Throughout history, gold jewelry has been treasured for its beauty and value and remains highly revered today. The timeless appeal of these pieces makes them a desirable addition to any jewelry collection. However, despite its longstanding popularity, customers are often looking to gain better clarity on gold jewelry before making a purchase. Here are some of the most common questions people have when shopping.
What do the different karats mean?
One of the first things you’ll notice when looking at gold jewelry is that it comes in 10 karat, 14 karat, 18 karat, 22 karat, and 24 karat. These numbers signify how much pure gold a piece contains. The higher the karat, the more gold there is in the metal. While 22k and 24k gold may be worth more, it also means the material is softer and less durable. Thus, 14k and 18k are considered ideal for making jewelry that holds up.
How can I tell if a piece is real gold?
Real gold pieces are generally stamped with a hallmark that indicates the jewelry’s amount of pure gold content and sometimes includes the country of origin and date of completion. Federal law also requires a maker’s mark or registered trademark. The symbols “KP” or “GF” mean a piece is gold-plated or filled rather than solid gold. Additionally, real gold will leave a gold mark on unfinished ceramic instead of a black streak and will be heavier than non-gold pieces of the same size. When in doubt, it’s best to defer to a jeweler for an accurate appraisal.
Why does gold come in various colors?
Pure gold is yellow but can change color with the addition of other metals. For example, to achieve white gold, the process involves mixing in white metals, such as nickel and zinc. This creates pieces that look similar to platinum. Rose gold has become an increasingly sought-after alternative to yellow gold, which is made by adding in copper, giving pieces a metallic rosy hue.
Does gold tarnish?
Tarnish, or slight discoloration of a metal, is the result of moisture mixing with oxygen and sulphur compounds. In its purest form, at 24 karats, gold jewelry won’t tarnish because it doesn’t easily combine with oxygen. This helps preserve its shiny appearance. When properly cleaned and cared for, gold jewelry that’s 14k or higher will typically maintain its luster. Under 14k, pieces are more likely to naturally tarnish over time.
Get the answers to all of your gold jewelry questions from our knowledgeable staff at Anderson’s Fine Jewelry in Redding, CA. We’ll help ensure you have the information necessary to make an educated decision when buying your next piece. Our expert jeweler will work with you to create something unique or choose the right product from our extensive inventory of brands. Call (530) 223-3443 to schedule an appointment, or visit us online to browse current merchandise.