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The fineness of Precious Metals

Understanding metal fineness is crucial in the jewellery industry as it dictates the purity of precious metals used in crafting pieces, ensuring both quality and value for consumers and guiding jewellers in creating durable and desirable items.

Precious metals hold an allure that transcends mere monetary value; their purity is often romanticised and revered. The allure of gold, silver, and platinum lies not only in their rarity but also in their intrinsic beauty and resistance to corrosion. 


Yet, the notion of purity in precious metals is somewhat nuanced. While they are often associated with unadulterated brilliance, the reality is that these precious metals are too soft to be crafted into wearable pieces let alone capable of securely holding a diamond, and so precious metals are rarely found in their purest form in jewellery.

Gold, for instance, is commonly alloyed with other metals to enhance its strength and durability. 18-carat gold, a popular choice in jewellery making, is an alloy composed of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals, typically copper and silver. This blending of metals imparts distinct characteristics to the gold, altering its colour, hardness, and malleability. While 24-carat gold represents the purest form of the metal, making lower karat alloys like 18-carat gold more suitable for everyday wear.

The alloying of gold serves not only functional purposes but also aesthetic ones. By varying the proportions of other metals in the alloy, jewellers can create a spectrum of hues, from the warm tones of rose gold to the cool elegance of white gold. Additionally, alloys can imbue gold with greater resilience, ensuring that cherished pieces withstand the test of time and retain their lustre for generations. Thus, while the concept of purity may evoke images of unblemished brilliance, the reality is that the artistry and craftsmanship of alloying precious metals elevate their beauty and utility, making them enduring symbols of elegance and refinement.

Wedding Ring Metal Composition

AlloyGold
Au
Silver
Ag
Copper
Cu
Palladium
Pd
Platinum
Pt
Cobalt
Co
Ruthenium
Ru
Zinc
Zn
Gallium
Ga
Platinum 950


95%
5%

18ct White Gold75%7.5%3.5%13%




18ct Yellow Gold75%16%9%





18ct Rose Gold75%3%22%





Hallmarks and Guarantees

Precious metals are hallmarked in the UK to provide consumers with assurance regarding the quality and authenticity of the metal they are purchasing. The hallmarking process, which has been a legal requirement in the UK since the 14th century, involves independent assay offices verifying the purity of the metal through rigorous testing. This hallmark, stamped onto the item, serves as a guarantee of its fineness and ensures compliance with legal standards. Moreover, it provides valuable information about the manufacturer and the year of hallmarking, enhancing transparency and traceability in the precious metal market. Ultimately, hallmarking plays a crucial role in upholding consumer confidence, safeguarding against fraud, and preserving the integrity of the British jewellery industry.