Gold was established as a form of currency long before the American Dollar or the British Pound even appeared on the scene. It’s heavy and rare, and it has been used throughout the ages to denote how rich and powerful a person was. Kings and rulers loved this metal, and incorporated it in all sorts of ways. This is the Beautiful Heart Jewelry Free Gold Guide, and we hope that you will find it entertaining and useful. Let’s explore the world of gold, and how it has been utilized in our jewelry throughout the ages…
Gold is one of the worlds most valuable and precious metals. It is so malleable and soft that a mere ounce of this substance can be stretched into a 5 mile long wire. This same ounce can be hammered into a sheet so think that it could cover 100 square feet. Since it doesn’t corrode or rust, it can last indefinitely. It can also be found everywhere around us. It’s in the seas and rivers, in the crust of the earth, and in the plants as well. Alas, it is also very expensive and difficult to extract, and this is why it is so expensive. It takes approximately 2.5 to 3 tons of gold ore to extract one single ounce of pure gold.
Jewelry’s Most Popular Metal
Do you happen to know what metal is the most popular in our modern day jewelry? Gold is the answer, and you can find many different forms of heart jewelry that use gold. In terms of a single jewelry item, it is without a doubt the simple gold wedding band. Since gold is so malleable and soft, it can’t really be utilized in its pure form. It must be mixed with other metals in order to make it more durable and strong. Do you know what combining two or more metals is called? The result is called an alloy, and most of the gold that we use in our jewelry is found in the form of an alloy. What types of gold jewelry are there you ask? How about: (1) White gold jewelry, (2) Gold jewelry, (3) 24k gold jewelry, (4) Wholesale gold jewelry, (5) 22k gold jewelry, (6) 18k gold jewelry, (7) 14k gold jewelry, (8) Indian gold jewelry, (9) Rose gold jewelry, (10) Gold body jewelry, (11) Gold horse jewelry, (12) Gold plated jewelry, (13) Gold charm jewelry, (14) Other fine gold jewelry items.
Do you know where the word karat comes from? It is derived from the word for the fruit of the carob tree. Here are some derivations: in Arabic we have qirat, in Greek we have keration, and in Italian the word carato. You see, the seeds of the carob tree’s fruit were used in ancient times for measuring precious gems. Since the pure gold Byzantine coin (called the solidus by the way) weighed 24 karats, the 24 karat mark (24 KT or 24K) became the symbol used to indicate that an item was pure gold.
Karats or Carats?
When we talk about gold we often refer to the term karat (or carat). Bugs bunny preferred carrots over carats or karats, but that is another topic all together. When you are going to be paid in carats, well, then you are really talking about getting paid in cold hard cash. In jewelry terms, the carat has two meanings. It is used to refer to a measurement of weight for gemstones (in which one carat is usually equivalent to 1/5 gram), but in some countries around the world it can also be used to indicate the amount of pure gold in a piece of gold jewelry. In America, when we want to indicate the gold content rather than the weight, we use a “k” (derived from “karat”), to avoid any confusion that may arise on this matter.
24K gold (at least in most instances) is too soft to be used in jewelry. In some regions of the world they prefer to use 18K or 20K because (A) of its brighter yellow color and (B) for the simple fact that it is closer to being pure 24K gold. In the United States 14K or 18K is preferred above the others because it is more durable.
There is a new alloy on the way that we should mention. Gold 990 is an alloy of pure gold and only a small amount of titanium. This means you have almost pure gold, with greatly increased durability. This alloy is of “straw color”, and is similar to the look of 14K gold, so those looking for that 24K gold look should look further. Still, if you are looking for a way to have “almost pure” gold and better durability, this alloy may suit you great.
This brings us to the question “In order for something to be called gold, how many carats must the item be?” The rules for this vary, depending upon the country. In the United States, in order for an item to be called “gold” it has to be at least 10K. In France and Italy it must be 18K, while in Canada and England the number is 9K.
Why Does Gold Always Seem To Be Yellow?
