Of all the world’s precious metals, only gold combines the four basic characteristics that make it a universally treasured possession.
Beauty – Gold’s natural color can be further enhanced by alloying it with small amounts of other metals, yielding a spectrum of exquisite, subtle shades. Metal smiths are able to create yellow, rose, green and white golds by adjusting the alloys. More copper results in a soft rose color; additional silver creates green gold; and palladium produces white. A popular trend is to combine two or more colors of gold in a single piece of jewelry.
Purity – It is estimated that only slightly more than 100,000 tons of gold have been taken from the earth during all of recorded history. And although gold can be found in rivers, seas and land in many parts of the earth, it is not easily extracted. Opening a mine is a time-consuming and costly operation, and several tons of ore are required in order to produce just one ounce of the precious metal.
Durability – Look no further than the nearest museum where gold jewelry, coins and artifacts from ancient civilizations attest to the metal’s enduring beauty and permanence.
Workability – Jewelers throughout the ages have preferred gold to all other metals for its beauty and ease of workmanship. Gold can be melted, or shaped, to create any design. It can be alloyed with a number of other metals to increase its strength and produce a variety of colors and can be re-melted and used again to create new designs.
How To Buy Karat Gold Jewelry
Gold comes in a variety of colors. Because gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength, it can also be made in a variety of colors. For example, yellow gold is created by alloying the metal with copper and silver; using copper only creates pink gold; white gold contains platinum or palladium, zinc and copper; green gold contains silver, copper and zinc.
Pricing is based on four factors: karatage, gram weight, design and craftsmanship. The karatage and gram weight tell you how much gold is in a piece, but other crucial factors determining price are the piece’s construction and design. A price based solely on gram weight does not reflect the work that has gone into the piece. It’s important to remember that each piece of gold jewelry is unique and, if cared for properly, can last a lifetime.
Look for quality construction. When buying a piece of gold jewelry, be sure to inspect it carefully. Pay special attention to fasteners or clasps, making sure catches work easily but are secure. Likewise, the backs of pins and earring posts should be strong and firmly attached to the piece with no soldering marks visible. With gold chain, lay it flat and make sure the links don’t kink or bend.