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Buying Gold Jewelry

Gold jewelry is always in demand and does not go out of fashion as this metal never tarnishes. Gold can be moulded into any form or shape. It could also be made into small strands that cannot break with ease. Even an ounce of gold can be transformed into a sheet which can be ultra thin. An artisan can manipulate gold into anything that he wants to create.

Difference between 10K, 14K, 18K, 22Karat Gold

gold nameplate
Example of
14kt Glold Name Plate Necklace

The system that is employed to ascertain the content or the percentage of purity in gold is measured by karats and symbolized by the element `k’. The percentage of gold in the jewelry will be higher if it is high in karat content. Pure gold is generally made up of twenty four carats (24K). 18K gold will be made up of eighteen parts of gold and other six parts will be consisting of one or more metals of different kinds. The minimum carat content held by gold is of 10K. The karat content on the gold jewelry has to be certified by a hallmark that gives an identity to the maker of the gold. The country of origin also has to be included in the trademark.

Colors of Gold Jewelry

rose gold monogram
Example of
Rose Gold

More often than not, gold is mixed with other metals because, by its natural properties, pure gold is soft. It is not very practical, in that case, for daily use. It is mixed with other metals to give it more durability and also to reduce the cost. The color of gold also changes when it is added to other metals. White gold can be created by rhodium metal plating, without this gold would look grey. It could look pink / rose when it is added to copper. Different content of copper can create different hues of color in gold. A rose gold is 75% gold and 25% copper by mass (18 karat). When other metals are added to gold, the blend is known as an alloy.

Gold Filled Vs Gold Plating Jewelry

Gold is often used as a coating on to other less expensive metals. There are several ways to apply the gold coating mechanically. Jewelry that is gold-filled will have a marking to indicate the quantity and the type of gold that has been used for layers. The layers of gold in gold plated jewelry are somewhat thinner than when it is used in gold filled jewelry. Generally gold filled jewelry retains its shine longer then gold plated jewelry.

What to buy?

The big question crops up when you start thinking in terms of buying gold jewelry. What should you buy? If you are looking for durability, 22K gold is ideal for jewelry that can be worn on a daily basis. In case, if you have allergies to other metals like nickel, then go for jewelry that has higher gold content like 18K. If you are looking for occasional wear, then gold filled or gold plated jewelry may be fine.

If jewelry has to last an entire lifetime, it is best to buy the highest quality and content of gold that may be permitted by the budget allocated for the purchase. Gold is a metal that will always retain its value.