Solid gold versus the rest - The ultimate guide to gold
The bright yellow colour of gold has excited people since ancient times. Just a few intricate and exquisite pieces of gold jewellery are never enough. We love to buy more and more but do we have the basic information on gold? Here's the ultimate guide, which will help you to understand the difference between solid gold and the rest.
Solid Gold vs Gold Plating
Solid gold jewellery comes in various carats, the most popular being, 9k, 14k, 18k and 22k (more about the differences below). Solid gold is highly valuable and holds its value over time. It also doesn't fade or tarnish, so when you buy a piece of jewellery which is made in solid gold it is, in fact, a special purchase as it tends to last several lifetimes!
Gold plated jewellery, on the other hand, is made from a base metal, generally sterling silver and is then plated with 18k gold. It is then polished to make it ready for consumers to wear. However, gold plated jewellery isn’t designed to fight off the wear and tear of everyday wear, unlike solid gold jewellery. The plating of solid gold will eventually wear away and this occurs by sterling silver molecules, for example, transferring into the layer of gold plating and ultimately breaking it down.
The main difference here is the price you pay. Purchasing solid gold jewellery is like an investment. It’s a piece to be passed down the generations and also becomes a lifetime guarantee. Gold plated jewellery doesn't provide this and is more for short-term wear.
If you see any of the descriptions of any of our products, you can see that we only use solid gold in our jewellery, as we believe, that if you part with your money it should also provide you with some value down the line.
Gold vermeil jewellery is basically jewellery that ‘looks like gold’. It is very similar to gold plated jewellery. The main difference is that vermeil is dipped into gold for longer in order to create a thicker layer of gold. Unlike plated jewellery, the base layer must be sterling silver with at least 2.5 microns of gold for it to be called gold vermeil.
As with gold plated jewellery, gold vermeil also fades and tarnishes and doesn't hold its value like solid gold.
Different types of gold karats
24k gold is the highest and the purest form of gold consisting of 99.9% gold. It is very soft and malleable and therefore it is not usually used to make fine jewellery or intricate pieces.
22k gold is perfect to make plain gold jewellery. It consists of roughly 91.6% gold and for the remaining percent, metals are added which makes the gold harder and jewellery durable. This is the highest value of plain gold pieces that you can purchase. Shop our solid 22k gold Adjustable bracelets below.
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This contains around 75% gold, with the rest made up of more durable metal alloys, which are carefully selected to add colour and strength. White metals are added to create white gold and copper is added to create rose gold. 18k gold still retains a lot of value, which is why it is our greatest offering. It also allows for a warmer and brighter tone when pieces are created in yellow gold. Click here to explore our solid 18k gold British jewellery.
14k gold is a durable and affordable option in gold jewellery. For 14K gold, 58.5% of gold is alloyed with 41.5% of other metals such as copper, silver, zinc and nickel. It is important to note that few people might get an allergy due to nickel and other metals that are used.
9k have around 37.5% pure gold. It is the most affordable option due to the higher percentage of other metals used. But would hold the least amount of value amongst the above karats.