Gold has long been one of the world's most popular (and most expensive) precious metals. But, you might question, what is it about gold that makes it so appealing? Why is it so well-liked and expensive? What is the difference between a carat and a karat of gold? And why should you care in the first place?
We're here to give you the inside scoop on this incredibly gorgeous precious metal, as well as some fascinating gold facts. Don't forget to look through our online jewelry store for women's gold jewelry.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT GOLD?
Pure gold is extremely long-lasting. It's the least reactive of all metals, meaning it won't tarnish, rust, or expire when exposed to oxygen or most chemicals. This makes it ideal for usage in jewelry and high-status goods where the value and polish must last indefinitely.
It's also extremely pure in its native state, unlike many other metals that are difficult to extract from their ores.
As a result, humans have been working with gold for a very long time: gold is one of the ancient metals utilised by prehistoric humans (the others being gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, iron, and mercury). While we don't know the exact beginnings of gold's discovery and use, we do know that the Egyptians used it as early as 3000 BC.
Another reason jewelers and goldsmiths like to employ gold in their designs is that it is a very working metal.
It's also a stunning metal that can take on a variety of colors depending on how it's alloyed with other metals. The purest gold (24 carat gold) has a brilliant, rich, and warm hue that no other metal can equal.
Finally, because gold is exceedingly scarce and difficult to mine in big quantities, it is extremely valuable (and therefore expensive). Only 171,300 tons of gold have ever been mined globally, which is roughly enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
SO, HOW MUCH DOES GOLD COST?
The quick answer is: a great deal! Gold is 75 times more expensive than silver at the time of writing this essay. This is why we frequently utilise sterling silver, gold vermeil, or gold filled in our jewelry creations, with solid gold used mainly for little details or accents.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: there is no such thing as cheap gold jewelry. If you have some inexpensive gold jewelry that continues turning your skin green or black, it's probably not gold at all.
WHAT IS A CARAT OF GOLD?
A carat is a unit of purity used to describe gold in, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
The purest gold is 24 carats, although 24 carat gold is often considered too soft for practical goods and gold jewelry. This is why gold is frequently alloyed with a metal such as copper or silver, making it more difficult to deal with and wear. The purity of the gold is reduced as a result of the alloying process, but it is more usable.
A single carat of gold is one part of a total of 24. As a result, 18 carat gold is a mixture of 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts another metal (most often copper). 9 carat gold is made up of 9 parts gold and 15 parts another metal.
When it comes to gemstones, the term 'carat' is also employed, but this time it refers to mass rather than purity.
The only difference between a 'gold karat' and a 'gold carat' is that in US English, the word is spelt with a K rather than a C. In the United States, purity is denoted by the letters '24K,' rather than '24ct,' as it is in other nations. We use 'ct' because we're in the United Kingdom.
Since circa 1300, the English have spelled the term 'carat,' and this is the spelling that is still used in the UK, Australia, and other countries.
When it comes to gemstone mass, the word is spelled 'carat' in American English, which further adds to the confusion!
A hallmark (or stamp) with the number of carats and a letter or letters is commonly used to identify the different purities of gold.
For 18 carat gold, for example, depending on where your jewelry was manufactured and the stamps accessible to the maker, you'll most likely notice the following marks on the metal: 18, 18ct, 18kt, or 18k.
CARATS OF GOLD ARE DIFFERENT
GOLD (24CT )
There is no higher carat for gold than 24 carat. Although it is too soft to be used for producing jewelry on its own, it can be used for gilding, plating, and making ceremonial artifacts. It has a golden color that is brilliant, rich, and warm. 24ct gold is the most expensive type of gold by weight due to its purity.
22ct gold is made up of 22 parts pure gold and is therefore 91.67 percent pure. The remaining alloyed metals, like zinc, copper, silver, and nickel, are responsible for its increased strength. Gold jewelry produced of 22ct metal is dependable in terms of durability, but it still has a lot of the lovely color of 24ct gold, making it a wonderful compromise. However, because of its purity, it is also costly.
75 percent gold and 25% other alloyed metal/s make up 18ct gold. This is the most often used purity of gold in jewelry in many nations, including Australia, because it provides a good balance of price and purity (and excellent color). It is considered the European gold purity standard.
In the United States, this caratage is widely used. It's 58.3 percent pure gold, but it still has a nice gold color, making it a decent compromise when price is a factor.
GOLD (9 OR 10 CT)
Most countries consider lower purities to be too low to be referred to as gold, therefore these are the lowest carats of gold you will see. In the United States, the minimum purity for gold is 10ct, while in Australia, it is 9ct. These caratages are approximately 40% pure gold and do not have the same golden color as greater purities.
GOLD IN A VARIETY OF COLORS
When looking at jewelry, you've probably encountered a variety of gold colors. All of the differences are due to alloying with other metals.
The highly rich and warm golden color of 24ct gold distinguishes it. When copper is added, the resulting alloy is pink in color and is referred to as rose gold, red gold, or pink gold.
A significant amount of nickel, manganese, or palladium is present in white gold. White gold jewelry in stores is nearly always plated with rhodium, which gives it a dazzling white appearance. The color of unplated white gold is a warm grey.
Gold jewelry, particularly in its purest forms, is extremely wonderful, and we believe that everyone should have some in their jewelry collection.
With a little TLC, your gold jewelry will keep its excellent looks and value for far longer than any of us will be alive. You'll not only be able to pass down your gold jewelry to future generations, but you'll also look wonderful while wearing it.