While there are times for costume jewellery, there should always be a moment in every woman’s life for fine quality pearls made with precious metals. The beauty of the pearl is that it offers endless possibilities to create a spectacularly feminine and sophisticated feel that goes beyond any faceted gemstones that are mined from the earth.
When you buy jewellery made with gold, silver, and other precious metals, it is not only pretty to look at, but also it serves as a great investment for you in the long term.
Gold is the world’s most valuable and sought-after metal. Its purity is measured in carats, often abbreviated to ‘ct’ or ‘k”. 24 carat gold is 100% pure gold, measured at 24/24. But it’s too soft to be used in jewellery. Most gold jewellery is mixed with alloys such as silver, copper and zinc to produce purities less than 24 carat. 18ct gold jewellery contains 75% pure gold where as 9ct gold has 37.5% purity. Depending on the types of alloys used, gold can be yellow, white, rose, and other different coloured gold. The higher the carat weight, the higher purity the gold is, and hence the value it increases.
Fine jewellery is usually made with 18ct gold. In the United Kingdom, 9ct and 18ct are the most popular carats used for jewellery. In the United States, 10k and 14k are more prevalent. It’s important to note that vermeil gold is not actually gold. It is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Gold-filled or rolled-gold jewellery is made with base metals and will wear away eventually. Silver, on the other hand, is more affordable than gold. Sterling silver, used in most silver jewellery, is 92.5% pure silver.
So how can you be assured that the jewellery you buy is the real deal and contains the right purity of gold and silver? The answer lies in its hallmark. In the UK, it’s a legal requirement for all jewellers to have their precious metal jewellery hallmarked by an independent assay office when it falls into a certain weight category. The hallmark comprises three compulsory marks: a sponsor’s mark, a fineness mark and an assay office mark.
You should always ask if the gold, silver or platinum jewellery you’re buying has been hallmarked. Never assume it is real even when you see the “18k”, “14k”, or “925”sign marked on the items. To find out more about hallmarks, see the dealers’ notice from the Goldsmith’s Company.
Pearls are the only precious gems that fall into the fine jewellery category that also includes diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire. Gemstones such as amethyst, opal and topaz are semi-precious and do not have high intrinsic value.
Elegant, luminous and magical, pearls are the epitome of femininity and timelessness. From the romantic legends to the world’s famous La Peregrina pearl, they have been the ultimate symbol of power, strength, and wealth.
High quality pearls are very durable because of their thick nacre and excellent surface quality. The nacre and surface quality is especially important when choosing Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian pearls. As they’re all bead-nucleated, the thickness of their nacre determines how durable the pearls are. For example, when you pick up a low quality Akoya strand, it may feel very light. In some cases, it may not even feel like real pearls. This is because the pearl nacre is very thin. Most of its weight you’re feeling comes from the beads themselves. To learn more about pearl grading and valuation, see our pearl buying guide. With proper care, high quality pearls can last for generations.
There’re so many different ways of wearing pearl jewellery. For example, a strand of lustrous freshwater pearls can instantly add a touch of elegance to your outfit. Layering and building up depth and shine can be fun and impactful. As considered the most wearable piece, a pair of pearl stud earrings are just perfect for any occasion.
For black-tie dinners, weddings and anniversaries, the exotic Tahitian and South Sea pearl and diamond jewellery creates depth and drama, making it an ultimate showstopper to mark the occasion.
Your jewellery box represents the journey of your life. Each piece tells a story. Gradually adding fine pieces to your collection over time is a wonderful thing to help create beautiful memories.
There are very few things that have the same sentimental value as jewellery. Thoughtful gifts have the power of bringing families and friends closer. A piece of fine jewellery shows love and appreciation like no other. It is often a great way of starting a conversation.
Pearls are the traditional symbol of a 30th pearl wedding anniversary. They’re also the birthstone for June. But you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to wear these gorgeous gems. Pearl jewellery can be ultra-contemporary as well as classic. The key is to embrace its versatility and be creative. Whether you’re just starting out, or adding to your growing collection, our pearl jewellery will live to tell our story for many generations to come.