Gold is one of the oldest and most valuable metals in the world. It has a bright yellow color and is very easy for jewelers to work with. Gold is the traditional metal for engagement rings and wedding bands.
What does karat mean?
Pure gold is extremely bright yellow and too soft for jewelry, so jewelers alloy gold with other metals to make a stronger, different colored alloy. These alloys’ level of gold purity is what karat refers to, with 24 karat being pure gold. 8 karat gold is 33% gold, and 67% other metals. 10k is 41% pure gold, 14k is 59% pure gold, and 18k is 75% pure gold. The higher the karat of the alloy, the yellower and softer the alloy is.
What karat gold is the best?
In the United States, 14k is the most popular karat for its color. 18k gold is a much brighter yellow and, while very popular in Europe, has been considered less attractive in the United States. 10k gold is also a popular choice because it is cheaper yet looks almost the same as 14k. Karats higher than 18k are considered to be too soft for jewelry in Western society, and anything lower then 10k is considered to not be real gold. In terms of durability, the higher karat gold alloys are softer but have a higher resistance to chemicals like household cleaners and acids that the human body produces. 10k is less likely to break when pulled on, but will slowly become brittle over time as the other metals in the alloy wear away. 18k is very easy to bend but can withstand chemicals extremely well. 14k is the middle ground of the two and is probably the best all-around choice.
Is 18k better then 14k?
No. 14k is the industry standard for jewelry because of its color and strength; it has nothing to do with it being more affordable. 10k, on the other hand, is used to save cost and is sometimes used in inferior quality jewelry. 10k is still very good for heavy men’s chains or bracelets that require each link to carry more weight.
What is white gold?
White gold is created when gold is alloyed with white metals, usually nickel, in order to make the alloy white instead of yellow. White gold is usually 14k or 10k and will have a yellow tinge to it. Some retailers and manufacturers thinly plate their white gold pieces with a brighter white metal called rhodium which will typically wear off in a few months.
Why choose gold for my jewelry?
Unlike silver or platinum, virtually every jeweler should be able to repair and service gold. Gold is easily recognizable, and its value is recognized in every country on Earth. It’s easy to clean, and jewelry made of gold can last for generations if maintained properly. For thousands of years, gold jewelry has been an important part of human culture and is treasured by people who appreciate legacy and tradition.
Are there any negatives to Gold?
Gold is the industry standard for jewelry that all other metals are judged against. Gold has no specific downsides for jewelry.