Getting to Know your Precious Metals


Platinum is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust. It occurs in some nickel and copper ores along with some native deposits, mostly in South Africa, which accounts for 80% of the world production.
Platinum is generally non-reactive.
Remarkable resistance to corrosion.
It is not as toxic as some metals.
Platinum is an extremely rare metal.


Palladium is a soft silver-white metal that resembles platinum. It is the least dense and has the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals. It is soft and ductile when annealed and greatly increases it’s strength and hardness when it is cold-worked.
Palladium is lighter in weight.
Does not tarnish in the air.
Very rare but affordable metal.
Palladium does not need to be rhodium plated.
Palladium has been a precious metal since 1939
From January 2010 Palladium is now officially recognised as a precious metal.
Palladium is actually more rare than Gold.

White Gold

White gold is an alloy of gold and at least one white metal, usually nickel, manganese or palladium. Like yellow gold, the purity of white gold is given in carats. The term white gold is used very loosely in the jewellery industry to describe carat gold alloys with a whitish hue.
White gold is an alloy of gold.
White gold alloys made without nickel are less likely to be allergenic.
A common white gold formulation consists of 90% gold and 10% nickel

Yellow Gold

Pure gold has a bright yellow colour and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements solid under standard conditions.
Gold is a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal.
Gold is thought of as a soft metal.
Gold comes in 22ct, 18ct, 14ct or 9ct (carat).
Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a gold and copper alloy widely used for specialized jewellery. It is also known as pink gold and red gold. As it was popular in Russia at the beginning of the nineteenth century, it is also known as Russian gold, however, this term is now obsolete.
A common formulation for red gold is 50% gold and 50% copper.
The highest carat version of rose gold is also known as crown gold, which is 22 carat.
Also known as pink gold and red gold.

You have 30,000 days. How will you spend yours?

I am a shy person in reality and used to worry about all kinds of things. There came a time in my life that I remember when I relaxed, calmed down and accepted life as it comes. For a couple of years I thought everything was against me, that was until my triplet daughters were born. I felt like someone was against me becoming a father. I read something online that said “There are 30,000 days in your life.” At first I didn’t think much of it, but then I worked out that I was already over 11,000 days into my. What the hell have I been doing?

The day my daughters were born I realized there are no practice runs, this is life! Each days that passes we can not take back, we always look too far ahead instead of enjoying the here and now. Every day we’re writing a few more words of a story. So from then on, I stopped trying to make my life perfect, and instead tried to make it interesting. When I die I want someone to say that Andrew’s life was an adventure — and that’s made all the difference.

I look forward to each day as it comes. My dad just celebrated his 92nd birthday. He is a great man. I respect him. He has enjoyed his life, telling us stories of the war. Live for today and not tomorrow or yesterday. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present. Make of it what you will.

Saturday 12th October WebCast with Giveaways

Make a note in your diary for this weekends WebCast. This month we are looking at the technique of Etching. We will be using Sterling Silver in our live Webcast showing you what equipment and tools you need for successful etching. As usual you can chat to us ‘live’ via our chat box during the WebCast.

Click the image below to register. And whilst you are registering, why not click on Follow and Share too.


One last thing. We are giving away At The Bench mugs and At The Bench aprons during the webcast too. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to make sure you Share via Twitter and Facebook by clicking on the share buttons whilst you are registering and Following us. Then join us on Saturday in the chat box to see if you are a winner.

Local Jeweller Receives National Award

Local Jeweller chosen by Professional Jeweller Magazine as an industry ’mover and shaker’ awarded the Hot 100 Trailblazer

Two months ago Andrew Berry, of Andrew Berry Jewellery, Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, received an email from the editor of the national Professional Jeweller magazine saying that he had been chosen as a ‘Trailblazer’ for the ‘Hot 100’! The Hot 100 is a list of 100 names which included up-and-coming and established jewellery designers; the UK’s finest independent and multiple retailers and a number of business leaders, or ‘Trailblazers’, that collectively keep the industry charging forward. As with the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Andrew was sworn to secrecy until all the names were officially announced at an Award Party this month at the very prestigious ‘One Marylebone’ in London.

