Base metal is common and relatively inexpensive. The base metals include but are not limited to iron, nickel, lead and zinc. They are not considered precious metals.
Brass is a commonly used metal alloy, made of copper and zinc.
Mexican silver is 92.5% pure silver from Mexico.
Sterling Silver is an alloy of silver and contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, primarily copper and nickel.
Gold is the most malleable of all metals in its purest form, 24K. Its natural colour is yellow. The colour is commonly manipulated to create Rose Gold and White Gold. Other base metals are used to harden the gold's composition.
Gold in its natural form.
9k (9 parts of 24) – 38% Gold
14k (14 parts of 24)– 58% Gold
18k (18 parts of 24) – 75% Gold
24k (24 parts)– 100% Gold (.999 or .999 fine also means pure Gold)
Rose Gold is an alloy of Gold and Copper, sometimes a small amount of Silver.
9k – 28% Gold and 72% Copper
14k – 57% Gold and 43% Copper
18k -75% Gold and 25% Copper
White Gold is an alloy of Gold and at least one white metal, usually Silver or Palladium.
9k - 38% Gold and 72% Silver or Palladium
14k – 57% Gold and 43% Silver or Palladium
18k - 75% Gold and 25% Silver or Palladium.
A micron is a unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre. Used when describing the amount of gold or silver used to plate an item. Electroplating is commonly used to apply the coating. The higher the microns, the thicker the coating.
Electroplating is a coating process by electrolytic deposition. It is used to coat jewellery with a thin layer of metal giving it the gold or silver colour and shine.
Rhodium is a precious metal that is part of the platinum group. It takes the colour silvery-white and is the most commonly used material to plate jewellery. This is because of its highly reflective finish, hardness, and corrosion resistance. As a hypoallergenic material, it will also prevent lower karat gold from leaving a greenish tinge on the skin. When used on White Gold, Rhodium plating gives it an ultra white finish.