Precious metals

  • ALL THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YELLOW GOLD

    Is Yellow Gold better than White Gold?

    As gold is a soft metal the higher the karat of the gold within your piece of jewellery, the more easily it will get scratched. Yellow gold can of course be polished, but this does remove a layer of the metal along with the scratches. In contrast, when white gold gets too many scratches, you can always polish them out and have the piece replated with rhodium, restoring the jewellery’s surface layer.

    Lower karat yellow gold is more durable, but if you are allergic to the nickel in gold alloys, a 10 karat or even a 14 karat piece may not work for you.
    Both yellow and white gold have their disadvantages, and while white gold fairs slightly better in terms of overall durability, neither is a perfect choice in this respect. This is the main reason as to why you should make your choice primarily based on colour. If you have a diamond of a lower colour grade (such as K or L), for example, have it set in yellow gold so that the diamond’s yellowish tint doesn’t stand out as it would in white. In contrast, if your diamond is graded Colourless (D-E-F grades) or Nearly Colourless (G-H-I-J grades), it would be a better idea to have it mounted in white gold, which will add to the stone’s white brilliance.

    In recent years yellow gold may have taken more of a back seat in popularity to other precious metals such as platinum. However, with the recent engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and their much talked about trilogy engagement ring set on a yellow gold band, this beautiful metal is set to make a resurgence in 2018. So, let’s take a look at yellow gold with our guide as to all that you need to know about yellow gold:

    What is Yellow Gold and how is it created?

    Yellow gold is gold in its purest form. The purest yellow gold being 24 karats at 99.9 percent, which is very soft and can be easily dented or scratched, therefore making it too soft to be used in jewellery making on its own. As gold is a highly malleable metal, it is easy to combine it with other metals to make it stronger and durable for the purposes of jewellery making. To make gold more durable it is infused with metals such as silver, copper and zinc in differing proportions to create an alloy which is harder than pure gold. The metals added to yellow gold make it more resistant to scratching and denting as well as adding to the overall appearance.
    Regardless of which metals are added to the gold alloy, its purity is measured in the same way as the percentage of pure gold to other metals determines the karat value of the gold. For example, nine karat yellow gold contains more silver, copper and zinc than 18 karat gold i.e. nine karat gold generally consists of 37.5% gold, 10.3% silver and 52.2% of other metals e.g. zinc and copper which give jewellery its characteristic yellowish tint. 14 karat yellow gold is generally 58.5% pure gold, 18 karat yellow gold jewellery is generally 75% pure gold and 24 karat gold is 100% pure gold.
    14 karat yellow gold jewellery is stronger and usually costs less than 18 karat yellow gold jewellery. However, 18 karat gold jewellery gives a more luxurious and heavier feel when worn and because you get more gold within an 18 karat gold item of jewellery, this makes it a better investment piece.
    Of course, the higher the karat value of the piece of jewellery (hence higher percentage of pure gold), the more care needs to be taken in looking after the item as yellow gold can be easily marked and dented. To keep the stunning shine and clarity of your piece of jewellery, yellow gold needs to be regularly shined and polished.
    The history of Yellow Gold

    Throughout history yellow gold has been treasured and admired by countless ancient civilizations across the globe, from the Greeks to the Mesopotamians, the Ancient Egyptians Pharaohs to Roman Emperors etc. Many cultures have imagined gold to represent the sun with its natural colouring and radiance and in fact the Incas referred to gold as the "tears of the Sun."
    Homer, in the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," makes mention of gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans. In Genesis 2:10-12, we learn of the river Pison out of Eden, and "the land of Havilah, where there is gold: and the gold of that land is good?"

    Yellow gold is a timeless style that evokes opulence and wealth and across the centuries it has been worn in bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces, made into crowns, used in art, woven into thread and even inlaid in coffins and death masks.

    What are the key benefits of Yellow Gold?

    The key benefits of using yellow gold within piece of jewellery are as follows:
    The warm tone of yellow gold is classic and sumptuous and is very complimentary to warm skin tones
    Yellow gold looks great with white gold, silver, and platinum
    Yellow gold will always be popular and maintain value
    Yellow gold doesn't tarnish

    14 karat yellow gold is very popular, less expensive and has a warm look
    18 karat yellow gold is more popular globally and more valuable, it is purer and heavier and has rich, buttery tone.
    What is the difference between Yellow gold and White Gold?

