Gold extracted from the natural environment cannot be worked directly as it is too malleable and it would not be capable of maintaining a particular form in a stable manner.
For this reason, in order for it to be processed and transformed into a jewel gold has to be mixed with other metals. The resulting composition is an alloy.
Manufacturers of gold products have to comply with the provisions of legal hallmarking regulations, whereby they are obliged to place a purity mark on each piece of jewellery to specify the percentage of pure gold that it contains.
In Italy the punch used to indicate pure gold will produce the 999.9 hallmark, which corresponds to 24kt in other countries. The purity values referred to are: 916 (22kt), 750 (18kt), 585 (14kt) and 375 (9kt).
Thus, for example, the 750 value indicated on a jewel will make us aware that out of 1,000 parts of metal 750 parts are pure gold and the remaining 250 will be generically composed of other metals.
A variety of other metals may be combined in the alloy, such as silver, copper, palladium, etc.
The choice – and percentages – of one particular metal rather than another type will ultimately determine the colour of a jewel.
We may thus find red, white, pink, green and even black gold!
It is often impossible to modify in such a radical manner the colour of pure gold, which, for example, in the case of the 18kt degree of fineness, remains predominant in terms of the quantity present.
Thus alloys other than yellow require a means of ‘colour strengthening’, which in technical terms is referred to as a galvanic bath.
The galvanic bath is an external coating (chemical rhodium-plating) applied to the jewel to emphasize a desired colour, as in the case of white gold.
Over time and as a result of prolonged use of the jewellery, the rhodium-plating may become eroded and the original colour of the gold may start to re-emerge.
This premise provides essential information with respect to the alloy that we use in our jewellery workshop.
Daniela Vettori’s jewels are made with 18kt (750) gold.
Our alloy is formed on the basis of a ‘secret recipe’ which Daniela Vettori fine-tuned and developed in the early 1980s with a view to enhancing the warm colour of gold as it appears in nature.
Our 18kt alloy is thus composed of gold, copper and silver. The particular percentages of the last two elements, which remain a secret, create the solar yellow shade which distinguishes our products.
Our gold alloy is blended and molten at our workshop, where we still adhere to the ancient goldsmiths’ tradition, whereby each group of jewellers had a ‘secret recipe’ for the preparation of the gold with which their products were crafted.
Our efforts to transform the shade of the yellow gold we use in such a way that it will closely correspond to the original colour of this metal in the natural environment allow us to avoid any need for chemical or galvanic treatment in our jewels, and we consequently offer you a product as natural as possible.
For these reasons we work with white gold only on request, but we tend not to recommend it.