Jewelry and gems, The Buying Guidebook
Rare and Precious:
Gold plus Platinum
Gold: The timeless selection
Gold jewelry is very popular these days and available in more styles, shades, and finishes than ever before. It is also a well-liked option for setting gemstones. But it is very important to understand gold, and differences that affect price, in order to avoid confusion in regards to the wide range of prices that seems to pervade the market for what may appear as the “same thing. ” As with gemstones, wherever there are significant price variations there are usually quality differences. The main element to getting value in gold is understanding what accounts for differences in high quality and price.
What is gold?
Gold is one of the world’s most precious metals. It really is so soft and workable that one ounce can be stretched into a five mile long wire, or destroyed into a sheet so thin it could cover a hundred square foot. It is one of our rarest alloys, and since pure gold will not rust or corrode, it can final forever. Interestingly, gold is present almost everywhere around us; in the earth’s crust, in seas and rivers, and in plants, but it is very difficult plus expensive to extract. Approximately 2 and a half to three tons of ore are needed to extract one ounce of gold.
Most gold utilized in jewelry is an alloy
Gold is among the most popular metal used for jewelry today. The simple gold wedding band probably makes up about more of the world’s gold than every other single type of jewelry.
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But real gold is very soft so it is generally mixed with other metals to make it more powerful and prevent it from bending too easily. When two or more metals are usually mixed together, we call the resulting product an alloy. Many gold used in jewelry is an alloy; and the metals added to the gold are also called “alloys. ”
Exactly what Karat? Or is it Carat?
In jewelry, the term carat (or, Karat) has a double meaning: carat is used as a measurement of weight regarding gemstones, with one carat evaluating 1/5 gram; carat is also utilized in countries around the word to indicate the amount of pure gold in a piece of gold jewelry. In the United States, however , when using the phrase to indicate gold content rather precious stone weight, it is spelled with a “K; ” hence “karat, ” to prevent confusion. Jewelry should always be designated to indicate how much pure gold it contains.
In the united States a karat mark, abbreviated to K or KT, signifies the amount of pure gold present in the metal. The word karat (carat) is derived from the word for fruit of the carob tree: in Italian, carato; within Arabic, qirat; in Greek, keration. The seeds of the fruit were used in ancient times for weighing gems. Also, the pure gold Byzantine coin cald the solidus considered 24 karats. therefore , a twenty-four karat mark (24K or 24KT) became the mark used to indicate that something was pure precious metal.
To understand the concept as applied to gold, imagine that, “pure gold” is a pie into 24 equal “slices” or even parts. Each karat equals one part of the pie. So , 24 KT would mean that 24 parts (out of a total of 24) are gold. In other words, 24 KT will be 100% gold; or, pure precious metal. In the 18 karat gold jewellery, 18 parts are pure precious metal and six are another metallic (or, 18/24 = 3/4 = 75% pure gold); in 12 karat, 12 parts are natural gold, 12 parts another metallic (12/24 = 1/2 = 50% pure gold). And so on.
I several cultures, 24 karat gold jewelry is required for certain jewelry pieces, yet it’s generally agreed that 24 karat, or pure gold, is too soft for jewelry use. In some parts of the world, 18 KT 0r 20 karat is preferred because of its brighter yellow color and because it is considered “purer” and more precious. In the United States, we prefer 14 or eighteen karat gold because it is more durable compared to higher karat gold. We caution clients about the risk of high karat gold (20 KT, 22 KT, or 24 KT) for a gem-studded setting because prongs can be as well easily bent open accidentally, resulting in the loss of the stones.
In some countries such as Italy, the percentage associated with pure gold is indicated by a number representing how many parts; away from a total of 1, 000 parts, are pure gold. One thousand parts will be the equivalent or 24 karat; 750 means 750 parts of 1, 1000: 750/1000 = 75/100 = 75% pure gold. This corresponds to eighteen KT.
A word about Ruskies marks
Old time pieces made in Russia were marked to indicate the information on its equivalent to a “zolotnik. ” A piece marked 96 contained as much gold as 96 zolotniks, which equals pure gold; 72 equals 18 KT (750); 56 equals 14 KT (585).
To become called gold, what is the minimum precious metal content?
Many countries have established minimum standards that must be met for items to be legally called “gold. inch The laws governing the actual content of gold required in bit of jewelry, however , vary. In the United States, to be called “gold, ” the item must be at least 10 KT; in England plus Canada, 9 KT; in Italia and France, 18 KT.
The many colors of gold
Pure gold is always yellow. But because 100 % pure gold is too soft for most jewelry use, and must be mixed with some other metals (alloys) to increase its solidity, the color can also be modified by adding various amounts of these other metals. All those usually added to gold for jewellery use include copper, zinc, gold, nickel, platinum, and palladium (a metal in the platinum family). Based upon which alloys are used, a variety of shades can be produced. Another practice would be to plate 14 KT gold jewellery with 18 KT for an eighteen KT look, that is, a stronger yellow color. White gold can also be frequently plated with rhodium, a rare and more expensive metal from the platinum family, to create a whiter, brighter complete.
Some people are allergic to nickel and should not wear white gold containing nickel. For this reason, a white-colored gold alloyed with palladium has been used by some manufacturers. White gold that contains palladium will be more expensive than yellow gold or white gold containing another alloy. But it is still less expensive than platinum.
What causes skin staining with some gold jewelry?
Pure gold doesn’t tarnish and won’t discolor the skin, but alloys in the gold can corrode and produce staining to the skin in contact with the precious metal, especially under moist or wet conditions. Fats and fatty acids contained in perspiration can set up a rust reaction, and the problem can be worse in warm, humid areas, especially where chloride (salt) is in the environment.
Smog can also be a problem. Smog gases can introduce chemicals that result in the alloys in gold in order to tarnish. The tarnish then rubs off, discoloring skin or clothes.
Cosmetics may be culprit.
Another common cause of discoloration is metallic scratching caused by some makeup. Some makeup contains compounds that are actually more difficult than the jewelry with which it comes straight into contact. As the harder compounds rub against the jewelry, they cause small particles of metal to flake off, forming a darkish looking dust. When this dust can make contact with a soft, absorbent surface such as skin or clothing, it types a black smudge.