    The key defence between yellow gold and white gold is that white gold is produced when yellow gold is infused with silver, nickel or palladium. The yellow gold used in jewellery is made in the same way, and the difference is only in the mixture of the additional metals used. For example, white gold has more zinc which makes the alloy look whiter than the typical yellow gold alloys which generally contain more nickel. However, even with zinc mixed in, white gold still has a yellowish tint. What makes white gold different is its plating, which is made of rhodium. This is a white metal that is used as a coating in jewellery and is actually the metal that gives white gold its colour. Rhodium also makes white gold more durable by covering the softer yellow gold alloy with an additional protective layer.

     

  • HOW MANY CARATS SHOULD AN ENGAGEMENT RING BE?

    Getting engaged is a major commitment and for the person making the proposal there are many things to think about.  The most obvious is finding and buying the perfect engagement ring and this can be a minefield as engagement rings come with unique financial and emotional expectations.

    One of the most often asked questions by our customers is ‘how many carats should an engagement ring be?'  The reason for this question tends to be that carat is commonly associated with both the size of the diamond and its price.  Couple this with a keenness to meet a woman's expectations and you can have a dilemma on your hands as deciding how much to spend rests in striking a balance between dazzling your beloved without tarnishing your future financial goals together.

    What's does the term Carat mean?

    A carat is a metric unit of weight equal to 0.20 grams, and is used as the standard unit of weight of diamonds and most other gems and pearls.  It is an indication of the size of the diamond when it is loose i.e. not mounted within a ring or other piece of jewellery.  If other factors are held equal, the more a loose diamond weighs, the more valuable it will be as prices are expressed as a price per carat.  The Carat weight has the biggest impact on the price of a diamond e.g. a two-carat diamond will be priced at more than double that of a one-carat diamond.  The vast majority of consumers have the common misconception that a larger carat weight signifies a bigger better diamond engagement ring, however for jewellery experts size is less important than the quality of the diamond, meaning that large carat weight alone does not always signify a better diamond ring.

    What is the average carat size for an engagement ring?

    The average diamond carat size (and therefore price) fluctuates from country to country. For example, in America the average diamond carat weight is 1.0 carat, in China and Europe it is 0.5 carats, and in the UK the average weight of a diamond in an engagement ring is 0.9 carats.  Perhaps the reason for this is that in these social media and celebrity obsessed times there is a lot more emphasis placed upon the size of the diamond, and this is being seen as an indication of a person’s love and commitment. For some this makes them almost ashamed to give a smaller diamond, especially when it is open to public comparison/possible criticism with the rings worn by friends and family on social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook

    Should carat size influence my choice and my budget? 

    Good advice would be to not let the carat weight of a diamond influence have any influence over your budget. Set a budget that you can comfortably afford without compromising yourself and do not to attempt to reach the average carat size if you do not have the financial means to do so. After all your chosen engagement ring is a symbol of your love and a new life together so starting out with the milestone of debt through buying an engagement ring isn’t a good idea, plus you can always upgrade at a later date!

    In addition, you may also find yourself sacrificing the clarity of the diamond to achieve a higher carat weight and therefore risking the quality of the diamond which could, as a result, be quite poor. We always recommend buying a smaller diamond with a much better quality of cut as this factor determines how brilliant and sparkling the diamond will be.  After all a stunning sparkling diamond can hide inclusions, disguise colour and even give the illusion of looking larger. Two diamonds with the same carat weight can appear to be different sizes depending on the depth or shape of their cut. If a diamond is cut very shallow, it has more surface area and so may appear larger, but it would lack depth and sparkle, and it would receive a poor cut grade.

    How do I choose the best engagement ring for my money?

    We understand that you will want to buy the largest diamond engagement ring that you can afford – that is only human nature of wanting to meet, or even exceed, your bride-to-be’s dreams and expectations.  But we strongly urge you NOT to make the sacrifice of quality just to buy a ring with an extra 0.2 of a carat and we would like to suggest a few ways in which you can buy the best diamond engagement ring for your money with no compromise to quality:

    • Ensure that you buy a diamond engager ring with the best cut that you can afford within your budget.  We cannot over emphasise how important cut is in determining the brilliance of a diamond. Always remember that even the highest quality diamond will not meet its potential in terms of brilliance and shine if the cut is poor. It will just appear as a dull relation!  Choosing the best cut means that you can make savings on the other factors of clarity and colour.

