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About Gold

Pure Gold, is an atomic element (AU) sometimes called fine gold, is far too soft to withstand the stresses of everyday wear and therefore can be easily damaged. To strengthen and harden the gold, pure gold is commonly combined with other metals to produce an alloy that results in a more durable product. The alloying metals include Silver, Copper, Nickel and Zinc. Each of these metals, in the correct proportion, give Gold the needed strength and durability while maintaining the lustre and sheen of pure gold.

Karatage, noted by a number followed by "k" indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewelry is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold 100% gold. The following lists the percentages of gold:

  • 24 Karat = 100 % Gold - Hallmarked 24k or 100%
  • 22 Karat = 91.7% Gold - Hallmarked 22k
  • 18 Karat = 75.0% Gold - Hallmarked 18k or 75%
  • 14 Karat = 58.3% Gold - Hallmarked 14k
  • 10 Karat = 41.7% Gold - Hallmarked 10k

The recommended range for fine jewelry is 10 to 18 Karats. Above 18 Karats the gold is too soft for jewelry and below 10 Karats the gold will lose coloration and sheen.

Yellow Gold
At SilverAndGold.com - you will find both 18 Karat (K) and 14 Karat (K) yellow gold. As illustrated, 18k gold contains more precious metal than 14k gold. All 18k gold is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough to withstand every-day wear. Alternatively, 14k gold is composed of only 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloying metals that give it strength. These alloys make the gold stronger but also change the color of the gold. The 14k gold color is not as rich as 18k gold. 14k gold is most commonly found in cases where strength is most important such as bracelet and necklace clasps and earring backs.

White Gold
Just as with yellow Gold, 18k white Gold is 75% Gold, and 14k white Gold is 58.3% Gold, jewelry made from these metals has a slight yellow color. To enhance the whiteness, most all white gold is plated with rhodium, a shiny, white metal which is extremely hard. Depending on the amount of wear to a piece of jewelry, over long periods of time this rhodium plating may wear off, revealing the original metal color. Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore your jewelry's whiteness if needed.

Rose Gold
Rose gold gets its color from a larger proportion of copper in the metal alloy. This gives the gold a wonderful pink hue.

Proper Care of Gold
Proper care of Gold jewelry is important. Please keep your gold jewelry away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning fluids. This will reduce daily abrasions and prolong gold's luster. To clean gold jewelry, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap. Wash gold gently with a soft-bristled brush. Store Gold jewelry separately in soft cloth bags or original boxes to protect them from the exposure to harsh daily elements.



       

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