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Our Essential Guide To Precious Metals
It’s not just about which diamond or gemstone you choose, the precious metal used in your bespoke jewellery piece also plays a big part in the end result. If you’re unsure which precious metal is the best option for you, our guide is designed to help you choose.
The jewellers at Burgundy Bespoke Jewellers are experts in all the precious metals described in this guide. As part of our services, we are happy to prepare a variety of quotes for you with alternate metal options. This allows you the chance to review all your options and ensure your bespoke jewellery piece fits both your budget and expectations.
This naturally white precious metal never tarnishes like silver and is highly valued for its durability and beauty. Platinum is a rare metal and is only found in a few areas of the world such as South Africa and Russia. This rarity contributes greatly to its price tag and places it as one of the most expensive precious metals.
As well as being rare, platinum is also one of the densest and heaviest metals. Platinum is hallmarked with the ‘950’ mark which refers to it being 950 parts pure out of a total 1000 parts. This purity ensures its strength and workability as a precious metal and is part of why it is a perennially popular choice for engagement and wedding rings. At Burgundy Bespoke we highly recommend platinum for its ability to retain both colour and strength over an extended period.
Platinum continues to be one of the most popular choices here at Burgundy Bespoke Jewellers for engagement and wedding rings as it retains its colour and strength over a long period.
Palladium is similar to platinum in that it offers a high lustre and durability, however, it is less dense. Palladium is a relative newcomer to the world of precious metals, having only been recognised as one in 2010, though it is not a new metal and has been used in jewellery making since the 1800s.
Just like platinum, palladium is rare, being found in very few locations globally. Palladium is marked ‘950’ also, indicating its high purity level of 950 parts out of 1000. As the prices of gold and platinum have increased, palladium has grown in demand. The key difference when considering palladium is that it is not as dense as gold platinum, so its longevity is reduced.
White gold is not naturally occurring and is created by mixing yellow gold with other white metals. The mixing of this alloy adds to its strength and overall workability.
If platinum is your preferred look but doesn’t suit your budget, white gold is a great alternative. Most white gold jewellery is finished with rhodium plating to give it added shine and optimal white colouring. This plating will need to be redone every few years to keep it looking its best.
At Burgundy Bespoke Jewellers, we create our 18ct white gold rings and jewellery using a high palladium alloy. This makes the gold much whiter even before the addition of rhodium plating. Our white gold bespoke creations come with a complimentary aftercare service in which we clean, polish and re-plate your jewellery, completely free of charge.
Yellow gold is a naturally bright yellow precious metal. Unlike Palladium and Platinum, gold is found across the globe and is mined on every continent other than Antarctica.
The price of gold shifts on a daily basis, in part due to its value as an investment commodity. In its purest form (24 carats) gold is extremely soft and easily damaged. It is for this reason that it is routinely mixed with stronger metals such as copper for durability, strength and workability.
Gold is most often sold in 14, 18 and 24 carats. 14-carat gold is 585/1000 pure, 18-carat gold is 750/1000 parts pure and 24 carat is pure with no added metals.
14 and 18 carat gold are popular choices for jewellery. Depending on your budget you may opt for 14-carat gold as it is the cheapest due to the high number of other metals in the mix.
Similar to white gold, rose gold is not naturally occurring and is made using a mixture of white gold and copper. Rose gold is experiencing a rapid rise in popularity for both engagement and wedding rings. At Burgundy Bespoke jewellers, we recommended rose gold for clients who want a truly unique result.
The majority of 18-carat rose gold alloys contain a mixture of 75% gold, 21% copper and around 4% silver. These ratios may vary slightly depending on the supplier.
Prior to polishing, rose gold presents as quite yellow in colour. During polishing, the warm, rosy tones emerge. In terms of durability and affordability, rose gold is on par with the more traditional yellow gold.
Rose gold is versatile and can provide a contemporary look when paired with white gold, or a softly feminine vintage look on its own.
Silver is mined widely across the world with common sources being Peru, Mexico, China and Australia. This naturally white metal offers a brilliant white lustre and is significantly more affordable than gold.
Due to its affordability, silver is most often used in the production of artistically creative jewellery pieces. Genuine silver is hallmarked ‘925’, being 925 parts pure out of 1000 ensures its strength and workability. Due to its poor durability and habit of tarnishing rapidly, we do not recommend using silver in wedding or engagement rings.
In Their Words
“We just wanted to send you a message to thank you for the incredible ring you have created for us it was more than we could ever have imagined. ”
In Their Words
“Gabby always had a dream ring in mind but what you have made for her was beyond anything she could have wished for. ”
In Their Words
“The look on her face when the red box was opened really said it all seeing our design and ideas of the ring bring her so much happiness is a moment either of us will ever forget. ”
In Their Words
“Not only am I thankful for the experience to work with someone as qualified and professional as yourself but with your knowledge and skill you have provided a lifelong sentiment that will always remain close to our hearts. ”
Why Choose Us
We don’t believe in mass produced jewellery for special occasions because you deserve better. Your love is unique, and your jewellery ought to tell its story.
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Fantastic Work Michael
“… just to say thanks for all your help in designing and creating our bespoke wedding rings - we love them! Continue the fantastic work.”
- Teresa and Mark