The allure of precious metals has continued throughout the centuries. For thousands of years these metals have been crafted into jewellery using tools and techniques, many of which are still used today.
I use bullion dealers / refiners that supply recycled precious metals, rather than ones that use newly mined materials. I work in a number of different precious metals including sterling silver, 9ct and 18ct yellow, white and red / rose gold. Please find some information below which goes into more detail about precious metals, their properties and qualities.
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 is too soft and 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 in sterling silver. This is true of rings with fine detail. Gold is much more suited and has a greater durability to withstand the rigours of everyday wear for a long period of time.
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.
I hope this has given you an overview of what is available. I am more than happy to discuss the of different carats and colours of gold in further detail during the commissioning process. Please visit the 'Bespoke' pages of the website for further details about commissioning a piece especially for you.
In the U.K precious metals are hallmarked. 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.
My Sponser's Mark 'GE' 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.
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.