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GOLD - 18 carat vs 9 carat

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Pure gold is a beautiful rich yellow metal worshiped and highly prized by many societies throughout human history. It is well known and accurate to say that pure gold is a soft but highly durable metal not suitable for most jewellery manufacture. Some cultures do prefer pure gold, or near pure gold /22ct/ jewellery and pay for it either by decreased durability, or financially by making pieces extremely thick and heavy to add strength to designs so they don’t get pushed out of shape through wear.

 Pure gold is combined or ‘alloyed’ with other metals to add strength, and hardness . The amount and type of other materials /alloys/ added determines the final carat /gold content/ of the gold alloy. There are many different recipes for gold alloys, for our purposes we will just describe the more common jewellery alloys.

 24ct gold is pure gold, so all 24 parts are pure gold. Soft and extremely durable.

 18ct gold is 18 parts pure gold or 75% pure, hence the stamp 750 found inside pieces made from this alloy. This is the main metal used at ALIA Jewellery Sydney. It is strong, beautiful, durable and does not tarnish, corrode or react with its owners skin. This is an ideal metal alloy for making pieces such as engagement and wedding rings, earrings,bracelets, necklaces that need to last at least a lifetime!

 9ct gold is 9 parts pure gold or 37.5% pure, hence the stamp 375 found inside pieces made of this alloy. Due to this metals lower durability and tendency to tarnish, corrode and react with its wearers skin, ALIA Jewellery choose not to work with it. The jewellery made from 9ct gold can not be expected to last more than a lifetimes normal wear.

The obvious question here is why would an alloy like the 375 above even be labeled as gold? Would it not be more accurate to call it by the name of its other much larger % component alloys? It is after all only just a little over third pure gold.

 Due to the inert nature of pure gold, 18ct alloys are almost completely resistant to corrosion in typical everyday use. In stark contrast, 9ct alloys are much less resistant due to their low pure gold content, and will quickly turn dull or blacken when in contact with perspiration, some clothing, regular household chemicals, and even the atmosphere. Not that appealing for an exclusive custom made jewellery - this is one of the main reasons ALIA Jewellery will not work in 9ct gold alloys.

 In conclusion, ALIA Jewellery strongly believes, that if we were to be limited to only one gold alloy, we would love it to be 18ct gold. Its excellent all round properties make it indispensable for the production of fine handmade, designer, art jewellery.

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