Fine gold is 24 carat. Gold with lower caratage, typically 18ct or 9ct, contains higher percentages of copper, silver or other base metals. We only use 18ct gold or higher in our jewellery. We mix our fine gold with different alloys to create colours from yellow to rose and white.
In the 18th century, platinum's rarity made King Louis XV of France declare it the only metal fit for a king and since then it has remained a symbol of prestige. Platinum is 1.4 times the weight of gold and its higher density makes it very durable. It has a naturally white colour and therefore is not susceptible to tarnish.
The word "sterling" has described high-quality silver since the 13th century. Sterling silver is extremely malleable. It can be hammered into sheets so thin that it would take 100,000 to stack an inch high. It can be drawn into a wire finer than a human hair.
Gold and rhodium plating is a process of depositing a thin layer of gold or rhodium onto the surface of another metal, by chemical or electrochemical method. Jewellery customised through these processes is susceptible to wear but if looked after correctly, the finish can last many years.
Most diamonds are nearly colourless, with faint yellow or brown tints. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) has created a colour grading system for the industry.
Clarity is measured by relative absence of characteristics such as scratches and nicks on a diamond’s surface or inclusions inside the diamond. These inclusions can be tiny diamonds or other mineral crystals which have been trapped inside the diamond as it has slowly formed through the centuries.
Different cuts have been developed to accentuate the natural properties of diamonds. An excellent cut diamond will reflect maximum light through its facets. The shape chosen for cutting a diamond will depend on the symmetry, shape and size of each individual rough stone. The most common shapes are brilliant (round), emerald, oval, princess, pear and marquise.
Carat is a measure of diamond weight. Diamonds are weighed to a thousandth (0.001) of a carat and then rounded to the nearest hundredth, or point. For example, a 1.03 ct. stone would be described as "one point and three carats." A diamond that weighs 0.83 ct. is said to weigh "eighty-three points."
The Certificate will tell you which laboratory has certified the 4C's of the diamond and in some cases it will also tell you the provenance of it, like the Canada Mark. The most recognised laboratory in the jewellery world is the Gemological institute of America (GIA) and HRC in Europe.
The sapphire is one of the five 'cardinal gems'. Scoring an impressive 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, it's perfect day-to-day wear in engagement rings. Though best known for its rich royal blue variety, the sapphire actually occurs in every colour of the rainbow. Throughout history and across the globe, deep blue sapphires have long been associated with royalty.
The ruby is a pink to blood red gemstone. Like sapphire, it's a variety of the mineral corundum and regarded as one of the top five most precious stones. It's toughness makes it another excellent choice for jewels that are worn every day. Rubies can command the highest price-per-carat of any coloured gemstone and ratnaraj, Sanksrit for ruby, translates to 'king of gems'.
The emerald is a turquoise to green variety of the mineral beryl and has been the standard for green-coloured stones for millennia. Due to crystal shape, emeralds are commonly cut as rectangular cuts called 'emerald cuts'; a cut which now applies to all gemstones. Emeralds were famously favoured by the Ancient Egyptian pharoah Cleopatra.
The topaz is a semi-precious gemstone with an exceptionally wide colour range, occurring in warm or cool tones, from honey orange to icy blue. This lustrous and brilliant gem is both affordable and surprisingly tough. Topaz is a symbol of love and affection, and is thought t aid to one's sweetness and disposition.