Metal buyers guide
What makes our metals so precious?
At Mitchel & Co we truly believe jewellery is magical. But we don’t think it should ever be mystical. Before you spend large amounts of money on any piece of jewellery, we want you to understand exactly what you’re paying for.
Unless you have your eye on a string of pearls or a diamond bracelet, the main material of any piece is usually a precious metal. And, gemstones aside, a piece’s value will be determined by what that metal is and the craftsmanship involved in working with it.
Each precious metal has it’s own characteristics and strengths. So which is right for you?
As one of the rarest metals, platinum is one of the most highly valued. Which means it’s also one of the most expensive. Platinum is naturally white and incredibly dense. This makes it strong and durable – and the perfect material for items like engagement rings and wedding rings that are worn every day.
Platinum is also very pure. It doesn’t tarnish or oxidise in the air, and it won’t irritate sensitive skin.
Gold is a versatile, malleable metal that can be crafted into many different shapes. Because it’s so soft, gold is usually alloyed with other metals to give it strength, and also to change its colour or appearance.
Gold content is measured in carats. Pure gold, the most precious, is 24ct and rarely used to make jewellery because it’s so easily marked. More common are 18ct (which is 75% gold) and 9ct (37.5% gold). Gold doesn’t tarnish or corrode, but to stay beautiful it should be cleaned regularly.
Yellow is gold’s natural colour. However, different carats may have slight colour differences depending on the metals they’re alloyed with.
The warm pink tone of rose gold is created by alloying pure gold with a mix containing copper. It’s still the same gold, just a slightly different colour.
Popular since the 1920s, the white lustre is created by mixing gold with silver or palladium. White gold is often seen as a more affordable alternative to platinum.
All gold and platinum jewellery should be stamped with small markings that prove the metal conforms to legal standards of purity. These are called hallmarks, and if you can see well enough, they’ll tell you where the piece was tested, who made or sold it, what the precious metal content of the item is, and, in many cases, when it was made. Without a hallmark, a piece can’t be described as a precious metal.
Whichever metal you find most precious, at Mitchel & Co we’ll make you something beautiful in it. All of our jewellery is hand-crafted in our own workshop, so all of our pieces can be made in the metal of your choice.