Gold is timeless, a metal that is not going to go out of style anytime in the future of human civilization. Although platinum, palladium and a bunch of other precious metals have come forth to share the limelight with good old yellow gold that has hardly affected the popularity of gold among buyers in the least. If you are in love with the warm tone and bright color of gold, then you probably already own a few pieces of gold jewelry. For frequent buyers, here are some things to pay heed to before the next time you head out to buy yourself a gorgeous piece of gold jewelry.
The Riddle of Purity
The numbers attached to gold can seem a little puzzling at first, but they only denote the purity of the metal. Gold is graded by the unit of K that stands for Karat. The gold purity scale ranges to up to 24, 24 being the most pure. Gold in its purest form is 24K. Delightful as it sounds, this grade cannot be used to make jewelry because of its high pliability. That’s why gold of the highest purity are mostly used to make gold bricks, nuggets, coins and such items that do not feature much details. 22K is the next best thing available and most high-end jewelrt are made of 22K gold. 18K is for jewelry that use gems. It is 6 parts alloy and 18 parts gold. Next is 14K gold which is 58.3% pure. 10K is the minimum mark. Gold with lower impurity cannot be labeled gold by government regulations.
The markings vary from one continent to another. What’s called 18K in America is marked 750 in Europe. 750 indicates its 75% purity. Similarly, 14K gold is stamped 585 which means 58.5% purity. All gold jewelry that are 10K are marked 417 referring to its 41.7% purity.
Varieties of Gold
Gold, at this point is available in colors like prim rose, white and black, aside the classic yellow. Colors in gold are created through introduction of alloys in pure gold. Use of nickel or palladium gives gold a white shade, while copper lends it a rosy tint. Silver is often mixed with gold to create a green cast. That said, colored gold is not pure 24K gold because of the presence of a mix of other metals in it.