For thousands of years gold has been the fascination of many Kingdoms – the Greeks, Egyptians, Aztecs and Romans fought and often died for it. Gold has been inextricably linked with the sun throughout history. Often described as sunshine you can touch, gold has been revered in almost every culture as the very essence of the sun. Today our need for the sun’s warmth is reflected in our desire for the sensual pleasure of gold. Beautiful, desirable and incorruptible, gold has been a constant source of inspiration for countless civilisations, a continuous thread connecting worlds to worlds, generations to generations, and lives to lives
Still the number one treat, earrings can be worn in so many ways. Long and dangling, open wire drops, geometric, circular or button shapes – take time to find a style that enhances your features and flatters your face shape. Gold rings are both magical and emotional, thoroughout history they’ve held symbolic significance and we tend to feel naked if we forget to put them on. Apart from their romantic connotations, rings have a new place in the fashion league where designs range from exquisitely decorative to beautifully simple.
When carat gold is alloyed with other metals it is possible to use these alloys to produce varying colours of gold. Gold alloys are usually a mixture of silver, copper and zinc and the amounts of each can be varied to affect the final colour. •Rose GoldGold plus alloys such as copper – vintage, romantic, feminine •Yellow Gold The natural colour – warm, sunny, energising •White Gold Gold plus alloys like palladium or silver – cool, sleek, elegant
Traditionally most jewellery in the UK is 9 carat, though there are also 14, and 18-carat gold standards. You will find: 9 carat gold (37.5% pure) is shown on the hallmark as 375, (9 parts pure to 15 parts alloy). 14 carat gold (58.5% pure) is shown on the hallmark as 585, (14 parts pure to 10 parts alloy). 18 carat gold (75.0% pure) is shown on the hallmark as 750, (18 parts pure to 6 parts alloy). It is a common belief that 9 carat gold is harder wearing and more durable than 18 carat but to explode the popular myth, 9 and 18 carat gold have an identical resistance to wear and tear.
The “carat code”
The word “carat” comes from Arabic, meaning “bean seed”, because years ago seeds were used to measure the weight of gold and precious stones. Now though, carat literally means the amount of gold an item of jewellery contains. For example pure gold is 24 carat or 99.99% pure.