We’re self-confessed jewellery nerds and love to get into the details of our products. If you’re not sure what silver is sterling, or what carat you should be going for, we’re about to break it down. And there is nothing more important than learning how to care for your metals so your jewellery can last for years to come with that little bit of TLC that it deserves. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science!
Carats, (also shown as Karat, ‘Ct’ ‘Kt’ or ‘K’) might seem confusing, but this is just the measure of the amount of pure gold in a piece of jewellery. 24Ct gold simply describes pure gold, and is the highest measure of gold jewellery, so don’t let anyone try to sell you 25Ct gold!
Although pure gold sounds like the highest quality possible (it will definitely come with the highest price tag) 24Ct gold is much softer easier to damage than other carats. 18Ct or 14Ct golds are the best for jewellery as they are mixed with other metals like silver, copper, nickel or zinc which make them much more enduring and easier to care for.
The colour of pure gold is yellow. Therefore, the colour of different carats will be adjusted by the metals that they are mixed with.
Yellow gold retains the yellow colour of pure gold and is usually a mix of pure gold, silver and copper or zinc.
White gold mixes pure gold and white metals like nickel, silver and palladium. Nickel is generally avoided today because so many people are allergic to it.
Rose gold gets its soft pink hue from mixing pure gold and copper. Rose gold suits a larger variety of skin tones than yellow gold and complements other metals too, making it the perfect addition to any jewellery collection.
Although silver is a valuable metal, it is not as rare as gold so it makes for an affordable alternative. However, silver is like gold in that pure silver can be quite soft for the practical use of jewellery. To make something that can withstand the wear needed for jewellery, silver is mixed with other, harder metals.
Silver is not graded by carats like gold, but the silver content still reflects the grade of the silver. For a metal to be considered Sterling Silver it must contain at least 92.5% pure silver. These pieces will often carry a ‘ 925’ sterling silver hallmark stamp to verify this.
This precious metal comes from the platinum family and it is used for its winning mix of high shine, durability and resistance to tarnishing, making it perfect for jewellery. It is resistant to water and extreme heat so is often used to plate white gold and sterling silver to help their longevity.
This metal is commonly used because it resists scratches and corrosion, it is non-magnetic and it is hypoallergenic which is great for a lot of people who react to certain metals. It must contain at least 10.5% chromium to give it its stainless qualities that make it so versatile and hard wearing. This metal is commonly used in fashion jewellery, watches and piercing jewellery.
Platings are used to get the look and properties of a precious metal at a more affordable price. This just means that a thin layer of the plating metal surrounds a base metal like copper or stainless steel. This is great for getting the shine of gold and longevity of rhodium at a fraction of the cost. And with a little TLC, plated jewellery can stand the test of time as well as the best of them.
Using our range of Connoisseurs jewellery care can keep your favourite pieces looking their best and lasting you through the years, whether it’s an investment piece or a sentimental gift that you cherish.
1. Our supersoft clean & Polish Cloths clean the everyday dirt from gold & silver jewellery and bring back their shine so they look as good as the day you got them.
2. Team these with our Dazzle Drops for a deep clean that can bring your old forgotten pieces back to life with tarnish resistance and gentle cleaning without any hash smells.
3. For your fashion jewellery, use our Jewellery Wipes to keep their stones shining and remove dirt, makeup, hairspray and lotions gently.
· Always avoid using harsh chemicals or sprays alongside or on top of your jewellery. We don’t really realise how much our jewellery comes in contact with, from tans to perfume and sprays, soaps and harsh cleaners. These can all tarnish your jewellery and cause reactions that trigger the dreaded green tint on your skin.
· Store all your jewellery in separate boxes, cloths or pouches to avoid scratching and tarnishing when they come in contact with each other.
· Be sure to keep these in a cool, dry place to avoid oxidisation with the air.
· Always remove your jewellery when washing or swimming. Keeping them on exposes them to more chemicals which again, leads to more tarnishing and reactions.