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What is gold?

Types Of Gold

John Cordova (Vice President of Human Resources, Robbins Bros.) gives expert video advice on: What is gold?; What does 'karat' mean when talking about gold?; What is 24 karat gold? and more...

What is gold?

Gold is a fantastic metal for jewellery. In fact, we can trace the use of gold in jewellery throughout the history of mankind. The reasons why gold is so wonderful for jewellery is because of its malleability. It can be a single ounce of gold that can be stretch into a thin wire that measures five miles long. It can be pounded into thin sheet of gold that covers an area 100 sq. ft. Why? Gold is lustrous. It maintains its shape. It's class. It's durable. It is really a great representation or symbolism for relationship, especially an engagement ring.

What does 'karat' mean when talking about gold?

When speaking of gold, karat refers to the gold's purity. Pure gold is 24 karat. Karat is used also in the measurement of diamonds, in carat weight. The two are spelled a little differently. Carat, when it comes to diamonds, is spelled with a 'c'. Karat, when it comes to gold, is spelled with a 'k', in the United States. What karat tells you is that gold's purity. Because gold is alloyed with other metals to make it usable in jewellery, we have terms, such as 18 karat gold, which is 75% pure gold, and so on.

What is 24 karat gold?

24 karat gold is 99.9% pure gold and it is used in some jewellery, but it isn't commonly used in jewellery in the United States because it's softer and it really doesn't hold an edge, such as when setting stones or creating designs.

What is 22 karat gold?

22 karat gold means that 22 parts is pure gold and two parts are another metal to create an alloy. Like 24 karat gold, it isn't commonly used in jewellery in the United States, because of its softness. At that stage, it's still quite soft and doesn't hold an edge and can't really hold channel-set diamonds or certain designs very well.

What is 18 karat gold?

18 karat gold is 75 percent pure. What 18 karat signifies is that 18 parts of this ring are pure gold while 6 parts of this ring are another metal. The reason why we alloy gold with other metals is to change its color, increase its hardness, and make it more affordable.

What is 14 karat gold?

Fourteen karat gold signifies fourteen parts of pure gold and ten parts of another metal to create a gold alloy. Fourteen karat gold is actually very popular in the design and manufacture of engagement rings. It's an affordable, beautiful, lustrous metal that is used widespread across the country to create engagement rings.

What is 12 karat gold?

12 karat gold is a metal that is an alloy. It is 50 % pure gold and 50 % other metals. It isn't widely used in the United States for the manufacture and selling of jewelry, because of the fact that it's about 50 % pure.

What is the minimum gold content needed to be called gold?

The minimum gold content in the United States needed to be called gold, is 10 karat, which is 10 parts of pure gold with 14 parts of another metal to create an alloy. That isn't something that's commonly used in engagement rings, but it is something that is considered gold in the U.S.

Are other metals ever added to gold in jewelry?

Other metals are commonly added to gold jewelry. Metals, such as, copper, zinc, and nickel are added to jewelry to create an alloy that is harder, perhaps a different color, and more affordable.

What is white gold?

White gold is a very popular metal. It is a very popular gold alloy. When gold comes out of the ground it's naturally yellow. Because of the desire for white jewelry, white gold has been created and that is the addition of nickel, silver or other metal to turn the yellow gold into a whiter looking metal. It is less expensive than, for example a white counterpart, which would be platinum; so many people prefer to use white gold in place of platinum. There are issues with white gold over time because gold is naturally yellow and as the wearer wears the white gold ring over time you tend to get a yellowish cast, which is easily remedied by bringing it back into your jewelry professional for a cleaning and a re-plating.

What are the pros and cons of white gold versus platinum?

There are pros and cons between white gold and platinum. White gold is less expensive than platinum, and that is its major benefit when comparing it to platinum. Platinum however is hypoallergenic. It happens to be a pure white metal when it comes out of the ground, so you never have to worry about it tarnishing to a yellowish tinge like white gold does. It is harder and it's denser, so there is a heft to it that white gold really can't match. It is however more expensive than white gold.

What is green gold?

We know that gold comes out of the ground in a yellow state, and other metals are added to it to make it stronger. But another reason why we add other metals to it, is to change its color. Green gold is a gold that other metals were added to, and it has a greenish cast to it. It's used in lots of different types of jewelry manufacturing, and it's even been used in the manufacturing of engagement rings.

What is rose gold?

Rose gold is a beautiful pink gold that much like white gold and green gold is a yellow gold that has been alloyed with other metals such as copper to give it that rose cast. It's very beautiful. It's very romantic. It's got a soft look to it and it's used in engagement rings across the country.

Why isn't gold jewelry normally pure gold?

Gold jewelry isn't normally pure gold, because pure gold is softer and it's hard to hold an edge. By that, what I mean is that when you're setting diamonds in gold, an edge is required to be able to hold a diamond in. Or when you're creating a design, that design, if the middle is too soft, kind of fades away and erodes over time.