A Guide to Precious Metals

At Alex Monroe, we use the term ‘Fine Jewellery’ when we are talking about pieces handmade using solid, precious metal - for us, this is predominantly 18ct yellow gold, although we also work with 18ct white and rose gold, and occasionally platinum. Our fine jewellery often features precious stones, and will always carry a British hallmark - this is achieved by laser and is very discrete, so as not to interrupt the delicate flow of our designs.




18ct Yellow Gold

Pure gold is naturally a very rich yellow, but the colour of 18ct gold is subtle enough to happily suit every skin tone, and highlight the intricate details and textures of our designs - making it a very popular choice. All 18ct gold contains 750 of 1000 parts gold, meaning it has a very high purity. The remaining 250 parts are a mix of alloy metals, to balance or achieve a certain colour, and to toughen up the metal. The high purity of 18ct gold means that it is a wonderful metal to work with, allowing us to create such delicate designs - whilst the composition of the metal ensures our pieces remain strong and durable.

18ct White Gold

18ct white gold again, contains 750 of 1000 parts gold, and the remaining 250 parts are a mix of alloy metals such as palladium and silver carefully balanced to achieve a more silvery-white hue - although the colour will never be as 'bright' as these metals. Because of this, many jewellers choose to plate over their white gold with rhodium to achieve a brighter finish. We do not plate our solid gold jewellery, which is why Alex Monroe 18ct white gold pieces may appear a little darker than other white gold you may have seen. We prefer to respect the natural colour of the metal and retain its signature warmth.

18ct Rose Gold

18ct rose gold again, contains 750 of 1000 parts gold and among the remaining 250 parts you will find copper working it’s magic to achieve a distinct soft pink hue, and it’s subtle warmth means that it is often favoured by those with an ‘English Rose’ skin tone. Rose gold first became popular in the Victorian era, which is perhaps why it has such a wonderfully nostalgic feel, especially when paired with bright white diamonds. Setting coloured gemstones into rose gold can achieve gorgeously playful results, and mixing gold colours across your jewellery is a great way to reflect your personality.


Platinum is an extremely hard-wearing metal and a popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands which generally receive constant wear. It has a more 'steel-y' appearance than 18ct white gold, but it’s naturally bright white colour, makes it perfect when paired with sparkly diamonds! The density of platinum means that it is heavier than 18ct gold, and it’s strength means that it will often be used to build ‘mounts’ - the intricate constructions which precious gemstones will then be set into. Platinum is 95% pure, with iridium, palladium and ruthenium making up the remaining 5% This incredible purity makes it hypoallergenic and ideal for anyone with very sensitive skin.