Many think that gold’s only color is yellow. Well, they are partly correct. Pure 24K gold is always yellow in color. Since pure gold is too soft and malleable for jewelry use, and since countries have different standards for what “gold” means, you can change the color of “gold” by the alloys that you happen to add to it. Yellow gold is made up of gold, silver and copper. White gold is comprised of gold, zinc, nickel, silver, palladium and platinum. Green gold is made up of gold, silver, copper, and zinc. Pink (or red) gold is composed of gold, copper, and sometimes a small amount of silver.
What is Underkarating?
There is one more thing that we should talk about before we leave this subject of carats and karats. When you are purchasing a piece of jewelry you should be concerned about underkarating. This is a serious problem in many areas around the world, so be sure to purchase your jewelry from a reliable jewelry store or reliable jewelry outlet. Underkarating means that although the jewelry item is marked to indicate a certain amount of jewelry content it can contain less than the amount indicated. Jewelers who sell underkarated jewelry will sometimes boast about the fact that you are “getting a bargain” In actuality you are not getting anything of the sort. Since the jewelry item they are selling you contains less gold and more alloy than what is indicated, what kind of a bargain is that? As always, the buyer must beware. Only purchase jewelry items from reliable sources.
Manufacturer’s Registered Trademark
Another way that you can ensure that the gold jewelry item you purchased is legit is to look for a manufacturer’s registered trademark. It is stamped near the karat mark, and manufacturers take this trademark very seriously. As more and more jewelers get concerned about being held liable, they are willing to only purchase jewelry items from manufacturers who are willing to stand by what they sell. Since this trademark can be traced back to the people who made this jewelry, their reputation is on the line. They won’t dare mess up in this area.
What About Skin Discoloration?
Have you noticed that sometimes when you wear your gold jewelry you have skin discoloration? What is that? It’s not the pure gold that is causing this reaction. Pure gold does not tarnish, and so it will not discolor the skin. It’s the alloys that are added to the pure gold that are causing this strange discoloration effect. This situation happens mostly under moist or damp conditions. These alloys mix with the fatty acids (that are present in your perspiration), and this can set up a corrosive reaction. This problem can be even worse in those areas with salt air, so if you plan a trip to the beach (with your gold jewelry)…beware.
Oh and one more thing we should talk about. Metallic abrasion that is caused by some makeup is another common cause of discoloration. Some makeup contains compounds that are actually harder than the jewelry in which they are coming into contact with? Did you know that? As these compounds rub and grind against the jewelry you are wearing they can cause some of the gold to flake off. The result is a dark looking “dust”. When this “dust” makes contact with your sweaty skin, a black smudge is what is left over.
And The Solution Is?
So now we have identified the problem. So, what is the solution to discoloration resulting from jewelry? You should get into the habit of removing the jewelry often and washing the skin that it is coming into contact with. Use plain soap and water (the preferred solution). Remember to keep your jewelry clean. You should wipe the jewelry from time-to-time with a nice soft cloth (to remove any tarnish that may “build up”). It is also a good idea to use a body powder that is free of abrasions on those areas of your skin that will be in contact with the jewelry you wish to wear.
If that doesn’t work you might want to see if a similar piece of jewelry is available from another manufacturer. You may find that one jewelry item causes discoloration while another does not. This doesn’t mean that one piece is inferior to another mind you. Jewelry manufacturers often use different alloys or different combinations of alloys in jewelry development. This means that although the pieces may look the same, one piece of jewelry may cause discoloration while another may not.
Why not switch to a more pure form of gold jewelry? This could resolve the problem entirely. After all, it is these alloys that are causing the problem, and if remove more of these alloys, “problem solved”.
Our Free Gold Guide Tour into the World of Gold Jewelry and Skin Discoloration is about to come to an end. If you would like to learn a bit more about this subject, please visit our blog at www.BeautifulHeartJewelry.com. We provide general information regarding the history of jewelry, info on heart jewelry, and where you can purchase some great jewelry items.
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