Feb 22, 2010

Gold Karats FAQ - 4 essential facts you must know about karat gold before making your next purchase – part 2

There are many different types of gold available from regular jewelry stores and online jewellery stores in Australia and around the world. Understanding the difference will help you make a better informed decision when purchasing your next piece of fine karat gold jewelry. This is why I’ve put together this gold karats FAQ guide. As there is quite a lot to this subject, I’ve broken the Gold Karats FAQ Guide into 3 parts. The other two parts can be found in the author bio below. Gold Colour The first thing I want to explain to you in the gold karats FAQ guide is the different gold colours. The most common gold colours found at online jewelry stores & offine fine jewellery stores is yellow gold, followed by white gold and rose gold. There are other colours available but these are less common. The colour of the gold doesn’t make a difference to the gold content (karat rating). This is because the alloy has the same amount of gold in it. The gold is mixed with different metals to achieve different colours. Yellow gold can vary in colour. 18k yellow gold will have a brighter yellow colour compared to 9k gold. Rose gold is achieved normally by mixing pure gold with other metals such as cooper into it. White gold is made by mixing pure gold with metals such as silver and palladium. It is often coated with a metal named “rhodium”. The rhodium gives jewellery a really white appearance. White gold jewellery normally needs to re-rhodium coated every 12-18 months. Your local jewelry store and even some online jewelry stores can easily do this for a reasonable price. When comparing metals of the same karat, white gold tends to be a little more expensive. Gold Plated Jewellery (also known as GEP or GP) Gold plated jewellery describes jewellery that has a layer of gold applied to a base metal by an electrolytic process. This gives a look similar to karat gold. The gold plating will wear off after time. Gold plated jewellery is a cheap alternative. This type of jewellery is widely available and can be found at online jewellery stores, online accessory stores and offline stores. Gold Filled Jewellery (also known as Gold Overlay) Gold filled jewellery is a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass. Gold filled jewellery is a great cost effective alternative to solid gold jewellery. Unlike gold plated jewellery, good quality gold filled jewellery wears as well as solid karat gold and has the same look and lustre. For more about solid gold jewelry, see gold karat FAQ guide part 1. The layer of gold in gold filled jewellery must be 1/20th of the total weight of the product. This layer is 50 to 100,000 times thicker that gold plated jewellery. Hardness The difference in gold content also affects the gold’s hardness. 18k gold is slightly harder than 9k gold but this difference in hardness offers little practical advantage as they are virtually the same hardness. However, overall, 18k gold does tend to wear a little better over the years. Most online jewellery stores & regular fine jewellery stores would advise you to choose 18k gold for a wedding band as it wears a little better.

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