay tuned..