Everything You Need to Know About the Different Jewellery Metals

Learn about the different jewellery metals and their unique properties to help you decide which metal suits you best. 9ct or 18ct rose, yellow, white gold, or silver are all amazing options depending on what you’re looking for.

You’ve sifted through countless Google searches to find the perfect jewellery piece, found your soon-to-be signature heirloom, and double checked the size, now you’re in for the most difficult decision of all. Which metal will you choose?

 

While it might seem like a matter of looks alone, choosing a metal that suits your personal style and your lifestyle can help ensure that your jewellery lasts as long as possible. Of course, you can let colour be your guide, but taking into account other factors like hardness, durability, and longevity are also smart when deciding between jewellery metals. Depending on how active you are, how often you wear your jewellery, and whether you want an everyday or occasional piece, the metal you choose will make a difference in the lifespan of your jewellery.

 

So, how do the various jewellery metals differ? To find out about the different options and learn about how they wear long-term, read on. 

 

Understanding Jewellery Metals 

To better understand the different metal types, we’ll break them down based on colour: gold-tone or white-tone. Gold-tone metals that you might consider include yellow gold and rose gold, while white-tone metals cover white gold and silver.

 

Gold-Tone Metals

 

Love an all-gold jewellery look? 

 

If you know that you want your jewellery to sit on the spectrum of warmer gold tones, you’ll first want to narrow down your search to the specific shade you like best. For a classic yellow hue, yellow gold will be the way to go. For a warmer, pinker colour, you’ll want to look at rose gold. 

 

Once you’ve got the colour decided, you’ll want to consider purity. While similar in look and feel, 9ct and 18ct gold differ in many ways. The carat number refers to the amount of pure gold in the metal, while the remainder of the weight is made of different alloys. The lower the carat number, the less pure gold in the jewellery piece. 

 

The purity level you choose will not only determine the amount of pure gold in the jewellery, but it will also affect the cost and longevity of the jewellery piece. 

 

To break it down: 

 

Pros

Cons

9ct Gold (37.5% pure gold)

  • More affordable
  • Good for occasion pieces that won’t have much wear and tear
  • Less durable than 18ct gold
  • Might have duller colour

18ct Gold (75% pure gold)

  • More durable/ better for longevity
  • Suitable for everyday wear
  • Can be richer in colour
  • Less affordable
  • Some people prefer the paler colour of 9ct gold



White-Tone Metals

 

Prefer cool, white tones to warm gold? Then you’ll probably want to consider a white metal instead of a gold hue. However, that’s not to say you can’t still consider gold. In fact, white gold is a wonderful option for those who prefer the colours of silver but want the same quality and durability that gold offers. 

 

Just like yellow and rose gold, white gold also comes in 9ct and 18ct for varying degrees of purity and durability. When it comes to white-coloured metals, however, you also get the added option of silver. 

 

While silver is the more affordable option, it’s also less hard than gold, meaning that it will scratch and bend more easily. Of course, there are always pros and cons to weigh out when deciding what is right for you. 

 

For example: 

 

Pros

Cons

White gold (9ct or 18ct)

  • More durable
  • Better for longevity 
  • Better for everyday wear
  • More expensive
  • Might require occasional rhodium plating to prevent yellowing

Silver

  • More affordable
  • Slightly brighter
  • Easy to care for at home (unlike white gold which requires professional re-plating)
  • Less affordable
  • Some people prefer the softer colour of white gold
  • Requires regular polishing to prevent tarnishing

 

Judge by Look

A surefire way to figure out which jewellery metal you prefer is to judge by look. Photos can go a long way in helping you understand the basic differences, but comparing metals in person is invaluable — especially if you’re shopping for a lifelong investment piece. 

 

If you want to visit our Newcastle Studio to discover the different options for yourself, book an appointment to visit and be guided through your metal options. 

 

Otherwise, keep scrolling for a peek at some of our favourite pieces in various metal options. 

Solid Silver Snake Chain

Solid Silver Snake Chain

The sleek, timeless design of this snake chain really lets the silver shine.

Heart Necklace

Heart Necklace

9ct yellow gold completes the timeless vibe of this classic love token. 

Fae | East West Emerald Cut Ring

Fae East West Emerald Cut Ring

9ct and 18ct rose gold perfectly complement the modern look of this simple, yet unique engagement ring. 

Cigar Band

Cigar Band

In 18ct yellow gold, this Cigar Band looks unbelievably luxe without being too flashy. 

Mya Ring

Mya Marquise Engagement Ring

This marquise-cut diamond pairs perfectly with a white gold square band. At once modern and timeless, this ring is truly special. 

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