Why Mother and Daughter Jewellery only use 18ct Gold
At Mother and Daughter Jewellery we pride ourselves on producing high quality designer jewellery. This means that all our Jewellery is made from 18ct gold and we only use natural precious stones in our design. To us, anything less is just not fine jewellery. How can, for instance, 9ct 'gold' really be called gold when it only has 37.5% gold in it! To us, 9ct is costume jewellery at best.
So what does 18ct Gold actually mean?
18ct gold means the metal contains 75% gold and 25% other alloys. Pure gold, which is 24ct, is too soft to use for jewellery, so alloys are added to make it more durable so it doesn’t lose its shape, or worse, a diamond! Carats (Symbol – Ct, also called Karats in some countries) is the measure used to describe the percentage of gold in the metal blend: 24ct is 100% pure gold, 18ct is 75% gold, 14ct is 58% gold, 10ct is 41% gold and 9ct is 36% gold.
Anything less than 18ct Solid Gold is not Fine Jewellery, here is why:
Naturally everyone will say the quality of gold they sell is best, so in the end you will need to balance the facts and make up your own mind as to what you feel is best for you. At Mother and Daughter we pride ourselves in creating affordable high quality fine jewellery and therefore only work with 18ct solid gold. We don't feel comfortable calling something gold if it only has 38% gold, such as 9ct 'gold'. Also, although we appreciate that you can find some very nice designs in gold plated jewellery, such as Vermeil, their micro thin gold layer will wear off and scratch with time, and as such you are paying a lot for something that will not last.
We use only 18ct gold as it creates a durable design while using a maximum amount of gold, so you get what you pay for! The reason 14ct, 10ct and 9ct gold and gold plated jewellery is cheaper is simply because they have less gold and a higher percentage of cheap alloys. But for this lower price you sacrifice Quality, Colour and increase the risks of Allergies from the higher levels of alloys. For a example, our jewellery will not react with chlorine in pool water, where 14ct and lower qualities of gold are at risk of Chlorine Stress Cracking, which is where the chlorine dissolves the copper, nickel and silver alloys in the gold damaging it irreparably. You need to be even more careful with Silver jewellery, including Vermeil, as Silver is a reactive metal and may change colour if worn in the sea, in a swimming pool, or if worn while using bleach.
What are Jewellery Allergies?:
Many people are allergic to certain metals, which cause the skin to itch and turn red and sometimes leave a rash where the jewellery is in contact with the skin. in severe cases is can even cause swelling and even blisters. However not all skin discoloration is caused by an allergy as it can also be from the reaction of certain cheap metals against skin, such as the oxidation of the metal from perspiration.
Nickel allergies is one of the most common with an estimated 15% of people allergic to this metal, which is a common alloy mixed with gold and also sometimes used for electroplating process. The lower the quality of gold, the higher the exposure to reactive alloys, the greater the risk of allergies.
Hypoallergenic Jewellery by Mother and Daughter Jewellery:
Hypoallergenic means that an item is relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. In the case of Hypoallergenic Jewellery, this means that the jewellery is made out of pure metals, such as Platinum, Palladium, 24ct and 18ct Gold, Titanium and Sterling Silver. Another reason why Mother and Daughter only make Jewellery in 18ct Gold.
What about other types of jewellery, such as Gold-plated, Gold-filled and Vermeil?
Effectively each of these types of jewellery is a cheaper metal, coated with a micro thin layer of gold.
Gold-plated: Gold-plated 'jewellery' is where a cheap base metal, such as steel or brass, is thinly coated with gold using electroplating. This allows the creation of cheap jewellery, although the downside is that as the gold layer (plating) is quite thin and hence the gold layer, and colour, will wear off with use.
Gold-filled: Gold filled is also called rolled-gold. Contrary to the name, gold filled is not actually filled with gold, they are made of a base metal, such as brass or copper, covered by layers of gold in a mechanical bonding process. The layer of gold is thicker compared to plated gold jewellery (for instance if the gold layer is 12ct or higher, the layer of carat gold would generally be 5% of the total weight) and therefore will last longer, however the gold will still wear off with time.
Vermeil: (Pronounced: Vermay) is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. This allows you to create nice designs at a low price. The upside is that a bit more expensive metal is used rather than a cheap base metal such as copper or brass, however as the gold layer (plating) is quite thin, the plate, and hence the gold layer and colour, will wear off with use.