top of page

Precious Metals, Not all Golds are the same.

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

"Can't you just melt it down and....." "Is white gold an Isotope?" "What's the difference between Red and Rose gold?" These are questions I've been asked many times, some are easy answers others not so much.

So where do I start on this? The first step is to explain that gold used in jewellery is usually an alloy;

"Alloy: a metal made by combining two or more metallic elements, especially to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion."

"Pure" gold is theoretically 24ct and 100% pure gold, we will use this as it keeps things simple but in reality "pure" gold is usually 99.999% pure (this gets very technical, so we will leave it there). Pure, fine or 24ct gold is a lovely orangy yellow colour, but very soft.

So we have 24ct pure gold, but we know 9ct gold, 18ct gold, 22ct gold so what are these? I've also included some alloys that were legal standards in the UK.

9ct gold: 9 parts gold to 15 parts other metals or 37.5% gold, 62.5% other metals.

12ct gold: 12 parts gold to 12 parts other metals or 50% gold, 50% other metals. (disc.1932*)

14ct gold: 14 parts gold to 10 parts other metals or 58.5% gold, 41.5% other metals.

15ct gold: 15 parts gold to 9 parts other metals or 62.5% gold, 37.5% other metals.(disc.1932*)

18ct gold: 18 parts gold to 6 parts other metals or 75% gold, 25% other metals.