METAL & HALLMARK GUIDE
Choosing the right metal for your piece of jewellery is crucial to the design, feel, finish and price of each piece. With so many metals now on the market it can be a little overwhelming. At Pugata we have several different grades of metal all suited to fit any style of budget.
Platinum has become one of the most popular metals used within the jewellery industry over the last decade. It is durable and hard, and one of the purest metals available in the market. It is naturally white in colour which means that it won’t discolour or change over a lifetime, it is also a hypoallergenic metal. This means that if you have an allergy to Nickel or other metals Platinum is the perfect solution. It is one of the purest metals on the market with 950 parts Platinum in 1000, the other 50 parts are alloys to enable the Platinum to become malleable. Many Platinum pieces are Rhodium Plated to give them an extra shine, this will wear in time and can easily be re-applied when the piece is polished, however a simple polish will bring the item back to its from glistening glory.
Gold is best known for its luscious yellow colour and is still one of the most highly sought after goods in the world. In it’s pure form it is classed as 24ct and is incredibly soft, a lot of Indian jewellery is made in this high grade gold however it is not suitable for setting gemstones or to be worn regularly. The pure Gold is mixed with other alloys to create different grades of gold as well as different colours, these grades are better known as the gold Finesse. At Pugata we are able to provide you with three different grades of gold all of which have their own properties and values.
18ct Gold – 750 parts gold out of 1000. 18ct Gold is the most commonly used in fine jewellery, it is the perfect balance of gold and additional alloys to make it strong and secure without losing value. In any colour it is a luxurious finish and high class finish.
14ct Gold – 585 parts gold out of 1000. 14ct Gold is most often used in Europe and is only just breaking the British market. It is almost half and half Gold to other alloys which makes it affordable but still has that glossy gold feel.
9ct Gold – 375 parts gold out of 1000 – 9ct Gold is an ideal metal for those with a restricted budget, it is affordable and strong and with the right care will look beautiful for a long time.
Each of these different grades of Gold can come in three different colours, Yellow, White and Rose. All have their own unique properties and look very different from each other.
White Gold is a mixture of Yellow Gold and other alloys such as Nickle or Palladium. It is a creamy yellow colour which is given a Rhodium Plating to make it bright and white. White Gold’s appearance will change over time, this is because the Rhodium Plating will wear away to reveal the creamy yellow of the white gold underneath. For pieces, such as pendants and earrings the plating will last a lot longer, for rings however the change is noticeable much sooner. It is impossible to say how quickly the Rhodium Plating will wear off, with each person it is different. The oils in your skin and your day to day routines can all influence the visual appearance of the metal, we advise that you remove your rings when washing up, applying moisturises or doing jobs which will expose the metal to chemicals. The plating can of course be replaced by polishing the piece and re-applying the coating, due to gold’s soft nature repeated polishing can cause items to become thin so please take care to avoid this.
Yellow Gold is the natural colour of the metal, however the different finesse’ of the metal can cause the colour to differ slightly. 18ct Yellow Gold is a much more vivid yellow than 9ct, it has a bright tone and clearly stands out against the crowd. 9ct Gold however can have a slightly duller finish as there is naturally less of the bright yellow components in these pieces. 9ct Yellow Gold can also be prone to colour change over a period of years due to the alloys that it is mixed with, however this is becoming less prominent now as the alloys are becoming better! To care for Yellow Gold, it simply can be buffed or polished back up, likewise with White Gold if this is repeated it can cause the items to become thin and delicate so don’t do it too often.
Rose Gold is an incredibly popular metal, it is a mixture of yellow gold and copper to create either a rich vibrant red or a soft delicate pink colour. The higher the copper content the redder the gold is, at Pugata we choose to use slightly less copper to give our pieces the soft subtle pink which is much more sought after than the dark reddish colours. Rose Gold is very easy to care for in the same way that Yellow Gold is, simply clean and polish the metal to keep it looking bright and shiny.
Have you ever wondered what Hallmarking is? Essentially it is a mark of certification on your items which prove that it is what it says it is! Hallmarking is essential within the UK and we have a strict set of rules which must be applied to every item before we sell it to you. The Hallmarks which legally must be applied are called Convention Marks and there are three in total. These tell you what you need to know about the metal itself, where it was assessed and who made the piece.
The Assay Mark
: This mark will show you where the item was hallmarked, this proves the legitimacy of the metal that has been used to make each piece by a certified independent assay office.
The standard mark
This mark tells you the finesse, or grade of the metal used. It is a clear example which allows you to pinpoint exactly what the metal is, each metal has a different shape to help further determine what it is.
The Sponsors Mark
The Sponsors Mark is a unique mark registered to every person who makes the jewellery. You can contact the assay office that the item has been hallmarked in to get the details of the Sponsor. Below is Pugata’s Sponsor Mark.
Often you will see other marks on the inside of rings or pieces of jewellery which can help to date the item, or which are in place to allow the item to be recognised in other parts of the world. The only other mark you will see on a Pugata piece of jewellery is our name and logo. This is another way for us to certify that each piece is made by us for you and is a great way for you to prove the piece is genuine.