A lot of us own or at least have come across some form of gold jewellery, so we know a little bit about them. It’s an interesting subject and probably one of the most popular types of jewellery. There are many different types of gold jewellery and if you are a newbie, then I suggest you keep reading this so that you are well-informed before you make your first or your next purchase.
First there are different types of gold, a lot of people are familiar with the usual yellow colour, but there is also the less popular white gold and the even less common rose gold. The colour of gold goes beyond the three I have just described but are much less common gold plated jewellery and many people don’t even know about them. First thing to note about the different colours is that you should not judge the carats or the value of the gold by the colour. The colour does not in any way indicate the amount of gold in it. The carat indicates the amount of gold present in any piece of jewellery but the colours are a result of the alloys that make up the remainder of the jewel. White and red gold colours are also achieved based on the same principle; the alloys involved influence the look. Gold on its own is just not strong enough to be used by itself, and that is why 24 carat gold, which is made up of about 99.9% gold is not the strongest you will find. It is much more expensive than say the 18 carat gold but a lot less durable, and that is the reason why other metals are added to give the gold strength and durability. Another reason why other metals are added to gold is to influence the colours.
Gold plated jewellery is another common but cheap alternative to solid gold, in this case metals are electrolytically refined and plated onto a base metal, giving it the plating and the appearance of 24k gold, but it is not. Gold plated jewels are cheap and easily available, but they wear off with time and are not nearly as durable as their solid gold alternatives.
Another important feature of gold is its hardness, although you are not going to notice the difference, gold varies in hardness depending on the amount of gold present and also the alloys that are present, this is not very important but this just something to know, it will not affect the characteristics of your gold.