Gold is the most coveted precious metal in the world. Sought after even by the most primitive of tribes, gold in ancient times was considered a source of immortality and thus was even used in medicines to combat old age and increase the longevity of life.
Gold is available in numerous colours, finishes and styles, and even though other precious metals such as silver are used for jewelry, gold remains the favorite. It probably is so popular also because it is ‘hardy’ and is known to not rust, corrode and is practically incorruptible. Gold does exist everywhere from rivers to mountains, but extracting this precious metal is a costly and difficult affair.
What does ‘gold’ mean? – When used on its own, it means ‘all gold’ also known to most as 24 karat gold. However, gold is a soft metal and is generally mixed with other metals to make it harder and more durable.
Karat – Karats refers to the amount of real gold in a piece of jewelry. For example, 14-karat gold means that the piece of jewelry is made out of fourteen parts of gold, which is mixed with ten parts of base metal. The higher the karatage, the more gold included in the jewelry. Almost all pieces of jewelry have the karats marked, although this is not a legal requirement. Along with that mark, you should see the name of the US-registered trademark of the company. If you do not see any such trademark, it is recommended that you look for another piece of jewelry.
Solid gold – This type of jewelry is made from any karat quality of gold where the inside is not hollow but is made from solid gold.
Plated gold – Plating jewelry with gold can be done in different ways such as mechanically plated, electroplated or any other way using a base metal. However, gold plated jewelry is not the best pick, as the gold plating will wear off eventually.