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As one of the finest metals on earth, gold is a symbol of power, wealth and royalty. It’s one of the few metals that doesn’t tarnish and corrode…and one of the few things on earth that doesn’teasily lose value. Learn what pure gold is and other traits of this beautiful metal below.
The amount of gold used in a piece of jewelry is measured in karats with 24 karats being pure gold. While gold is a very strong metal it is also very malleable and therefore cannot be used in jewelry in its pure form of 24 karats. Gold is therefore mixed, or alloyed, with other metals. This not only hardens it, but also influences the color. For example white gold is achieved by alloying gold with silver, nickel or palladium. Below is a breakdown of common karats of gold and their percentages of purity:
18k is 75% pure while 14k is 58.3% pure. 18K gold contains more gold and is therefore more expensive than 14k gold. 18k gold is a popular choice because it offers a nice balance between strength and richness of color. 14k gold tends to have a less intense color than 18k gold but is more scratch resistant and is less expensive. These qualities make 14k the most popular metal used in jewelry in the USA.
The alloying process is how we achieve different colors in our gold jewelry. White gold is created by mixing pure gold with white alloys such as nickel, silver or palladium. Rose gold is created by including copper hues in the mixture. White gold may still contain a yellowish tint at the final stage, as the alloyed metals are not strong enough to overcome the strong yellow color in gold. For this reason, many jewelers plate white gold jewelry with a thin coating of Rhodium, a metal similar to Platinum. This provides a bright white finish similar to Platinum and covers any remaining yellow tint.
Some people are allergic to the metals mixed with gold. If this is the case, platinum is a good option as it is hypo-allergenic. White gold should be your next option as the ring is likely plated with Rhodium, a hypo-allergenic metal. However, the layer of Rhodium does wear off over time. It can easily be reapplied by having the ring refurbished.
Over time the sparkle and polish of jewelry fades. By wearing your ring every day it will be subject to scratches and dullness brought upon by normal every day use. But not worry! EWB offers a Refurbishing Service in which we will clean and polish your ring. We will also inspect it for any internal damage, tighten the setting and rhodium plate all white gold rings. With refurbishing your ring will look brand new as the day you first received it. We recommend refurbishing your ring every 1-2 years to ensure the setting is secure and keep your ring looking beautiful.