Did you know, pure gold isn’t often used for jewellery as it’s so soft?
We know pure gold as 24ct and it’s bright yellow in colour. When we make jewellery we alloy pure gold (or silver, platinum or palladium) with other metals to create precious metals with different properties, e.g. colour or hardness.
To create white gold, the pure gold is alloyed with silver or palladium, to create rose golds we alloy it with copper.
18ct gold is 75% pure gold (or 750 parts per thousand) which is why it’s hallmarked 750. 9ct gold is 37.5% pure gold and is hallmarked 375.
The cost of gold is directly related to the amount of pure gold and other metals in the alloy.
No matter whether a precious metal alloy is Fairmined, Fairtrade or 100% recycled, it is only the precious metal that these claims refer to.
Unfortunately, there are currently no sources or Fairmined, Fairtrade or 100% recycled base metals such as copper or zinc (both commonly used in the jewellery industry) or for that matter metals such as lithium (used in batteries) cobalt, ruthenium (used in platinum alloys) rhodium (used to plate your white metal jewellery), iron, nickel, titanium etc. As consumers, we need to put pressure on all parts of the mining industry to clean up it’s act, to stop human and environmental exploitation. You can find out more about artisanal miners and their treatment here