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Gold has been one of mankind's most revered substances since the beginning of time. The sagas and myths surrounding gold are legendary, and for many ancient civilizations only the most powerful were permitted to bathe in gold's stunning rays.
Gold, element Au, was one of the first known precious metals. The gold standard defines the world's currency system, whereby money represents a value in gold.
In times of recession, the first investment to rise is gold. It is perhaps the only investment that can be both used and saved simultaneously. It grows with time and never goes out of fashion, thus has enduring value.
24 karat = 100% pure gold. However this metal is not hard enough to make jewellery. While yellow gold is still probably the most common colour of gold, there are many variations that can be achieved by mixing pure gold with other alloys. Through this process the gold gets stronger and through the process jewellers enjoy the creative liberty of developing stunning shades in gold that are both unique and trendy.
Whether you're looking for an 18k gold necklace, a 21k gold ring, 22k gold earrings or simply gold jewellery set with diamonds and gems, one thing you can be sure of is that all that is gold really does glitter as an investment.
Pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability. Karatage, denoted by a number followed by "k" indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewellery is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold -100% gold.
The colour of gold is determined by two factors: the type of metal alloys included, and the percentage of each metal alloy.
Natural gold and colour-saturated alloys are what give yellow gold jewellery its rich shine. The alloys most commonly used, are copper with a red hue, and silver featuring a green hue. An expert mixture of copper, silver and pure gold gives this precious metal its signature warmth.
A silvery ash character makes white gold so very appealing. In order to make the gold white, it is combined with metal alloys that are white in nature and plated with an extremely hard element called rhodium. Although strong, rhodium may wear away over time. Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore whiteness to your jewellery.
Mixing a copper alloy creates the beautiful pink hue of rose gold jewellery. Again, the overall percentages of metal alloys are the same for rose gold as they are for yellow or white - the difference lies in the choice of alloy.
Gold jewellery prices are dependent upon three factors: the purity of the gold used or karat weight; the current market value of gold; the level of craftsmanship; and design of each jewellery piece i.e. making charge.