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Gold, Au Yeah!

gold

Gold is not so interesting metal when it comes to chemistry since it hardly reacts with any other chemical. Yet, it has kept the humans captivated for a very long time. From ancient times till now (and may be many years to come, and may be even when we colonize Mars), it is used in medicine, cosmetics, luxury food, currency and, arguably the most wanted of them all, jewelry. It comes in many shapes and colors, and most important feature of them all, karats.

Karat is used as a measurement unit to define the purity of gold. Here is a table to explain better:

Karat

What it Means

How Is Used

24k

Pure gold

Usually used making bullion coins or bars

22k

91.3% purity

Used in making gold jewelry

18Kt, 14 Kt, & 10 Kt

75%, 58.5% & 41.6%

Used in making gold jewelry with precious or semi-precious stones

The pure gold is very soft and because of that it’s not suitable neither for daily wear nor for making jewelry. Mixing other metals makes gold harder and gives it different colors (white gold, yellow gold, red gold etc.)

Gold in Jewelry

In India, around 600 tons of gold is used in jewelry production each year.

One of the gold’s features is its density: it is much denser compared to other metals. Hence, the higher the purity of gold, the heavier the weight of gold jewelry. For example, a bracelet of same thickness will vary in weight if made in different karats of gold. The lesser the karat, the lighter the jewelry because it contains less gold.

It is important to understand that gold-plated or gold-filled jewelry is not the same as the gold jewelry.

Gold-plated

Usually, in gold-plated jewelry, the base is any other metal (for example, copper) that is covered with a layer of gold. This layer is really thin. Some may have thicker layer, but the thickness isn’t much compared to the actual/base metal. Now, this doesn’t mean that a gold-plated jewelry is not a jewelry. In fact, there are many beautiful vintage and other design jewelries available in the market that are very pleasurable to wear. 

Gold-filled

In gold-filled jewelry, one or more sheets of solid gold are wrapped around the base metal (under intense pressure). There is actually a measurable amount of gold in gold-filled jewelry.

The Mark!

Most of the gold jewelry, be it gold-plated or gold filled, usually will have something like a stamp on them in some corner that would indicate the purity of gold. Different companies or countries have different rules or standards. For example, on some gold jewelry you may see the number 750 (it means 75% gold or 18kt).


Well, and the conclusion of all these is that there is a gold or golden jewelry out there for everyone and anyone for any budget!

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