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Gold is perhaps the most well-known Precious metal. Gold in its purest form, or 24carat, is extremely soft and malleable along with its natural lustre made it a very popular asset for the wealthy and figures of importance since its discovery. Because of its softness, Gold is alloyed into various Carats to enhance the strength and often change the colour to give a variety of practical uses within Jewellery.

In the UK, the two most prevalent types of Alloy you will find are 9 and 18 carat, their hallmarks 375 and 750 respectively. This indicates the amount of fine gold content within the alloy in parts per thousand, which in turn will affect the cost. For example: 18ct - 750/1000 or , respectively 18/24 based in carat form. (see hallmark section)

Due to the increased amount of fine gold within the alloy this would make 18ct gold softer than 9ct, however it would be more valuable and have a more intense colour and lustre.

Gold alloyed with a range of other metals, including copper, zinc, silver and palladium. Depending on the quantities of these metals, the overall colour of the alloy will change, zinc and copper giving a warm red tone to rose gold whereas silver and palladium lend their natural whiteness to white gold.

As gold has a natural lustre, it will tend to keep its highly polished finish for a long time. Being soft it can scratch and gradually wear over a long period of time, but can easily be repolished.

White gold in its base form has a slight yellowing, often likened to a wheat colour, owing to the natural yellow colour of the gold. This in turn is covered in a Rhodium plating to give the pure white metal that is more widely seen. Again after long periods of time this plating will wear off, but can also easily be reapplied.

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