Gold has been the leading choice for men and women when it comes to jewelry pieces. This popularity is not only attributed to the brilliance of the precious metal, but also its ability to withstand elements, including corrosion, tarnish, and rust. Moreover, gold remains one of the most malleable precious metals, making it the ideal choice for the designing of intricate jewelry pieces. This property, however, also makes it too soft for everyday use.
To this end, jewelry pieces such as a yellow gold micro pave wedding band will be alloyed with other metals to boost their durability and strength. The common alloying metals used include zinc, nickel, and copper. Your gold piece’s purity will be denoted in its karats. This is expressed in 24ths. As such, 24K gold pieces are made of 100% gold while 18K comprises 75% gold. 24K and 22K gold are considered too soft to make fine jewelry.
That said, the commonly used are 18K and 14K gold pieces. Those with karat ratings below this are not used for jewelry. Other than karats, several types of gold jewelry exist.
Solid Gold Jewelry
While your piece might be labeled solid gold, it might not necessarily be 100% gold since this is too soft. Solid gold jewelry items will retain their value for ages and are highly valuable. It is not only a sign of opulence and wealth but also a portable type of financial security because it can be melted and sold as a commodity. Though expensive, an investment in solid gold jewelry is worth it.
This is produced through the application of a gold layer over underlying metalcore such as brass that is then rolled under considerable pressure before bonding it. For a piece to qualify as ‘’gold-filled’’ it should comprise not less than 1/20th of its total metal content in gold. This explains why some gold-filled pieces are marked ‘’1/20 gold’’. Gold-filled pieces are far cheaper compared to solid gold ones and have a thicker coating compared to gold plated pieces. They cannot be repaired to achieve the initial finish they had.
Gold Plated Jewelry
This contains a thin gold layer, typically measuring 0.175-2.5 microns. The layer is deposited over a base metal using chemical deposition or through electrical means. Gold plated jewelry is generally the cheapest of all gold jewelry since it contains the least gold amount and it can be professionally repaired to its initial state. Those with allergies to metal might, however, be affected by the exposure to the jewelry’s base metal with the quick wear of the gold layer.
Gold Vermeil Jewelry
This contains sterling or pure silver with a gold plate with a minimum 2.5-micron thickness and has at least 14k of gold. Gold vermeil wears more slowly compared to gold-filled jewelry and costs less than solid gold pieces. You can also restore its original look through re-plating.
The right choice of gold jewelry is undoubtedly essential. Thankfully, the guidelines above will increase the odds of making the right choice. You should get your jewelry pieces routinely polished by a professional to maintain their optimal look.