A guide to the precious metals that Artisan Atelier use.
Platinum: Chemical Symbol: Pt
The word platinum comes from the Spanish 'Platina' which means 'little silver'. Platinum resists corrosion and is hypoallergenic. Platinum is a relatively expensive metal and one of the rarest elements on earth. Platinum jewellery is created from 95% platinum and 5% alloying metal. Alloying metals are usually iridium or cobalt.
Gold Chemical: Symbol: Au
24ct gold is the purest form of gold and is generally too soft for everyday pieces of jewellery. Gold is therefore alloyed with other metals to make it harder and suitable for use in jewellery. Pure gold is yellow, the 'white' or 'rose' colour is created from the alloying metal.
White Gold: first used in jewellery in the 1920's, white gold is created by alloying pure gold with other metals, usually silver, palladium and nickel, to generate a silver/white hue.
Rose gold: popular in the Victorian era and often referred to as 'Russian Gold', rose gold is created by alloying pure gold with other metals, usually copper, to generate a pink hue.
18ct White, Yellow and Rose Gold
18ct gold is 750 parts pure gold out of 1000 or 18/24th. 18ct gold is therefore 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts alloying metal, 18ct gold is 75% pure gold.
14ct White, Yellow and Rose Gold
14ct gold is 585 parts pure gold out of 1000 or 14/24th. 14ct gold is therefore 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts alloying metal, or 58.5% pure gold.
9ct White, Yellow and Rose Gold
9ct gold is 375 parts pure gold out of 1000 or 9/24th. 9ct gold is therefore 9 parts pure gold and 15 parts alloying metal or 37.5% pure gold.
Sterling Silver Chemical Symbol: Ag Named from the Greek 'Argentum' meaning 'white, shining', sterling silver is created from 92.5% silver alloyed with 7.5% copper (or similarly hard metal). The alloying metal helps to harden the silver and make it useable in jewellery.
18ct Gold Vermeil This means that a thin layer of 18ct gold has been plated on top of another metal - usually silver.
Rhodium Vermeil Rhodium is a rare naturally occurring silver-coloured hard metal and is a member of the platinum group. Rhodium vermeil means that a thin layer of the metal rhodium has been plated on top of another metal - usually silver.
Please note that Gold and Rhodium vermeil can gradually wear away. Your pieces will need to be re-plated from time to time.