Gold jewellery made a big comeback at the end of 2018 and with its luxurious appeal and warming tones, this trend is sure to continue. The many myths and legends that surround the allure of gold throughout history demonstrate a united truth – a continued collective fascination with this precious metal.
Gold can be found in a variety of colours, the most popular being yellow, rose and white gold which are made using a mixture of pure gold with different alloys like copper and zinc.
The colour and value of yellow gold is largely determined by the proportion of pure gold to other metal alloys – commonly described as the carat. For example, there is a marked difference between pure 24 carat gold with its strong yellow colour and higher price tag, and 9 carat gold which only contains 37.5% pure gold.
The proportion of alloy versus pure gold also determines the durability of the gold. So, the lower the carat, the more durable the piece. 24 carat gold is considered too soft for use as jewellery, particularly everyday items such as wedding bands.
At Becky’s Boutique, most of our gold jewellery collections are made from 14 carat gold filled metal which is an excellent alternative to solid gold, offering gold’s characteristic warm yellow or blushing rose tones at a fraction of the price.
Gold filled jewellery, also known as bonded or rolled gold, is also more durable and retains more value than gold plated pieces. This is because it has an actual layer of carat gold (heat and pressure bonded to a base metal), rather than a microscopic film as is the case with gold plated pieces.
Also, if you have a metal allergy, this is the gold for you. The layer of gold means that this type of jewellery won’t react with the skin.
These properties make gold filled jewellery the perfect choice for meaningful gifts that are meant to last and be worn on a daily basis.
Pronounced “ver – may” and not to be confused with regular gold plating, gold vermeil is composed of a much thicker layer of gold over a solid sterling silver base. The thickness of the gold (a minimum of 2.5 microns) is what really sets vermeil jewellery apart from other gold plated pieces.
Vermeil has become another popular choice for jewellery designers looking to offer the desirability of gold jewellery without the higher price tag.
At Becky’s Boutique, some of our gold pieces have 14, 18 and 24 carat gold vermeil pendants and charms, as these pieces can only be made through casting.
It is worth noting that while there is a place for gold vermeil in all of our jewellery boxes, it may need re-plating over time.