Precious Metals Information

I work in a number of different precious metals, (including sterling silver mainly for my studio collections), and 9ct and 18ct yellow, white and red / rose gold.  Precious metals are bought and sold as commodities and their price fluctuates daily.  I use eco-friendly or recycled metals rather than 'new' metals wherever possible.


Sterling Silver (925)

Calla Lily Necklace Sterling Silver & Gold

Sterling silver is a worldwide recognised form of precious metal.  The fineness of the precious metal content of jewellery and silverware is expressed in parts per thousand.  Sterling Silver items are hallmarked 925 to indicate it contains 92.5% silver.  It is inadvisable to create jewellery from pure silver as it would be too soft and is therefore alloyed (mixed) with copper to make it durable.  Please see the 'Jewellery Care' page for further information about how to look after your jewellery.

 

Due to it's relative softness and quicker rate of wear than other precious metals, I would not recommend creating items such as wedding and engagement rings that are worn everyday for a long period of time.


Gold Alloys: Yellow, White & Red Gold and Carats

There are many differences between the carats and colours of gold, not just their cost but the general look, finish, colour, weight and tarnish resistance.  I primarily work in 18ct gold as overall this alloy offers the best all round properties to create fine jewellery.  Its proportion of gold (minimum 75% which is more than double of that of 9ct gold) offers both quality and resilience.  Colours that can incorporated in bespoke pieces include yellow, red and white gold.  This is achieved by the ratio of other metals that are used to create the alloy.  With red gold, there is a higher proportion of copper than in yellow gold.  Similarly with 'white' gold there is a higher proportion of other white metals such as palladium (a member of the platinum family) which creates a beautiful subtle grey which doesn't require plating like commercial jewellery.


UK Hallmarks

Georgina Ettridge Jewellery Made in Britain UK

A hallmark is an independent worldwide respected guarantee of the fineness and quality of precious metal.  It comprises a series of marks applied to articles of gold, silver and platinum.  It indicates the piece has been independently tested at an Assay Office and guarantees that it conforms to the legal standards of precious metal content, known as fineness.

Georgina Ettridge Sponsor's (Maker's) mark

'GE' my Sponsor's mark which is struck on all pieces and is registered at The Goldsmiths' Company, Assay Office, London, which has a record of testing the quality of gold and silver dating back to c1300.  A Sponsor's mark takes the form of the makers initials surrounded by a shield design and is unique to the maker. 

A Hallmark consists of a series of marks applied to articles of precious metals including, platinum, gold, palladium and silver.

  • Who made the article - The Sponsor's mark - the initials of the maker (GE)
  • What the metal is; The Traditional Fineness mark (example; gold is signified by a crown) & the Millesimal mark which signifies the metals fineness/purity (example; 750 - for 18ct Gold). 
  • Where it was tested (Assayed) and marked - the Assay Office mark. (London - Leopard's Head Mark).
  • When the piece was stamped - The date letter signifies this (example; 'r' for 2016).

The majority of my work is hallmarked, with the exception of some smaller items such as silver items that weigh under 7.8 grams or pieces under 1 gram in gold, which is the maximum legal limit for un-hallmarked pieces and/or pieces that are exempt because hallmarking would damage the design.  However, quite often pieces that are under this weight are hallmarked anyway.  If you have any questions to whether a piece is hallmarked, please contact me.

Georgina Ettridge Jewellery: Proud to Hallmark in London - Hallmark of The Goldsmiths' Company

 

For further information please please see the Hallmark Notice page or visit www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk

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