Now that the ‘cat is out of the bag’, we can now reveal that Andrew’s online company, At The, has had a ‘pat on the back’ from the ‘big wigs’. This gives At The Bench even greater recognition within the industry as an important contributor within the jewellery training sector, which sees Andrew and his team harness the power of the internet to help train the thousands of jewellery designers and makers around the world.

What Influenced Andrew to set up At The Bench
The creation of jewellery is often never seen by the public as the workshops are usually hidden away out of sight to its customers, and goldsmiths often spend a lifetime learning their trade often only to eventually pass away taking all their knowledge with them. This was the main driving force behind the creation of At The Bench. Andrew wanted to be able to pass on his extensive knowledge of the trade, and that of other jewellery professionals, to ensure the ancient craft of goldsmithing does not die out in the future.

Andrew told us, “When I was in school I was really lucky to have a Design Technology teacher who was so enthusiastic about this subject that he encouraged me every step of the way, and this passion continued when I went to University. Over 30 years later I am fortunate to still be enjoying my jewellery career, and now, not only as a maker but also as an educator. At The Bench was ‘born’ by my desire to show enthusiastic people how a piece of jewellery is made. I believe that by showing tips and tricks as well as techniques, picked up from a lifetime’s experience, through our on line training videos, it enhances learning even further than just reading techniques from books.”

So what is “At The Bench”?
At the Bench is an award winning company that supplies online quality and affordable video jewellery training for anyone interested in learning to make jewellery, from a beginner right through to professional level. The site streams videos showing professional jeweller Andrew Berry and other industry-leading craftsmen teaching their trade in downloadable ‘chunks,’ with clear step by step instructions and lots of advice given at every stage of the way. At the Bench is aimed at both the amateur and professional jeweller alike and is structured into ‘bite-size’ learning films of around 15 minutes each in length. This type of learning enables students to pick up new, advanced or ‘back to basics’ techniques on every subject in easy to follow stages. Membership is subscription based which means you can join for a month or a year and have unlimited access to whole site and view the whole Video Bank of films already on-line, with at least 3 new films added every week and bonus material. You are able to download films so you can watch them on your media player if you are not able to connect to the internet. As a member you will also be able to suggest topics and new film ideas as well!

• Contact Andrew Berry on 0777 25 777 48 or 01443 815555
• Email

• Visit
• Or

Some pictures from the award ceremony

The cover of the Professional Jeweller Award Book

View of ‘One Marylebone’, London

Over 600 invite only guests filled One Marylebone

Andrew with his wife Ceri

The Jewellery HOT100 event held at One Marylebone, 3rd September 2013 Photography by Fergus Burnett
Andrew in front of the Hot 100 photo board

Click above image to download Andrew’s page in the Hot 100 book


Andrew Berry is delighted to announce the launch of his brand new website

The site launched today by Andrew Berry who has run a successful retail and manufacturing jewellery business, Andrew Berry Jewellery, for the past 25 years in South Wales. In addition Andrew started, an online jewellery training website three years ago which has grown to over 3150 members worldwide.

The need to launch www.Tools4AtTheBench was as a result of At The Bench members wanting to know where they could buy the actual products that Andrew uses in his films, workshops and tutorials and this latest website will provide all these tools and equipment in one place.

Andrew Berry, Technical Director and Founder of At The Bench had this to say, “I am very pleased to offer the range of products that we use in our films and will offer a service that is second to none. The website is not overcrowded with unnecessary tools and equipment, just the tools that we use here in our workshop, films and Jewellery School and our brand new website gives us just the platform we need to do this. We stand by all the tools we have on our website as we personally use these tools and know that their quality and durability is outstanding.”

WebCast 8th June 2:15pm BST

Our next Webcast is on Saturday 8th June 2013 at 2:15 BST and will be all about Texturing Metal.
You will need to visit the link below and click on the green FOLLOW button on the right of the next page. Anyone will be able to watch but if you wish to use the Chat Panel then you will have to register. Click here now. Register Now

We are changing companies for next months WebCast which will be all about Texturing Metal. This company promises full screen and the ability to stop, rewind whilst actually watching the broadcast. We will be having a test run soon using the new company and will be notifying only those who click on the green FOLLOW button on our event page on Livestream. We will not be advertising this WebCast to everyone as we are just practising, so if you want to join in (it will be light hearted) then please do.

Click here Register Now

If you want to check out our last months webcast then here is the link to the webcast on polishing. HERE IS THE LINK