Let's talk about Gold!

  1. I thought it would be neat to have some informational threads in here since I'm sure many of you have things to add.

    So let's start with the basics....

    The definition of "Solid Gold" per US standards, an item that is at least 10K gold all the way through. Even though it contains other metals-18K, 14K, or anything down to 10K (41.7% gold), it is still called solid gold. Gold does not tarnish, rust or stain your finger. Note: In Canada and Mexico, the minimum legal standard for gold is 9k and 8k.
    Karatage (Gold): Karat refers to gold purity or the parts of gold used in a piece out of 24 parts (not to be confused with “carat” which refers to the weight of a gemstone). 24k gold, or 24 parts is 100% gold. 14k gold or 14 parts, is composed of 58.3% gold, and 41.7% other metals. 18k gold is 75% gold and mixed with other metals to give it strength for daily wear. 22k is 91.7% gold. You will see the marking 10k, 12k, 14k, 18k to denote the karat of gold, however, many older jewelry pieces from the 19th century are not marked. European jewelry is often marked 585 for 14k gold and 750 for 18k gold.

    What about colored gold? This is my personal favorite topic. By mixing and changing alloys, you change the color of the gold. Using Nickel or Palladium will turn the gold, white. Using copper will turn it reddish and give you pink/rose gold. The type and percentage of metal alloys in gold are what determine its color.

    Here is a Gold Terminology article I wrote:

    Feel free to add any information you would like.
  2. I saw a special on tv that warned that you could sometimes end up buying jewelry marked 10k, 14k, etc. only to have it end up having a lesser carat content! The actually tested a bunch of jewelry in NYC and found this out. So I would warn people to be careful where you buy for large purchases and also to have things tested if you're in doubt. When i was in Turkey I noticed that many items were being sold as real silver even though they were fake, or only partially silver, and they were marked sterling.

    Its interesting how in the US people often wear 10k and 14k. I've noticed that jewelry from the Middle East (with the exception of Iran which uses mostly 18k) is 22k. I've gotten many pieces from an Iraqi-run jewelry store and they weigh everything out and its all 22k. In Italy they use 18k (marked 750). A friend got a set as a gift from China that was 24k!

    Btw. this is my gold jewelry tip have them weight out pieces to get a sense of how much you're paying for workmanship. (But honestly places like Tiffanys don't see to have scales, because you're paying alot!)

    I have a question - is white gold plated or is it white throughout? I.e. will it wear off eventually?
  3. Here's the deal on white gold....
    Everything depends on the alloy used when considering how well it holds up and whether it scratches easily. White gold has nickel or palladium mixed into the alloy to make it whiter and than Jewelers often add a rhodium plating to that. However, even with a thick rhodium plating- the rhodium is still porous and will wear in spots.

    Some Jewelers even take yellow gold and very thinly plate it with palladium and call it white gold. With a very thin plating, you're lucky if the ring lasts 2-3 months!
  4. I have some earrings in white gold from Tiffanys, do you know what they do? I'm sure they'll be fine for a long time though. Ugh, I can't imagine dealing with the plating wearing off in a few months.

    Btw. you designs are adorable! Do you ever make them in 18k? And would you sell the charms separately in 18k?
  5. White gold is made so very differently, but a lot of Jewelers will actually use different alloys, like Nickel often takes a yellow hue faster vs Palladium.
    I'm sure Tiffany's is made very well. :smile: They will replace it if it turns.

    Yes I do work a lot with 18k and 22k. I actually started doing gallery type pieces and lots of intricate chandelier earrings/necklaces. I started making some more affordable pieces in addition to the gallery work.
  6. I love yellow gold, especially 18k! I can't afford much right now so I but 18k over sterling along with my real gold, sometimes even costume jewelry too if it is made nice! I mix them all together and it looks great!

    I didn't know they could make jewelry in solid 24k gold, but they do, the have some on ShopNBC, very pretty and bright but I like 14-18k best.

  7. In the case of gold, American jewellers are allowed a half-carat tolerance, although, generally, the better quality the item, the less likely it is that the designer or manufacturer will have exploited this tolerance. This does, however, mean that 10 karat gold may in fact be 9 ½, 14 karat may in fact be 13 ½, 18 Karat may in fact be 17 ½ and so on.

    Because of this, U.S. 18 Karat Gold (for example) items sent for hallmarking in the U.K. may have to be hallmarked as 14 Karat (as it is the next standard down).

    This is because many people in parts of Asia (India, particularly) and the Middle East have, historically, worn their wealth/savings, as jewellery.

    18 carat gold (750) is generally accepted to be the best compromise between purity and durability, available. In the fineness mark, in the current British hallmark, the 750 refers to 750 parts of pure gold, in 1000.
  8. Chloehandbags ~ I Been Wondering When You Would Show Up Here.....Your Imput Is Always On The Mark & So Appreciated!!! :smile:

  9. Gosh, bagluv, thanks! :shame: :flowers:

    What a lovely compliment, I don't know what to say.....for once!!! :lol: :roflmfao:
  10. This thread has been quite informative. Thanks Japster!!

    I have yellow and white gold pieces and I had no idea about other compositions used in making them. I, personally, don't like anything less than 14K.

    I always bought white gold rather than platinum because I (stupidly) thought that there was such a thing as pure white gold. Now I know...
  11. Speaking of purity and white gold; I'm wondering when buying white gold, (realizing the % of gold content differs between the 14k and 18k) what's the advantage of buying 18k vs. 14k, because the look of the white gold is identical! I cannot tell the difference.

    At least with yellow gold, the 18K vs 14k the difference is more apparent in the color.
  12. The financial analysts said yesterday Do Not Buy Gold! The price has plummeted.
  13. Is yellow gold back in style now?
  14. Yellow gold is and will always be a necessary part of a jewelry collection. Its all about the style:flowers: .
  15. 14k white gold is harder than 18k white gold. Meaning, the 14k will not scratch as easily.

    My wedding set if 14k white....I had it replaced from yellow gold a few years back. My jeweler told me that since I had kids, he would highly recommend 14k over 18k.

    I go in once a year to have the prongs checked, ring cleaned and shined. They automatically put a new coat of the plating on it...it takes minutes and makes the ring look brand new. :love: If they buff and shine without putting the plating on it, it can take on a yellowish cast.