Buying Gold Jewelry
Guide to Buying Gold Jewelry
Gold Purity & Quality Marks
Always look for a quality mark in the gold jewelry you buy. Pure gold, or 24-karat, is generally too soft for use in most jewelry, so gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength. In the United States, 14-karat gold is the most common jewelry alloy, and nothing less than 10-karat gold can be legally marked or sold as gold jewelry.
Gold plated jewelry is often indicated in the product title and details.
Beyond Yellow: The Gold Alloys
When discussing metals, you'll often hear the term alloy. A metal alloy is a metal made by combining two or more metals, to increase the strength and/or resistance to corrosion of the base metal. The ratio of each component determines the properties of the alloy. Alloys can also create a variety of colors.
One of the most popular gold alloys is white gold, and it is an affordable and fashionable white-metal option. White gold is created by alloying gold with nickel or palladium, zinc and copper.
Why does white gold yellow?
White gold alloys are never truly “white” in color, so most white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium, a platinum group metal. Most likely within the white gold jewelry’s lifespan, the rhodium plating will show signs of wear, and re-plating at your local jewelry store can easily restore its brilliant white finish.
Fine jewelry customers are having a love affair for rose gold. The beautiful warm blush flatters skin tones. Pink or rose gold is created by alloying gold with copper. Most often, you’ll find 14-karat rose gold jewelry, which is 58.5% pure gold with copper added for color.
Rose gold comes in a variety of shades of pink, that blend well with gemstone colors and white and yellow metals