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Jewellery Guides

A Guide to Precious Metals

What does gold carat mean?

Carats, when talking about gold, are a method of measuring the quantity of the pure gold in a metal.

At Cassandra Goad, we typically work with 9ct and 18ct gold. 9ct gold has 375 parts of pure gold in a thousand. 18ct gold has 750 parts of pure gold in a thousand.

The amount of pure gold contained within a metal determines not only its price point but also which jewellery we can craft from it.

Why do you offer 18ct and 9ct gold?

When making every jewel, Cassandra carefully considers which materials would be most effective in the design.

Cassandra Goad jewels are crafted to last for generations, and this is possible because Cassandra individually considers the expected wear of the design and the chemical properties of the metals and gemstones used in each jewel.

While 18ct gold may be seen as preferable to 9ct gold since it has a higher concentration of gold, it can often cause longevity problems in rings and bracelets. 18ct gold rings and bracelets that are worn everyday will wear quicker because of the softness of the gold. This can lead to jewellery mechanisms stretching, causing bracelets to elongate or ring bands to wear down.

The flexibility of 18ct gold is ideal when it comes to setting gemstones. The softness of 18ct gold allows stones, especially delicate gemstones, to be set securely.

At Cassandra Goad, we believe that each jewel is entirely individual. We always strive to consider both the aesthetics of the jewel and the lifestyle of the wearer.

If we have a client who likes to wear their engagement ring daily, but the central stone is an emerald (a fragile stone) we will work closely with our workshop to create a ring that will protect the fragile gemstone and ensure the ring is durable enough for everyday wear.

Often Cassandra will utilise a variety of 9ct and 18ct gold for different sections of a design to accomplish this.

What is white and rose gold made of?

White and rose gold are created by combining gold with different metal alloys.

White gold is created by mixing gold with white coloured metals such as silver, palladium and zinc. White gold can be a complex alloy to work with as preventing the yellow of the gold from re-appearing can be a challenge. At Cassandra Goad we typically plate our white gold in Rhodium which will retain the white colouring of the white gold. Unfortunately, as this is only a plating it will require re-plating as it starts to wear.

Rose gold, also known as pink gold, gains its pink hues from alloying the gold with copper. As the copper is mixed in with the gold, it can easily be polished without affecting the colour of the metal.

Unfortunately, due to its high copper content, rose gold may cause skin reactions in some wearers.


What makes silver special?


Silver's malleability is both a positive and a challenge when crafting jewellery.

At Cassandra Goad, we exclusively craft our silver jewels using Sterling silver. As Sterling silver also includes a small percentage of other metals it increases the durability and strength of the silver and ensures that our silver jewellery can be cherished for longer.


Silver is renowned for its bright silver colouring.

While silver can tarnish, the ease with which it can be repolished makes it the perfect choice for those who love silver-coloured jewellery.


The malleability of silver is also responsible for the beautiful texturing associated with silver jewellery.

Due to its softness, over time silver will develop its iconic patina which is so synonymous with the metal.

Why does my silver tarnish?

It can seem challenging to maintain silver’s brilliant white colouring. Silver is easily oxidised which causes a dark tarnish to form, especially in the recessed areas of a jewel.

However, tarnishing on silver can easily be removed with polishing. A simple way to reduce the frequency of polishing needed is to keep your silver jewels in a sealed plastic bag out of contact with air, especially when not in use for longer periods of time.

Often clients find the oxidised effect of silver adds more interest and charm to a jewel, such as in the Decimus rings where the recessed area will oxidise and create a beautiful contrast with the polished beads and edges.

How do you source your precious metals?

The majority of Cassandra Goad jewellery is made from re-used or recycled precious metals. Often with bespoke projects Cassandra will reuse old mounts or unworn jewellery to create a new jewel out of your existing precious metals.

All our jewels are hallmarked by the London Assay Office where the metal of each jewel is individually tested and stamped with the corresponding hallmark for the metal.

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