Jewellery is one of the oldest forms of decorative art and since ancient times, it has been utilised as a key form of self-expression. It is a way of sharing who we are and we love this method of creative, personal expression.
We believe that Jewellery should be lived in every single day. It should be deeply sentimental and worn – therefore, the quality needs to be unwavering so that it can truly be cherished and become an heirloom in your family and future.
And this is why at Violet Gray, we only work in and offer Jewellery that are made from the highest quality materials – being 9kt, 14k or 18k solid Yellow, Rose or White Gold or Platinum Metal. We believe in perhaps owning less, but making really considered purchases that are of a higher value. It’s all about the feels for us and there is no doubt that you can feel when a piece of Jewellery is genuinely made with a high regard for symbolism and with quality craftsmanship and materials.
We do not offer any pieces that are gold plated, ‘vermeil’, gold wrapped or filled. But let’s break it down really simply for you below so that you can make informed decisions with your consumerism and hopefully avoid the tricks of clever marketing tactics / terminology.
What is Solid Gold?
A solid gold piece of Jewellery is made entirely of gold – inside and out.
You see, pure gold (24k) is extremely malleable (or soft) and so it needs to be mixed with other alloyed metals to enhance its strength and so it will then withstand the wear that comes with doing daily life with a piece of Jewellery on your body.
These metals most commonly include silver, copper and zinc.
The karat or ‘k’ next to the number represents the exact percentage of solid gold, or the purity level of gold.
9k gold = 37.5% pure gold
14k gold = 58.3% pure gold
18k gold = 75% pure gold
24k gold = 100% pure gold
* Our favourite choice for rings is 14k gold as we believe that is is the perfect balance of quality, durably and affordability.
So, why choose to invest in a solid gold piece of Jewellery?
- It is the highest quality material (and highest priced, due to gold percentage) therefore offers longevity.
- It will hold the value with time / age and if treated with care, can become a piece to hand down through generations.
- You can wear it all of the time, it will not ever fade, tarnish or discolour your skin.
- The gold does not wear or rub off, ever. It looks like solid gold… because it is!
- It is hypoallergenic and generally suits all skin types.
Other types of ‘Gold’?
Gold Plated: Is when a metal (such as brass or copper, or 925 sterling silver) is dipped into an electroplating solution, with a lump of solid gold. When a electric current is applied, a thin layer of gold ‘sticks’ to the metal. Quality and plating durability depends on the thickness or micron applied, thus also dramatically affecting longevity. It tends to tarnish with wear and can irritate the skin.
(Gold Micron : refers to the amount of gold layered onto the base metal).
Gold Vermeil: Jewellery that has a base metal of 925 sterling silver which is a higher quality in comparison with other base metals.. The gold plating must be at least 2.5 micons in thickness to justify the name or term, Vermeil. It is however, still a form of gold plating.
Gold Fill: Much to your surprise, these pieces are not filled with Gold. Nope, tricky little name it is! Gold filled jewellery is a base metal (normally copper or brass again ) literally wrapped in sheets of gold in a bonding process. Like a present! On the flip side, the layer of gold is normally thicker than a plated piece, so generally it may may last longer without tarnishing. The amount of gold is said to roughly be 1/20th of the total weight of the piece.
In reality, there is a time and purpose for each type of Gold Jewellery. If you are looking for a piece that you wear daily with minimal maintenance and something that you can also pass through generations, in our opinion, it is worth saving and investing in a few special Solid Gold pieces of Jewellery!