     

    • To save money one of the best ways is to select a diamond that is graded lower in clarity.  The naked eye will not see the vast majority of flaws or inclusions in a diamond.  You could save a substantial amount of money by choosing SI1 or SI2 diamonds.

     

    • Think carefully about the metal that you are choosing for the engagement ring band and setting. Choosing yellow gold,  which is predicted to be very on trend in 2018, or rose gold, will make a saving over platinum or white gold.

     

    • Choosing a diamond that is graded lower in colour will also allowing for huge savings. Most diamonds have slight tints of yellow, which are often impossible to see with the naked eye, and since most tints are extremely difficult to see, a higher grade for colour does not make much difference in quality. It can, however, make a huge difference in price. So, to save money choose diamonds rated H and G which are considered white, with G representing the top-quality white. Note that, while these diamonds appear completely colourless, they do have a light-yellow tint against a bright white background. That said, this tint disappears when set into a metal band, as no metal is solid white. Though still white or colourless against most backgrounds, J - M diamonds run from "top silver" (J) to "light cape" (M), a cheaper silver colouring. When set on a coloured band like yellow gold, they appear colourless, though they may have a tint on whiter metals like platinum.
  • THE ENGAGEMENT RING TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2018

    With the flurry of excitement over the royal engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, many couples are now deciding to make a formal commitment to one another by getting engaged. So if you have finally decided to pop the question to your other half this Christmas you will no doubt want to find the perfect engagement ring beforehand.  Here is where it gets interesting!  Considerations such as how much should you be spending, what style of ring to choose, size of diamond…. and many more questions will no doubt be going through your head. But don’t worry we are here to help you choose an engagement ring for your bride-to-be that is on trend and that she will fall instantly in love with. Here are our predictions for the hottest trends in engagement rings for 2018:

    Trilogy engagement rings 

    The royal engagement ring is a stunning trilogy design with a trio of diamonds comprised of two round-cut diamonds and a central cushion cut diamond set on a yellow gold band.  The royal family have a lot of influence when it comes to trends and fashion. Much as Kate Middleton and Princess Diana’s engagement rings sparked a trend, so we expect to see a resurgence in popularity of the three-stone engagement ring.  A trilogy engagement ring is the perfect design to represent your eternal love for your partner as the three stones are said to symbolise friendship, love and fidelity, the necessary ingredients for a happy relationship and marriage. So if you are a couple looking for an engagement ring with a deeper meaning in your the three stone trilogy engagement ring could be just the right choice.

    Yellow gold

    Yellow gold is reportedly Meghan Markle's favourite metal and this was reflected in Prince Harrys choice of a yellow gold band trilogy diamond ring. We predict that this will kick-start a trend with yellow gold rings likely to becoming a popular choice for 2018 much as the Duchess of Cambridge's engagement ring caused an influx of requests for white gold engagement rings.  While yellow gold is by no means new, in recent years it has somewhat lost favour but it is the a very flattering colour for many skin tones and is said to add warmth to diamond rings, with the contrast between cool bright diamonds and the gold band a winning combination.

    The Split Shank

    Trilogy rings are not for every couple and one trend in engagement ring trend that is set to be very popular in 2018 is the split shank ring. This style usually features a solitaire diamond and the band either side is split which leave a gap that shows the finger.  This design gives has a very modern feel to a solitaire ring that is generally considered as a simple and traditional style.

    With the split shank style of engagement ring customisation is a definite option for those that wish to create an engagement ring that is uniquely special. For example, the gap can be made larger on the east and west points and then narrow and closer together at the diamond.  If your fiancé is a fan of all things vintage then a split shank engagement ring will definitely appeal to her as many vintage-inspired engagement rings feature a split shank and the band will often be a French-set or set with diamonds.  In addition for those who love ‘bling’ splitting the band provides more space to add smaller pavé diamonds which give the illusion of added brilliance and sparkle to the engagement ring.   It is also possible to have a variety of diamond shapes for this type of ring.  For example, to create a classic look with an art deco twist why not choose  a round diamond halo style where the split in the band is very subtle and blends into the centre being positioned close to the diamond.

