Monday, March 23, 2009

Do You Know How Many Colored Alloys Gold Comes In?

Ever since before the beginning of recorded time gold has been considered a valuable and highly sought after substance. People the world over have lived and died and spent their entire lives immersed in one way or another in all that glitters. Whether a financier in the hallowed halls of The City in London or a South African laborer chained by the ankle to a mining site, gold has held mankind captive and captivated since our earliest memories of humanity on earth. There are stories on stone tablets written in Cuniform, the language of the Sumerians telling about the precious metal and how it was sought out and used by our ancient ancestors of prehistory. I wouldn't mind owning this 294 troy ounce Alskan gold nugget. I wouldn't even mind being chained to it by the ankle or around the neck! That's 18 pounds of pure gold!

It's often been said that one ounce of gold can buy a good man's suit and whether back in the 1930's or today, this still holds true in our world economic structure. Let's face it, gold holds its value and is the all time haven for safe investment whether through the purchase of bullion coins, mining stocks or jewelry. I'm sure you most likely already know all of this and if you do and still don't own at least a little bit of gold in your portfolio or in your jewelry box you're either watching too many hours of The Real Housewives of Atlanta or from another planet! Take the quiz to see which "Real" Atlanta Housewife you are!

But how much do you really know about how gold is made? How does it get from 24 Karat pure gold to 10 Karat and did you know there are at least six different colors of gold jewelry? It's never too late to find something you like made from gold. The prices can go from ridiculous to the sublime for jewelry, but there's nothing like it when you hold it in your hand. The magic is always present. I never tire of having gold in one form or another near by. Boullion is my favorite but I'll take it in any form, any karat and any size, large or small!

I love to touch it and wear it and it makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Here's a few tidbits about karat gold and gold alloys to wet your whistle and help you know more about what you are buying.

Gold is a precious metal that is very soft when pure (24 Kt.). Gold is the most malleable (hammerable) and ductile (able to be made into wire) metal. Gold can be applied to things in the form of gold leaf or bent and formed into anything you can think of! Gold is alloyed (mixed with other metals, usually silver and copper) to make it less expensive and harder, thus more durable. The purity of gold jewelry is measured in karats. Some countries hallmark gold with a three-digit number that indicates the parts per thousand of gold. This system works in the following manner:

"750" means 750/1000 gold (equal to 18K) or 18K gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of another metal(s), making it 75% gold.

"575" means 575/1000 gold (equal to 12K) or 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of other metal, making it 58.3% gold.

"335" means 335/1000 gold (equal to 9/10K) or 10K gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts another metal(s), making it 41.7% gold. 10K gold is the minimum karat designation that can still be called gold in the US.

Alloyed gold comes in many colors:

• Yellow Gold = gold + 50% silver and 50% copper

• White Gold = gold + nickel, zinc, copper, tin and manganese or nowadays, the addition of palladium is added to make white gold. It's more expensive than nickle thus, white gold is usually higher priced in than the other colored golds used for jewelry.

• Pink (rose) Gold = gold + copper and silver. The more copper added the deeper and rosier the color.

• Green Gold = gold + high proportion of silver or cadmium

• Blue Gold = gold + iron

• Grey Gold = gold + 15-20% iron

Black Hills Gold Jewelry is a great example of mixed alloyed gold jewelry of different colors, usually yellow, rose and green gold all in one piece. Black Hills gold jewelry is a style of said to have first been created in the 1870's by a French goldsmith named Henri LeBeauold, who is said to have dreamed about the design after passing out from thirst and starvation. Black Hills gold jewelry depicts leaves, grape clusters and vines, and is made with a combination of green, rose, and yellow gold. The jewelry must be manufactured in the Black Hills of South Dakota in order to be called Black Hills Gold Jewelry. It's beautiful, fascinating and shows off some of the many colors.

See our website, Posh Adornment or our Posh Adornement Etsy Store for a great selection of gold and gold filled antique jewelry. We specialize in gold filled Victorian pieces, usually rose gold in color, and we often have solid gold pieces for sale to fulfill your fantasies and enrich your collection of fine jewelry.

1 comment:

drollgirl said...

you sure have some gorgeous jewelry in your etsy shop! i love those citrine earrings, and the jade earrings, and that beautiful green ring. just gorgeous!