; Metal Guide – Jana Reinhardt

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Metal Guide

Where do we source our metals?

All metals used at Jana Reinhardt Jewellery are from accredited suppliers, based in the UK and Germany. These suppliers are continually buying back and recycling scrap metal, thus helping to create more environmentally friendly jewellery. We also often reuse our customers old or unwanted pieces in our bespoke jewellery and designer jewellery collections by melting them down and turning them into a brand new piece according to the clients wishes. It is also possible for us to make jewellery from fair-trade gold, mined in Argentina and Columbia.

There are greater expenses involved in using fair-trade materials but if you're committed to buying a piece which is entirely conflict free and environmentally friendly, please don't hesitate in asking us for a quote.

What metals can we work with?

The materials we work with on a day to day basis are 18ct gold in yellow, white and occasionally red as well as Platinum and Sterling Silver.

We also occasionally use 9ct gold, 14ct gold and palladium.

That said we can and have worked with many surprising materials both in our own jewellery collections and in the bespoke jewellery we've made for clients. Please contact us directly if you have an unusual bespoke enquiry.

What does gold plated mean?

Some of our jewellery is gold plated, which means a thin layer of 24ct gold is deposited onto our silver pieces by electrochemical means. Our standard plating is 1 micron thick which should last for many years on earrings, necklaces, pendants, brooches and bracelets and can last for a long time on rings depending on how often they are worn. Rings tend to experience a lot more wear and tear. Jewellery can always be re-plated and we are also happy to give you a quote for thicker plating (up to 5 micron).

What is rhodium plating?

We use rhodium plating on some of our white gold bespoke jewellery, depending on the piece and the clients preferences. Rhodium is a member of the platinum group, very rare, hard and silvery white in colour. Depending on the alloy white gold usually has a brownish or grey tint and many people prefer the colour of rhodium. Again, as it is only a thin layer it can wear off on the back of rings, which is why we give our customers the choice between plated and non plated jewellery.

What is the difference between 18ct, 14ct and 9ct gold?

We prefer working in 18ct gold as it has a nicer colour, but are always happy to make our pieces in 14ct or 9ct as well if you have a tighter budget or a love for vintage looking jewellery. 18ct gold consists of 75% pure gold and 25% alloy, 14ct consists of 52.5% pure gold and 47.5% alloy and 9ct consists only of 37.5% pure gold with the remaining 62.5% being alloy. 

How is white gold made and what other colours of gold are there?

There is no such thing as natural white gold. Gold always comes out of the ground yellow. It is given its whiteness by alloying it (mixing it) with white coloured metals. Various different colours of gold can be achieved using this alloying process such as, white, rose, green and black gold.

Generally speaking, the more alloy present in yellow gold the weaker the colour. 24ct (pure) gold has a very rich orange yellow colour where as 9ct yellow gold is often much paler. It is very rare that jewellery is made from pure un-alloyed gold, silver or platinum.

What is Sterling Silver and what does oxidised silver mean?

Sterling Silver is alloyed from 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. It is the industry standard for silver products. Occasionally Britannia silver, which has a higher silver content can be used.

A few of our jewellery collections are made from oxidised silver. That means we artificially blacken the metal with a sulfur mixture. Not just do we think it looks great, but you also won't have any problems with your jewellery tarnishing. Similar to plating, on rings the oxidisation does get lighter when worn a lot, but can easily be redone.

What causes silver to tarnish?

Tarnish, which appears as black or brown streaks and patches on silver ware, is silver sulphide, a compound formed when silver interacts with sulphur in the air. The extent and speed with which your silver jewellery tarnishes is also related to the climate and in general, high humidity would result in silver tarnishing much faster. Normally mild tarnishing can be dealt with by using a silver cloth. You can purchase them in many jewellery shops or we can supply them for you.

What is Platinum?

Platinum is the rarest and therefore most expensive metal used in making jewellery. It is grey white in colour, very hard, dense and heavy. It is perfect for diamond jewellery, especially rings, as the colours and hardness of the metal and diamonds complement each other. The platinum we use in our London engagement rings and other bespoke jewellery is 95% platinum and 5% alloy. This is the industry standard for platinum.

What is Palladium?

If you can't afford platinum, we think palladium is a good alternative. It is also very hard and has a similar colour to platinum, but is less dense and a lot less expensive.

Our personal favourite is still yellow gold, the yellower the better.  It looks great with most coloured stones as well as with white diamonds, can be polished to a very high shine and even though the price of gold has increased considerably over the last couple of years, compared to platinum it still seems very affordable.

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