Everything You Need to Know About Choosing Gold Jewelry
If you're looking at buying gold jewelry our guide has everything you need to know. Read about gold purity, colors, quality markings and more today.
Keyword(s): gold jewelry
Gold is a timeless, versatile, and coveted fashion accessory. The auspicious roots of gold date all the way back to the ancient Egyptians who valued it so highly they reserved it for royalty.
These days you can get almost any style of jewelry you like in gold. There are countless ways to incorporate gold jewelry into your personal aesthetic and very little chance that it will ever go out of style.
If you are going to buy gold jewelry, you need to understand what makes some types of gold jewelry more valuable than others.
When you know how to tell the difference between quality gold jewelry and sub-par gold, you won't make the mistake of investing in the wrong piece.
Understanding Gold Purity
The purity of gold determines its value. The higher the purity, the higher the value.
The purity of gold is measured in units called karats. When you buy gold jewelry that has 24 karats, it means your jewelry is 100 percent pure gold. But, you don't have to limit yourself to only buying solid gold jewelry.
To begin with, pure gold is very soft. That means it can get easily damaged from use. You might bump it on something, scratch it, or dent it just from going about your day doing regular things.
If you are looking for everyday gold jewelry, it is best to choose gold with fewer karats. Buy gold jewelry that is between 10 and 14 karats if you want to wear it regularly without worrying about inflicting costly damage.
When it comes to necklaces and earrings, you can look for pieces that go up to 14 to 18 karats. This is because these types of jewelry are usually more protected from bumping into things.
It is best to save your high-karat pieces of gold jewelry for special occasions. Gold jewelry that is between 18 and 24 karats is the most delicate. When you wear them only on special occasions they remain pristine for longer.
Gold Jewelry Colors
You hear the term alloy a lot when talking about precious metals like gold. Combining two or more metals creates an alloy. Alloyed metal jewelry is much stronger than solid gold jewelry and more resistant to corrosion.
Alloyed metals can also create a greater variety of colors. That's why metals like white gold and rose gold exist.
White gold is one of the most popular gold alloys. White gold accounts for a large portion of affordable gold jewelry on the market.
White gold occurs when jewelers combine gold with nickel. It also comes from combining gold with palladium, zinc, and copper.
Even though it is called white gold, white gold alloys are never entirely white in color. In fact, most white gold jewelry gets plated with rhodium to create its characteristic white color.
White gold jewelry requires slightly more care over time to prevent the rhodium plating from wearing away. If this does happen, don't worry. It's very quick and simple to have your local jeweler re-plate your white gold.
White gold also has a tendency to turn yellow over time. This is because white gold is yellow gold with minerals added to it, such as zinc, to make it appear white. Cleaning white gold can quickly reverse this yellowing effect.
Rose gold has enjoyed a wealth of popularity for a very long time. It seems like just about everyone loves the warm blush tones of rose gold.
It's the perfect accent for both casual and formal attire. A set of rose gold earrings and a necklace can work just as well for a day look as it does for a special occasion.
Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. That's why it has that desirable pink hue. It is most common to find 14-karat rose gold jewelry, which contains 58.5 percent pure gold.
You can find quality rose gold jewelry in a variety of different pink hues. It blends beautifully with gemstones and other metals. You can't go wrong.
Gold-Plated, Gold-Filled, & Gold Vermeil
When it comes to affordable gold jewelry, gold-plated, gold-filled, and gold vermeil are excellent options. These alternatives to solid gold jewelry are made entirely out of karat gold.
They are not as durable nor as valuable, but they can look just as good as solid gold. If you want to expand your gold jewelry collection without breaking the bank, each of these is an excellent option.
Gold-plated jewelry is the most affordable alternative. It is created by painting a thin layer of gold over another base metal like copper or brass. This is done through a process called electroplating.
Gold-filled jewelry comes from bonding a base metal like copper with a thick layer of gold. For gold-filled jewelry to be authentic it must be at least 5 percent gold weight.
Gold vermeil is similar to plated gold. The base metal, however, is usually of higher quality, such as silver. To be true gold vermeil, the plating must be at least 100 millionths of an inch thick and at least ten karats.
The reality is, selecting affordable gold jewelry can be just as taxing as deciding on fine gold jewelry. Here's what you need to know about choosing different qualities of gold chain necklaces.
When you buy gold jewelry, it is important to look for quality markings. This will ensure that you are purchasing jewelry of true value.
You will find these quality markings stamped or engraved directly on the piece. Gold-plated jewelry often has a GP mark on it.
Solid gold will have a karat mark on it. For example, 10-karat gold will have a 10K karat mark or a 417 European mark. It contains 41.7 percent pure gold.
On the opposite end, 24-karat gold will have a 24K karat mark or a 999 European mark. It contains is 99.99 percent pure gold.
How To Choose Gold Jewelry
Gold is the best investment you can make when it comes to fine jewelry. When you buy gold jewelry, make sure you understand the purity level and check for quality markings to make sure you're getting a valuable piece.
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