designer and manufacturer of fine jewellery
Geoff Hancock Jewellery Design
Frequently asked questions
What is White and Rose gold?
White gold is an alloy (mixture) of pure gold, (which is of course is a rich yellow), and white metals such as silver and palladium. This creates a "white" metal . Depending on the mix, the white gold alloy can vary from a yellow white to a grey white, this is the reason most white gold jewellery is rhodium plated as this puts a layer of very white rhodium metal over the white gold alloy to give a nice bright white finish.
Rose gold is an alloy of pure gold and mainly copper giving the mixture a rose colour.
What is 9ct, 14ct, 18ct etc.?
The numbers 9,14,18,etc tell us how much actual pure gold is in the jewellery. Most jewellery is made from an alloy of gold and other metals to give us the colour and propeties we require. Pure gold(24ct) is too soft for a lot of jewelley applications. 9ct is 9 parts gold to 15 parts other metals, so it is 37.5% gold. 18ct is 18 parts gold to 5 parts other metals making it 75% gold, TWICE as much as 9ct. So 12ct would 50% gold and so on. These percentages of gold remain the same whether the alloy is yellow, white or rose. IE 9ct rose,
white or yellow are all only 37.5% gold with the other 62.5% of copper, silver, etc creating the different colours. This explains the price difference between carat ratings of jewelley - 9ct is a lot cheaper than 18ct because it contains only half as much gold as 18ct
Best - 9 or 18ct?
We are often asked which is best. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Every alloy of 9 or 18ct varies in its properties. The myth is that 9 is harder than 18. But for example, 9ct white gold contains a lot of silver and is softer and more maleable than 18ct white. With all the variations of colour and carat rating of gold there is no fixed rule.
My experience is that HAND WROUGHT gold is definately superior to cast jewellery (mass produced from a mold) regardless of colour or carat , the hand working of the metal toughens it and makes it more durable. I have also found that 18ct* is at LEAST as durable as 9ct.
* the finest pieces of jewellery from around the world, containing the finest gems, are usually in 18ct not 9ct*