Below is a brief guide on the metals and colours we plate each design in:
Gold is an extremely soft metal which loses particles if used or handled a lot, so other metals have to be added to strengthen it before it can be made into jewelry. The term Karat refers to the measure of gold in the plating with 24 Karats being pure gold. To know the % of gold you simply divide the number of Karats by 24.
A micron is the measurment of length equal to one thousandth of a milimeter. Cheaper costume jewellery will generally flash plate their product which is too thin to even give a measurment. High end designer jewellery will tend to be 5 Micron.
Our jewellery is plated in 1 Micron of 14 Karat gold.(14/24)
We give you a choice of two finishes of gold:
Vintage gold: Has a worn finish to it and is almost a matt colour with very little shine. The matt effect is created by adding a coating to the metal after plating.
Shiny Gold is still not super shiny as that is a brand preference but it does have more of smooth shiny finish than vintage gold.
Rose gold is a combination of real gold mixed with copper which is shy you get various pink tones too the colour. For 18 karat rose gold, typically about 4% silver is added to 75% gold and 21% copper to give a rose color.
Again we give you a choise of two levels of rose gold:
Soft Rose gold: This colour has a very subtle pink colour to it and when held apart from gold could almost be mistaken for gold. It has a beautiful softness too it and means you could wear it mixed back with rose gold.
Dark Rose Gold: This is a much pinker finish wont be mistaken for gold. It is slightly softer in colour than copper and looks fabulous with a tan. People who have a natural pink tone to their skin dont tend to suite this colour so much.
Rhodium, an association with platinum, was discovered by William Hyde Wollastan in 1803 and is a noble metal that is extremely hard wearing when applied as a plating. It is resistant to acid and can generally enhance the appearence and longevity of a metal.
We use rhodium to create a more vintage feel then purhaps silver plating does. It has a slightly darker tone than silver and is not quite as shiny.
925 STERLING SILVER
925 Sterling silver consists of 92.5% pure silver and is mixed back with alloys, typically copper. For this reason it is referred to as 925 silver.
Over time sterling silver will tarnish when exposed to the coppers reaction to moisture and sulphur in the air. However unlike plated jewellery where the plating gradually wares off, 925 silver can be polished back to new using the right polishing cloth.
Leeli Design uses 925 silver earring hooks for all their drop earrings and tends to use 925 silver wire for any of the bridal ranges so that, when looked after, it can last for a lifetime.