Precious Metal Guide

Gold is as important now as it always has been, being one of the most treasured of the precious metals mother nature has graced us with.  From gold coins to jewellery to decorative embellishments gold has been and is a treasure that has great historical significance and personal symbolism for us all.
Gold is naturally yellow in colour and only with the addition of other alloys will its colour change.  White gold for example has a rhodium finish which makes it very white and shiny  and can be alloyed with Palladium which makes it a grey colour and is quite interesting when not rhodium plated.  Red or pink Gold is alloyed with copper which makes it pink. 
The purity of gold is explained by the Hallmark, which is found in a discrete place on your jewellery.  The hallmark will tell you the history of your piece, including where it was hallmarked, they year it was hallmarked and the purity of the metal.  Most popular purities in the UK are 9ct gold bearing the hallmark 375 and 18ct Gold 750.

Platinum is a truly noble metal.  It was cast aside in history due to its very high melting point making it difficult to work with but as time went on and methods developed Platinum quickly became a preference. Platinum is much sought after for its durability and bright natural white colour keeping a brighter colour than natural white Gold. Platinum is hallmarked 950

Silver is a popular precious metal.  It is a joy to work with and produces exquisite creations whether in jewellery or ornamental.  Sterling Silver is mostly used when making jewellery and is hallmarked 925.

Palladium has recently increased in popularity so much so that it has been awarded recognition by way of a hallmark. Hallmarking has been a recognized guarantee of purity for 700 years and now Palladium joins this mark of finess. Palladium is stylish and elegant is most fashionable as an alternative to white gold.

Titanium is a fascinating metal, it is light weight yet strong and bears an interesting grey  colour not dissimilar to natural white gold.  Titanium is 45% lighter than steel yet just as strong making it a desirable in jewellery making and watchmaking.

Stainless Steel
Many popular jewellery brands use stainless steel to create statement pieces.  It offers a choice in affordability plus it looks great!
If you are interested in finding out more about precious metals there is a wealth of information to be found on the internet plus in a very handy book called The Retail Jewellers Guide, Kenneth Blakemore.