Gold has been one of mankind’s most revered substances since the beginning of time.

The legends and myths surrounding gold are legendary and for many ancient civilizations, only the most powerful were permitted to bathe in gold’s stunning rays. The pharaohs wore multiple gold necklaces and gold bracelets. In India, royal families would layer on gold earrings, gold pendants and gold bangles and in Europe, gold rings set with diamonds and precious gems were the aristocrats’ accessories of choice.

Gold is a “Noble Metal” meaning it has very special and enduring properties. Hence, it has been long sought after through the ages and used as adornment in jewelry, coinage, and the arts.

Gold does not rust, tarnish, or corrode, and with basic care “glows” for years to come.

Since Gold is malleable, ductile and has tenacity, it can be shaped, formed and molded into almost any design that will hold its definition. Gold is also Hypoallergenic!

Understanding Gold

“Pure Gold” or “Fine Gold” is known as 24k gold, which indicates that it is entirely Gold 24 parts out of 24.

However, most jewelry is made from either 18K Gold, 14K Gold or 10K Gold. While yellow gold is still probably the most popular color of gold, by mixing gold with other alloys, jewelers can create stunning golden shades. White gold, pink gold, rose gold, orange gold and even green gold are just some of the many colors of gold.

Pure Gold is mixed with other metals, or Alloyed for added for strength, hardness, and to produce a variety of colors. The percentage of Gold to the total weight of Gold plus Alloy is Gold’s Karatage.

The use of the work “solid gold” always refers to an item of gold that is solidly of golf or of a gold alloy throughout.

Understanding Karatage

In the USA, Karat with a “K” refers to the quality of the gold, and Carat with a “C” refers to the weight of a diamond or gemstone.

18 Karat, 14 Karat and 10 Karat

Karatage is one of the most important factors to consider when buying gold. (Though there seems to be some confusion around the exact meaning of karatage)

Higher Karatage gold jewelry products embody this intrinsic value more than the lower Karatage equivalents and heighten ‘emotional’ value in return. For example, one gram of 14K Gold is more valuable than one gram of 10K Gold.

Higher Karatage gold offers heightened intrinsic value.

Karatage is often perceived as a seal of quality rather than a mathematical reference to percentage of gold. This is true to the extent that the U. S. laws mandate a minimum (41.7% for 10K Gold) amount of karatage in order to be legally called “GOLD”.

18 Karat (75% Pure Gold)

Considered to be the most ‘pure’ for the production of jewelry, the perception of higher value is real. 18K Gold is, in fact softer than 14K or 10K since 18K is comprised three-quarters (18/24, 75%) of pure Gold.

14 Karat (58% Pure Gold)

Overall 14K is considered the threshold, the standard for karat gold in the US. 14K or .583 is (14/24, 58.3%) Pure Gold.

10 Karat (41% Pure Gold)

Truly “Gold: with generally higher strength but lower intrinsic value. 10K or .417 is (10/24, 41.7%)  Pure Gold.

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Gold & Silver Jewelry

Taking Care of Your Gold Jewelry

If treated carefully, a gold jewelry item could last a lifetime and might even be handed down to future generations.

First of all, gold is lasting and durable but can get scratched or dented if treated roughly. This is particularly true of items worn on the hands like rings and bracelets that are prone to a lot of knocks. So remove these pieces before any type of strenuous activity.

Second, beware of chemicals. Gold’s worst enemy is chlorine. So keep your gold jewelry away from chlorinated cleaning products and out of swimming pools, etc. On a related note, acids, abrasives and other harsh chemicals found in some common household cleaning solutions can weaken your jewelry or damage its finish. So it’s best to take them off altogether in these situations.

Gold can lose its luster over time if repeatedly exposed to dust, moisture, perspiration and makeup. So make sure to clean your jewelry regularly. You can use a cleaning solution of sudsy, lukewarm water. After cleaning and rinsing, always dry and polish jewelry with a chamois or soft cloth to avoid scratches and bring out its shine.

Proper storage is as important as cleaning. Protect your gold jewelry by storing it safely in a jewelry box or keeping it wrapped in a soft cloth when not being worn.

When Silver sections are exposed, products should be cared for like other Silver pieces.

The Care of Sterling Silver:

Always try to to keep your sterling silver jewelry in a cool, dry place in tarnish prevention cloths or bags. The treated cloth slows down the tarnishing process and keeps the jewelry from rubbing against harder pieces that can scratch it.

Avoid exposing your silver jewelry to household chemicals when cleaning with bleach or ammonia, or when swimming in chlorinated water to avoid damage.

Sterling silver jewelry that is worn continually often develops a unique patina – or a kind of glow combined with darkened areas. If you like the look, more power to you, but if you prefer your silver jewels bright and shiny, you should clean them with a phosphate-free detergent, such as 3M Tarni-Shield Silver Polish.