Silver & Gold Information

Why choose Silver or Gold? 

  • Choose the colour you like, silver or gold.
  • Or choose on price, silver is much cheaper than gold, but both are beautiful!

Why are silver and gold jewellery usually made of a silver or gold alloy?

  • Pure silver and pure gold are very soft, or should I say too soft for most jewellery. The jewellery would easily bend out of shape and be damaged.
  • With gold there is also another advantage, gold is very expensive and by alloying it (mixing it with other metals) there is a lower content of gold. Hence it is cheaper.

What are the silver alloys?

The common silver alloys used in jewellery are;-

  • Sterling Silver. - this is the traditional jewellery silver used by most jewellers. It is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The copper is what causes the sterling silver to tarnish.
  • Argentium Silver - this is what Rainforest Gems use to make their jewellery.

What is Argentium Silver?

  • Argentium is the finest quality jewellery silver, famous for its natural beauty, high white colour and longer lasting shine. Traditional sterling silver combines 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper and rapidly looses its lustre and white colour.

    Argentium contains a higher purity of silver and a patented formula that includes germanium, resulting in a silver that is brighter and whiter than platinum, white gold and traditional sterling silver. Argentium is highly tarnish resistant and simple to keep clean.

  • There are two grades of Argentium Silver
    • Argentium 935 containing 93.5% silver.
    • Argentium 960 containing 96% silver.

    Argentium Silver logo

    Which Argentium Silver does Rainforest Gems use?

    • Aura Jones our jeweller / silversmith now uses Argentium 960, due to its superior whiteness and tarnish resistance.
    • A few items remain that are made of Argentium 935.

    Why is Gold Jewellery very expensive?

    1. Gold is 77 x the price of silver
    2. Gold is 1.9 x the specific gravity of silver.
    3. Put simply, gold is more expensive and you require much more gold (by weight), than you would if the item was made of silver.

    What are the common Gold Alloys used in Australia?

      • 9kt gold, containing 37.5% gold by weight
        • 14kt gold, containing 58.5% gold by weight
          • 18kt gold, containing 75% gold by weight
          24kt gold is not an alloy, it is pure gold

            I wish to buy a piece of Gold jewellery, which Gold Alloy should I buy?

            • The common reasons for choosing a gold alloy are;-
              • 9kt gold, because it is the cheapest
              • 18kt gold as it has a high gold content, and is highly tarnish resistant.
            • 14kt gold is not common, as most buyers are either after the cheapest option 9kt gold, or 18kt gold for the higher gold content.

            Why is some jewellery Rhodium plated?

            • Commercial sterling silver jewellery is often Rhodium plated to prevent it tarnishing
            • Commercial white gold jewellery is often Rhodium plated to make it whiter, although it does have a slight grey tinge.

            Do Rainforest Gems rhodium plate their jewellery?

              • Our jewellery is not plated.
                  • Our silver jewellery is made of Argentium Silver which is highly tarnish resistant.
                    • We do not make white gold jewellery, as Argentium Silver is both whiter and cheaper than white gold.

                        Note -

                        • Our jeweller / silversmith now uses Argentium 960, due to its superior whiteness and tarnish resistance.
                        • A few items remain that are made of Argentium 935.
                        • Very few items remain that are made of Sterling Silver