From the early civilizations of the world, gold has been around for centuries. When it comes to gold, jewels and riches come to mind. But gold is much more than a valuable and pure metal that can be used for jewelry crafting. From desserts to dental work, gold can be used in a variety of areas and popular items. Since gold can be formed into many things, it is not only known for it’s strength, but malleability as well. It also doesn’t corrode, rust or tarnish, which makes it a timeless treasure for many people. With this versatile metal, here are basic facts about gold that can help you learn more about it.
Pure gold comes in a soft form and is unable to handle the stress of everyday wear and tear. Due to this weakness, gold is mixed with other metals, such as silver, copper, and nickel to give it durability.
Karatage, commonly known as karat, is the measurement used to identify how much solid gold is in an item. After a specified number, a “k” is placed behind it and signifies the exact amount of pure gold. Karatage is measured in 24ths, which means that, if a gold piece is 24k, then it is 100% gold.
Two factors determine the color of gold.
- Metal alloys used in the gold
- The percentage of each metal alloy in the gold
There are three main types of gold: yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.
In all types of jewelry pieces, you can find 14k or 18k of yellow gold. With 18k gold, there is more precious metal than the 14k gold. Gold of 18k value is 75% gold and is alloyed with other metals to give the jewelry piece enough strength to withstand everyday wear.
With 14k gold, you can find that it only contains about 58% gold and 42% of other metals. The 14k gold pieces are used in jewelry pieces that require more strength than 18k gold, such as earring backs and bracelet clasps.
The same percentages for 14k and 18k yellow gold pieces are the same for 14k and 18k white gold pieces. To make the whiteness of the white gold pieces be more prominent, the metal is plated with rhodium. This metal has a shiny, white quality and is a rather hard metal, which is an excellent contrast to soft gold. In some cases, the rhodium can wear down in jewelry items; however, replating can be done to repair the wear and tear.
For rose gold jewelries, 14k and 18k has the same percentages of both white and yellow golds. The copper mixed with the gold in rose gold pieces is what gives rose gold its distinct, pinkish color.
Depending on the purity of gold used in gold jewelry pieces or by the karat value of each jewelry, the price can range dramatically. The design and construction that goes into making each piece of gold jewelry is also included in the price.
Take better care of your gold jewelry with these simple tips:
- Keep your jewelry away from harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or fluid cleaning products, so that you can avoid any abrasions on it. By doing so, the luster of your gold jewelry will be maintained.
- Clean your gold jewelry with this simple method: Mix warm water and detergent-free soap together and use a soft-bristled brush or new toothbrush to scrub your jewelry pieces.
- Store your gold pieces in original jewelry boxes or soft cloth bags. This helps keep your jewelry away from harsh elements.
More Facts About Gold
Learn more about gold with these random and fun facts:
- The element symbol for gold is Au.
- Gold is considered as one of the first metals known to mankind.
- The gold standard is used to determine the world’s currency system.
- 90% of gold that has been mined since 1848, since the famous California Gold Rush.
- Even though 24k gold is 100% pure gold, it is too soft to use for jewelry crafting. The same goes for 22k gold.
- Golds that measure 14k and 18k are used in fine jewelry in most cases.
- Gold that measures 12k are not used in jewelry.
- The karat limit that is considered to legally be real gold in the U.S. is 10k.