Noble Alloys – what’s so special about our metals?

“Making jewellery for you that your grandchildren will cherish…” – Chris Ball

For centuries precious metals have been bulked out with trace elements and fillers, hence the variety of hallmarks seen today. Precious metals need to be mixed or alloyed with other elements so that they can be worked into a durable, usable object. A Noble Alloy is a precious metal mixed with a non-reactive element found on the periodic table, known as a Noble Metal. Our Noble Alloys consist of only the most essential elements needed to make a high-purity, skin-sensitive and resilient precious metal.

As a result of experimentation, trial and error over many years, Chris has developed these formulas to allow for higher purity, greater breadth of colour and bulletproof functionality – but what does this all mean?

Tarnish Resistant Silver

A 100% skin-sensitive Alloy. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, bolstered with harder metals, predominantly copper which can cause skin irritation and oxidises over time creating the tarnish and necessitating regular polishing.

Our formula replaces copper with harder white metals, platinum and iridium, both of which are non reactive ‘Noble’ elements. Thus a Tarnish-Resistant alloy has been produced, giving wearers with sensitive skin the ability to enjoy silver once again!

A selection of Cuffs

White Gold

Most of us have heard of it, but very few have seen the real thing! It is common practise in the mass-produced jewellery business to market Rhodium plated gold as White Gold jewellery. This conveniently and cheaply produces ‘white’ gold that wears out! This is not conducive to buyer satisfaction, as the piece has to be re-plated once the rhodium wears off. Buyers of modern white gold jewellery, we have a solution!

Chris has worked hard to produce molecularly White Gold which will never change its appearance – just like yellow gold! Our 18ct white gold is 75% gold (it wouldn’t be 18ct otherwise!) alloyed with, you guessed it, platinum and iridium. These two white metals override the yellow tone of the gold content, creating a dynamic truly white Gold alloy. This white Gold Alloy is optically dynamic. Depending on the level of ultra-violet light in your surroundings, our White Gold will change in tone. Indoors it appears warmer, the lack of UV rays brings out a certain warmth to the metal, whilst outside the increase in UV rays block out that warmth, producing a cooler tone.

Fitted with a Silver chain to illustrate the colour difference when indoors (no ultra-violet light)

Our other Gold Alloys work in a similar way, utilising iridium to fortify even 99% Pure Gold!

When it comes to Rose Gold, a trace of copper is all it takes (1%-5% depending on the desired tone).

Platinum

Back in the 1920s platinum was alloyed with iridium to again create a Noble Alloy that was skin-sensitive. Nowadays it is alloyed with silver as a cost cutting measure. Sterling silver contains copper, remember? And thus the oxidisation process produced Platinum which tarnishes!

Our Platinum is the platinum of old, another Noble Alloy.

Diamond-set Double Courted Wedding Ring

Hallmarking

Every hand-forged piece that leaves our workshop has been certified as genuine and Hallmarked by the good people at the Birmingham Assay Office. The stamps include:

  • ‘CB’ , the maker’s mark.
  • a comment on the purity eg. ‘750’ for 18ct gold
  • an Anchor to denote the Birmingham Assay Office
  • a Letter in a unique font to denote the date
Double Courted, 18ct Gold Wedding Band

As you can see, our Noble Alloys consist of only the most essential elements needed to make a high-purity, skin-sensitive and resilient precious metal. This gives our customers excellent value for money and means that everything you see here is made for you and future generations to enjoy!