    Many fashionistas and jewellery experts are predicting that this engagement ring trend is sure to dominate in 2018 as vintage fashion is still very much on trend and yellow gold is a great option for this ring style.

    Geometric Silhouettes

    Adding a geometric shape around your solitaire or oval diamond halo ring is becoming very fashionable as many brides-to-be are moving away from feminine lines towards contemporary designs that surround the diamond with a hexagonal frame. The geometric setting makes a very eye-catching statement whilst not detracting from the beauty of the centrepiece diamond.  This style is just perfect for those who embrace cutting edge styles and perfectly complements the 2018 fashion trends for strong metallics and sharp lines.

    On trend shapes

    When choosing the perfect engagement ring for your spouse-to-be it is very important to consider carefully the shape of the centre stone. Pear shaped diamonds are a must have trend for 2018. The elegant cut of per-shaped diamonds will add that extra something to a plain band and give the appearance of slimmer and slender looking fingers.

    Princess cuts are falling in popularity as diamonds with rounded edges are considered the way forward. The oval diamond is very on-trend and it the perfect choice for a look that is far more subtle and has more clarity and depth. Not only do oval diamonds appear larger in a carat by carat comparison with a round diamond, but they also have the bonus of costing less too!

    Fancy Coloured Diamonds 

    Coloured diamonds have become a very popular choice in 2017 and their popularity looks set to increase making it a hot trend for 2018.  If your partner likes to stand out from the crowd why not choose an engagement ring that features a yellow or black diamond as these are set to the stand out colours for 2018.

    Black diamonds are also very much in vogue as they add a slightly frosty feel with a mysterious edge to an engagement ring.  The trend for black diamond engagement rings first became popular back in 2010 when Carrie of Sex and the City was proposed to by Mr Big. Black diamonds are totally natural and offer a very unique brilliance and shine.  They are now being worn by some of the world’s biggest celebrities including Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez.

    Yellow diamonds are reminiscent of warmth and vibrancy and this colour has long been associated with feelings of happiness and positive energy, promoting love and hope.  Yellow diamonds are said to offer spiritual positivity and to provide relief from tiredness and the associated negative emotions.   Yellow diamonds are set to become increasingly popular in 2018 as they are a little different to the brilliant white diamond, and emit more warmth than a black diamond.

    If you decide to choose a coloured diamond for your engagement ring you must be very aware of selecting a band that will complement the diamond otherwise you will end up with a clash of colours.

  • THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GOLD VARIANTS AND PLATINUM

    Precious metals are widely used in making jewellery from diamond rings to bracelets to earrings and cufflinks.  The most well-known and widely used in the jewellery industry are gold, silver and platinum.  

    The definition of a precious metal is one that is deemed to be rare and therefore have a high monetary value.  Precious metals are naturally occurring metallic chemical elements that are less reactive than their sister group, Noble Metals. Due to their high patina, they beautifully complement diamonds as the light bounces off the metallic surface which gives a striking and radiant shine.  They are also pliable and flexible which allows for metals such as White, Rose or Yellow gold to be formed. 

    Whilst the diamond within a ring is undoubtedly the focus of the piece, it is the colour, weight and quality of the band on which the diamond is set that is an equally important factor to consider when choosing a ring. Therefore before you decide on a band, we strongly suggest that you know the differences between some of the most popular precious metals used for ring bands, their durability and aftercare – namely of 18 karat white gold, 18 karat yellow gold and platinum which are the precious metals that we recommend for diamond jewellery. 

    18k White Gold 

    18 karat white gold is a manmade substance that is usually made from 75% gold metal and 25% of white metal such as nickel, manganese, platinum or palladium - however, this ratio often changes. This high content of gold makes white gold more precious and ideal for diamond jewellery.  It is also more affordable than some other precious metals. 

    Originally 18 karat white gold starts life as slightly yellow in colour and is electroplated in Rhodium to give it strength, protection and that stunning white finish that is so desirable. 

