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A Beginner's Guide to Metal

Not sure if you have plated, silver or gold jewellery?

First look for a hallmark and think about the price.

An example of a hallmark

Solid gold is stamped with its karat 14kt or 18kt while sterling silver is 925

No jewellery is pure or ‘solid’ silver.

What is Sterling Silver 925?

Sterling silver is a combination of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal alloy such as copper or nickel. No jewellery is pure or ‘solid’ silver. Silver is too soft and malleable to be worn. The alloys are needed to enhance silver’s durability and functionality but these alloys can cause allergic reactions.

Sterling silver is its susceptibility to tarnish so regular cleaning is needed.

For some handy cleaning tips, read this blog


Pure gold, also known as 24 carat gold, is a precious metal that does not contain any other metals. It is considered the highest quality and most valuable form of gold. With its bright yellow colour and lustrous shine, 24 carat gold is highly sought after for its purity and rarity. Due to its softness, pure gold is not commonly used in jewellery or other everyday items as it is prone to scratches and dents.

8 carat gold is composed of 75 percent gold and 25 percent other metals, such as copper or silver. These additional metals are added to enhance the durability and strength of the gold, making it more suitable for jewellery.

The minimum caratage required for an item to be called gold can vary from country to country, with some nations setting it at 9 carats and others at 14 or 18 carats.

Gold is hypoallergenic but normally comes with a higher price tag.

Many of us have a cherished piece of silver or gold jewellery that we keep in our trinket box. However, we probably don’t wear them on a daily basis. Therefore we often seek affordable yet stylish alternatives that can enhance our outfits without breaking the bank. Here are some commonly found alternatives.

Silver and Gold Plated Jewellery

Plated jewellery was created as an affordable alternative to Sterling silver and gold. Plating is typically a thin layer of gold or silver applied over a base metal, it can closely resemble solid gold or silver jewellery in appearance. However, with wear, it becomes evident that the piece is plated.

Plated items are created through a process known as deposition, where a thin layer of gold or silver is applied onto a base metal, such as copper or silver. This can be achieved through either chemical or electrochemical methods. When silver is coated with a layer of gold, it is often referred to as gold vermeil or silver gilt.

Plated jewellery, whether it is made of gold or silver, typically has a limited lifespan.

Over time, the thin layer of plating will inevitably start to fade away. However, it is important to note that the longevity of the plating greatly depends on various factors, such as the thickness of the layer and the level of care given to the piece.

Stainless Steel

Steel is a composite material made up of iron and carbon. It is widely used in various industries due to its exceptional strength and durability. Stainless steel may have industrial connotations, but it is actually a fantastic choice for jewellery and is suitable for all skin types.

Thanks to its resistance to rust, tarnish, and corrosion, stainless steel jewelry can withstand the test of time and remain in pristine condition for many years, if not a lifetime.

One of the remarkable aspects of stainless steel is its eco-friendliness, which is something we can all appreciate. Unlike other materials, stainless steel is typically 100% recyclable, making it a sustainable option. It can easily be repurposed and transformed into something new, minimising waste and reducing the demand for new resources.

Additionally, during the production process, stainless steel is not coated with any toxic substances. So, not only does stainless steel offer beauty and longevity, but it also has a minimal environmental impact


It has been suggested that in the future, historians will look back on this time and call it 'The age of Aluminium'.  

This metal is known for its lightweight properties, and just like stainless steel, its resistance to tarnishing and rusting. The aluminium used in Coffee Pod Creations is upcycled from coffee pods.

'The Age of Aluminium'

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