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Thread: Does anyone know the composition of gold alloys currently being sold in the UK/EU?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Default Does anyone know the composition of gold alloys currently being sold in the UK/EU?

    Hello,

    Question is in the title. :-)

    Essentially, I’m trying to find out if nickel is still commonly being used in gold alloys, such as the material available here at Cookson’s. I did email them directly, but they wouldn’t give me that information, and just said they are in compliance with the EU nickel directive, which is not particularly helpful. Why doesn’t anyone list the actual composition of the alloy they are selling?

    The jewellery I make is specifically marketed to people with nickel allergy. Most of what I sell at the moment is titanium and argentium silver, but I would love to add some small gold items as well. To do this, though, I need to source nickel free gold.

    I am aware of the EU nickel directive, but it is really quite flawed. The nickel is not *supposed* to leach out of stainless steel, for example, but it does (causes a reaction every time I wear earrings with “surgical steel” posts, so I don’t anymore).

    If anyone has any info on common practices in making gold alloys (not white gold - I know to avoid that stuff), I’d appreciate it. I do test all my metals with a nickel test solution, but since gold is expensive, I’d like to have an idea what I’m likely to be getting before purchasing.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    They won't give you their formula's because they are a trade secret, although they should and I believe they are compelled to state if any of their alloys contain nickel, most gold alloy's that I am aware of do not contain nickel with the exception of white gold
    which I believe in some cases does contain a small amount, white is always rhodium plated so it is usually not a issue so long as the owner has it regularly re plated ( still don't understand why any one would want white gold)

  3. #3
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    The tech section of the Cooksons site certainly used to list the specific makeup of each alloy. I haven't looked at it (or indeed, for it) in a while, admittedly.
    18ct NF white, for example, explicitly states that it is nickel-free (as does Aa225), while Aa245 says it contains nickel but is compliant with EN1811:2011 for skin contact but not for piercing posts.
    Last edited by ps_bond; 31-03-2020 at 07:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by china View Post
    I believe they are compelled to state if any of their alloys contain
    Unfortunately not. They only have to comply with the law. The EU Nickel Directive has some sort of standard test for nickel release, and if it passes that, it is compliant (regardless of whether the alloy has nickel in it). Sadly, real-world interactions with people’s skin often have different results.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps_bond View Post
    The tech section of the Cooksons site certainly used to list the specific makeup of each alloy. I haven't looked at it (or indeed, for it) in a while, admittedly.
    Just had a look. Nothing like that there. :-(

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by china View Post
    ( still don't understand why any one would want white gold)
    Me neither.

  7. #7
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    But they do..
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk
    @pearlescenceltd
    instagram: pearlescenceltd1

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by china View Post
    ( still don't understand why any one would want white gold)
    Because it was a cheaper alternative to platinum.
    Then the price of palladium spiked and it's cheaper to have platinum instead...

  9. #9
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    That's true but why not just go for silver, you don't have to keep plating it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by china View Post
    That's true but why not just go for silver, you don't have to keep plating it.
    I've heard of white gold vermeil too, but never found a reliable source
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk
    @pearlescenceltd
    instagram: pearlescenceltd1

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