ALL ABOUT GOLD
It is believed that around 80% of all the world’s Gold supply has already been mined, however the demand for Gold is constantly growing, and jewellery accounts for around 50% of total demand. This is why the price of Gold remains so high and is constantly increasing. Mining makes up around 75% of Gold supply each year however it can’t keep up with demand, and the remaining percentage is made up from recycling. Gold as a metal is virtually indestructible and therefore all of the Gold ever mined is theoretically available for recycling.
Here at Catch Rhys, we use recycled Gold wherever possible in our pieces.
The purity of Gold is measured in Carats with 24 carats being pure Gold. Gold as a metal is very soft, therefore pure 24ct Gold is rarely used in jewellery as it isn’t very durable. The process of alloying Gold means to mix pure Gold with percentages of other metals, this not only makes the metal more durable but it can also be used to change its colour. Red Gold for example is alloyed with Copper to achieve its pink colour.
9 Carat Gold which is used in all of our jewellery is made up of 37.5% Gold mixed with Silver and Copper. We always use 9ct for its durability and affordability whilst being able to retain the Gold colour.
9ct Yellow Gold - 37.5% Gold, 42.5% Silver, 20% Copper
9ct Red Gold - 37.5% Gold, 20% Silver, 42.5% Copper
ALL ABOUT SILVER
Silver, although still a precious metal is much more abundant than Gold hence the lower price tag. Like Gold, it is also quite a soft metal therefore for use in jewellery making it is alloyed together with other metals to give it extra strength, which is also where the name Sterling Silver derives from.
Sterling Silver is 92.5% Silver & 7.5% Copper
WHAT IS GOLD PLATING?
Gold plating is the method of covering a base metal with a thin layer of Gold using electroplating which bonds the two metals together. It is used to be more cost effective as the price of solid Gold is very high. We only use Gold Plating on our chunkiest pieces in order to keep prices more affordable.
Our base metal is always Sterling Silver, we use this because it is a precious metal and Gold has an affinity to Silver which means that the plating will last longer than it would on other base metals such as copper or brass.
Gold plating is measured in microns, with 1 micron being 0.001mm of Gold. Plating quality varies considerably, flash plating is 0.25 microns and will wear off very quickly, this is often used by high street stores on their plated items. Gold vermeil is generally 2.5 microns and has to have a base metal of Sterling Silver although it is just a fancier sounding term for Gold plating and is exactly the same process.
Here at Catch Rhys, all of our plating is 3 microns thick in order to be durable.