Bridal & Engagement
Jewellers Vigilance Canada
It’s a symbol of wealth and power, but also of beauty and love, considering most weddings rings are made from this cherished metal. Yet gold has a variety of uses aside from jewellery–gold flakes can even be found in food and beverages.
Gold is a noble metal, unaffected by air, moisture and most acids. It is ductile and easily plied, stretched and divided. Gold is measured in karats, with 24K being the purest and 9K the minimum quality. The rest is often a combination of other metals.
Gold is the only metal that is yellow in colour, with subtle variations depending on the mixture of other metals in the alloy. 24K gold plating can be applied to a finished piece of jewellery, giving it a very bright, shiny yellow colour. Gold alloys are created to make white gold, rose gold and green gold. Each has its own charm and temperment. As white gold has a slight yellowish hue, it is typically plated with rhodium to give it a hard, shiny, white finish.
The government is responsible for regulating the quality of gold, with similar standards set across the globe. Western countries tend to use the plumb gold standard, which means that the quantity of pure gold contained in alloys is regulated within strict limits. Certain variations, called tolerances, are clearly defined. Canadian standards for purity and fineness are specified in the Precious Metals Marking Act.
Pure gold is often called fine gold. An ingot of fine gold usually bears the hallmark ‘999.9’. This indicates that the gold is 99.99% pure and does not contain any metal alloys. The degree of purity of gold alloys can be expressed in two ways: 24K or 1000/1000 (at least 999 parts pure gold per 1000).
In Canada, the law stipulates that any quality mark (indicating the standard of the gold) applied to an item made of precious metal must be accompanied by a trademark (sometimes called a manufacturer’s mark or hallmark), which is subject to an application for registration or that is registered with Canada’s ‘Registrar of Trade-marks.’
The law also stipulates that an item made of precious metal may also be sold legally in Canada without a hallmark, a quality mark or a trademark.