Metals & Gems
Yellow gold comes in different beautiful golden hues depending on the blend, also called alloy. Pure 24kt gold is the base for all alloys, and while 24kt gold is naturally a distinct yellow, it is also less durable than lower karats. Therefore, most jewellery is made in 22K, 18K and 14K and its colour comes from combining pure gold with metals such as zinc and copper. Yellow gold has always been revered for its rarity and beauty and its use in jewellery can be traced back to ancient civilizations.
White gold has a lustrous white look and is made of a mixture of pure gold and white metals such as nickel, silver and palladium. Although the variation in colour comes from the metal mixture and the types of metal used, it is usually plated with rhodium to add shine and durability. The white gold that we know today gained popularity in the 1920s.
Rose gold encompasses the whole family of red, rose and pink gold shades. Made of pure gold mixed with copper and silver alloys, the depth of colour in rose gold depends on the ratio of yellow gold to copper. Rose gold was first used in early 19th century Russia by the famed jewellery Carl Faberge.
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver, most often containing 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. The silver is alloyed to increase its hardness and durability in order to make it suitable for use in jewellery. The sterling alloy originated in continental Europe and was used as early as the 12th century.
Most corals have built reefs and atolls with their branching trunks. Only their calcified skeletons are used as gemstone material; formed by tiny polyps. Coral has a long and rich history; red coral has been found in Neolithic graves and the Ancient Greeks preferred black coral.
Cherished as one of nature’s most precious and stunning creations, the name diamond refers to its hardness (Greek – adamas, the unconquerable). Made of just one element: carbon, most diamonds are over a billion years old and are formed deep within the earth. Nearly imperishable, it’s valued for its colourless nature and purity.
The gemstone that made Cleopatra’s mines famous throughout the world, emerald is the bluish green to green variety of beryl. Its name derives from Greek smaragdos and means “green stone”. Today, it is the most valued of beryl varieties, and comes from Africa, South America and Central Asia.
Produced naturally in the bodies of marine and freshwater molluscs, or cultured by people, pearls are classified as organics. Pearls come in hundreds of different varieties; from perfect spheres to baroque forms, every pearl is unique in its colour, lustre, size and shape.
The opalescent variety of feldspar, it has a moonlight-like sheen. Moonstone can be transparent with a strong blue schiller on the surface, it can be translucent or milky with the appearance of an inner light or it can have a striking cat’s eye or star effect.
The most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species, Ruby is named because of its red colour (Latin – rubens). The red colour varies within each individual deposit, and the most desirable colour is the so-called “pigeon’s blood,” pure red with a hint of blue.
Corundum is the most important of the gem families and the name sapphire can apply to any corundum that’s not ruby. Sapphire means blue in Greek, and its most valuable colour is indeed blue, yet it comes in many varieties; yellow, green, pink, orange, purple, or even showing two colours simultaneously.