    The first use of white gold is thought to have dated back to World War Two when jewellers created it as a replacement for platinum.  During this time the government banned the use of platinum to make jewellery and other luxury goods in America, so that the materials could be used to make armaments.  As platinum had such a beautiful white finish, jewellers wanted to created something that would give the same aesthetic and so 18 karat white gold was born.   

    18 karat white gold is an incredibly versatile material. It is a timeless classic and looks fabulous as a setting for diamonds however, if you have a nickel allergy then 18 karat white gold is best avoided. 

    To maintain the white finish on 18k white gold rings avoid washing your hands while wearing the ring, showering, swimming, applying cream etc., as this will all tarnish its appearance.  

    18k Yellow Gold 

    19 karat yellow gold was the traditional metal used for engagement rings and has recently become popular once more due largely to its majestic look and the fact that it looks stunning when used in halo or vintage ring designs which are currently very much sought after. Pure gold is too soft to use in jewellery making and therefore 18 karat yellow gold contains 75% gold, this is usually mixed with silver to strengthen the metal and copper and to retain the bright yellow colour.  

    Yellow gold was first popularised as far back as the Ancient Egyptians and Pharaohs, Roman Emperors and Royalty all over the world have been draped in yellow gold since the beginning of civilisation. 18 karat white gold is a timeless precious metal that evokes opulence and wealth and will never go out of fashion. 

    If you decide to select 18 karat yellow gold as the setting for an engagement rings, we suggest that you select a colourless or near colourless diamond (D-H) and if the collet (the claw portion holding the diamond) is in 18k white gold or platinum this will work together to bring out the whiteness of the diamond.  If however the diamond is slightly yellow or brown (J-L), you can opt for an 18 karat  yellow gold ring setting so as not to highlight the warmth in the stone against a white metal. 

    18 karat yellow gold is the most hypoallergenic of all the three gold colours and the easiest to maintain. It beautifully complements those with olive and darker skin tones. 18 karat yellow gold can be easily marked and dented, so it is very  important that it is looked after correctly and keep the stunning shine and clarity of this metal in your piece of jewellery, 18 karat yellow gold needs to be regularly shined and polished. 

    Platinum  

    Platinum is one of the world’s strongest metals and is renowned for making engagement rings, diamond necklaces and other pieces of jewellery as it is undoubtedly a stunningly beautiful metal that brings out the sparkle and shine in any diamond.  

    Platinum has very rich history and after its initial discovery in 1735, was highly valued by Ancient Egyptians and Pre-Columbian Indians. It is considered as a modern metal, due to the origins of its name. Before getting the name ‘platinum', it was referred to as ‘white gold' due to its silver and white colour.  However, when this beautiful, metal was re-discovered by the  17th century Spanish conquerors it was renamed to ‘platinum' the reason being that the word derives from the Spanish word ‘Platina' meaning ‘silver'. Following this re-discovery, platinum was introduced to Europe in the 18th Century, and it is thought that in early 1800s, British Chemist W. H. Wollaston was the first person to obtain a pure sample of this noble metal. 

    Platinum is rarer and more precious than gold with a higher purity content of 95% and is strong and durable. Being is hypoallergenic and naturally white in colour platinum jewellery will not tarnish and will generally last and hold its beauty for more than a lifetime.  

    Platinum is slightly more expensive than gold and loses very little metal when scratched. Over time, due to the nature of the metal, it can appear to dull so would require the occasional professional polish. 

    Whilst Platinum and 18 karat white Gold may look very similar it is important to acknowledge that they are not the same materials. Platinum is much denser than white gold, and will therefore feel heavier than 18 karat white gold, making white gold jewellery much easier and more comfortable to wear. Aesthetically, both platinum and white gold are alike, but platinum is naturally white. Although 18 karat white gold will wear off and fade (giving off a yellowish tinge) once it is replated in Rhodium it will have a white appearance. 

    Despite platinum being more durable than white gold, it scratches much easier. If you are choosing jewellery for everyday wear, such as a diamond engagement ring, it is advisable to choose 18 karat white gold, as it will not show as much surface damage. 

    Whilst the metal that you choose as the band for your diamond ring is largely based on personal preference and style, it is helpful to consider the main differences in composition and price. The experts here at Reve Diamonds are happy to help with advice on the choosing the perfect engagement ring with the perfect diamond  and with a precious metal setting that will combine to be a real head turner —all while staying in budget. 

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