Otiumberg Precious Metals: A Guide

Otiumberg Precious Metals: A Guide

Otiumberg Precious Metals: A Guide

We carefully consider the materials that we use for our collection, featuring responsible precious metals only that have been selected for their beauty, affordability and durability. Our B Corp status means we work hard to minimise the impact of our collection whilst crafting pieces that, with the right care, can be cherished for years to come.

All of our jewellery is handcrafted in a choice of 9 karat solid gold, gold vermeil or sterling silver. Discover more about these metal options below so you can make an informed decision on which is the best option for you.

Why 9 Karat Solid Gold?

We love 9 karat solid gold for its beautiful dusty golden hue, long-lasting durability and a price point which makes this karat attainable for all. Our collection includes both 100% recycled gold and Single Mine Origin gold designs; heirloom and responsible materials for true everyday wear.

Due to its alloy content, 9 karat gold won’t scratch easily and has a softer brown shade than the bright yellow of 14 and 18 karats, which best fits the aesthetic of the Otiumberg collection.

What is SMO Gold?

We introduced SMO (Single Mine Origin) gold into the collection in 2023 alongside our recycled gold pieces. With every SMO gold purchase you will receive a QR code with information about the exact mine from which your gold has been mined, offering transparency and full traceability.

The extraction of gold can lead to destruction of natural habitats, water pollution, and exploitation of workers. SMO is a traceability system that ensures that the gold produced by a specific mine can be traced from the point of extraction to the final product. This system provides transparency and accountability, allowing consumers to make informed decisions about the products they buy. SMO Responsibly Sourced Gold goes a step further by ensuring that the gold is extracted using environmentally and socially responsible practices only.

The benefits of SMO Responsibly Sourced Gold are numerous. Firstly, it promotes sustainable mining practices that minimise negative impact on the environment. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting biodiversity, and conserving water resources. Secondly, it ensures that the rights of workers are respected, including their health and safety, fair wages, and working conditions. Thirdly, it provides economic benefits to local communities, including job creation and support for local businesses. To find out more read our journal post here.

The SMO Gold Collection

What exactly is Gold Vermeil?

We chose gold vermeil to craft our chunkier statement designs to ensure that they are accessible to all.

Gold vermeil is a high quality alternative to gold plating and flash plating. In the process of making your design, 2.5 microns of gold are applied to sterling silver. This is five times thicker than standard gold plated jewellery, which is only 0.5 microns in thickness and can be added to any base metal.

Whilst more expensive than gold plating, gold vermeil is more suitable for everyday wear, and less likely to irritate those with sensitive skin types due to the quality of its base metal.

Pebble Stud Earrings in 14kt Gold Vermeil

Pebble Necklace in 14kt Gold Vermeil

Why Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is a beautiful precious metal with a warm, silvery-white colour. It can be polished to a high shine, or it can be left with a matte finish. Sterling silver is a durable metal that can withstand everyday wear and tear. It is also less likely to bend or break than other metals, such as gold or platinum. 

It  is a hypoallergenic metal, meaning that it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction and a good choice for people with sensitive skin. It can last for many years if it is properly cared for. This makes sterling silver jewellery a lasting investment that can be worn everyday.

What is meant by ‘recycled metals’?

Our recycled precious metals are made from recycled jewellery, scrap metal, or other sources. This is an environmentally friendly way to create jewellery, as it reduces the need to mine for new metals. Gold and silver mining can have a significant impact on the environment, as it can pollute water supplies and contribute to deforestation. Recycling metals, on the other hand, has a much smaller environmental impact.

How should I care for my jewellery?

Even the most precious metals require care to keep looking their best.

Solid gold is easily maintained with an occasional clean and polish, and can be worn everyday. 

We advise removing gold vermeil jewellery during heavy exercising, while showering with soap and shampoo or swimming in the sea or chlorinated water. For the everyday, avoid vermeil coming into direct contact with lotions, perfumes or harsh chemicals such as bleach which can react with the plating.

We do offer an accessible plating service if after years you wish to restore your piece to new.

Sterling silver holds its beauty and tone for years. Our collection uses 100% recycled solid sterling silver which requires minimal care (just a clean and polish every now and again.)

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