Gold Facts

Gold won't tarnish, rust, or corrode, and though it's very strong, it is also the most malleable of all metals.

Gold

Gold in its pure form (24k) is too soft to withstand abrasions caused from extensive daily wear, so it is alloyed with other metals to give it strength. This strength makes gold an excellent choice for a ring setting. Common gold alloys are silver, copper, nickel, and zinc.

Gold color is determined by the percentage of alloys that are included in the metal. When gold is alloyed with silver, copper, and zinc, the shade of color will vary. When gold is alloyed with nickel, copper, and zinc, it becomes white gold. Yellow gold and white gold have very similar strength and malleability. White gold looks very similar to platinum, but the two have very

different properties and prices.

Purity

The purity of gold is measured in karats, which are expressed in 24ths. Thus, 24-karat gold is pure while 12-karat gold is 50 percent gold and 50 percent alloy.

Gold Color

The addition of alloying elements (other metals) to gold are used to increase the toughness and hardness of the metal, as well as change the color. Adjusting the proportions of coloring agents provides the array of colors on the market. Additional metals enhance properties such as castability, grain size, hardness, corrosion resistance, color, workability, ultimate strength, and others. These additions can dramatically change the properties of the karated metal for better or worse.

For example: 18 karat rose gold is 75%, or 18 parts fine gold and 25%, or 6 parts copper. It is the rich red copper combined with the pure yellow gold that creates a warm rosy tone. 14 karat white gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts white metal, either nickel or palladium. These white metals dominate the color, creating a warm gray tone.

  • Copper - Reddening
  • Silver - Greening
  • Zinc - Bleaching
  • Nickel - Whitening
  • Palladium - Whitening
  • Yellow Gold: copper, silver, zinc
  • White Gold: copper, nickel, zinc
  • Red (Rose) Gold: copper
  • Green Gold: silver

Pricing

The price of gold jewelry is dependent upon the purity of the gold used or karat weight, as well as the design and construction of the piece of jewelry. When the karat weight or the gold percentage of the jewelry is high, the yellow color of gold is brighter, raising the value of the jewelry.

Byre's Tip

Pure 24k gold is soft and easily bent; 14k and 18k gold is mixed with other metals for strength, and beauty. Be sure to chose 14k or 18k for beauty and durability.


For More Information

Too soft for jewelry

Very soft — not recommended for jewelry

Recommended for fine jewelry

Acceptable for jewelry

Not acceptable for jewelry

The legal karat limit considered as real gold in the United States

Much of our gold jewelry is made of the most beautiful and durable 14k gold.

  • Gold is durable, sturdy, dependable, and makes an ideal setting for your precious diamond jewelry. Gold also comes in a variety of colors -- yellow, white, and rose (or pink).
  • The karatage of the jewelry will tell you what percentage of gold it contains: 24 karat is 100 percent, 18 karat is 75 percent, and 14 karat is 58.5 percent gold. When comparing gold jewelry, the higher the number of karats, the greater the value.
  • When buying gold jewelry, always look for the karat mark. All other things being equal, the higher the karat, the more expensive the piece. In the United States, 14-karat gold, or 585 parts pure gold, is the most common degree of fineness. Nothing less than 10 karats can legally be marked or sold as gold jewelry in the U.S. However, lower karatages, such as 8-karat gold and 9-karat gold, are popular in other countries
  • Approximate Metal Weight is intended use is for you to have an indication of Approximate weight of the metal. While being accurate is very important to us at Sarraf.com, due to factors beyond our control it is impossible to be exact each and every time, therefore we strive to maintain an accuracy of ± 5%.
  • In its pure form silver is almost as soft as gold, and therefore is usually alloyed with copper for strength. Karatage is not marked because, legally, anything called "silver" or "sterling silver" is 92.5% pure.
  • Fine Silver in its natural state, 999/1000 pure, is too soft an element for practical jewelry. To make it workable, an alloy such as copper is added. Here are the main silver alloys. Sterling Silver is a mixture of 92.5 % pure silver (925 parts) and 7.5 % metal alloy.
  • "Carat Weight" is simply the weight of the diamond.
  • By definition, 1 carat is exactly 200 milligrams. Since most diamonds sold in the jewelry industry weigh less than 1 carat, the carat is usually subdivided into "points." There are 100 points in 1 carat, so that a diamond weighing 3/4 carat would be a "75 point diamond." In summary:

    1 carat = 200 milligrams = 100 points
  • Carat is the simplest and most objective of the four C's. A 1.00 Carat diamond weighs 0.2 gm on scales weighs. In the trade we call 1/2ct - 50 points.
  • Naturally more Carat weight means more cost because BIG diamonds are very rare. A diamond of double the weight costs around 4 times more. Add the magic weight idea to rarity: a 1.00ct D color Flawless costs 1.7 times more than a 99 point D Flawless.

Diamonds are graded on a letter scale from D to Z: D, E, or F diamonds have no color detectable to the unaided eye; grad G, H, I, or J are nearly colorless, but a trained gemologist can detect a slight yellow cast. J through Z colored diamonds have yellow or gray color visible to the unaided eye. Diamonds rated lower than I have color that is detectable even to the untrained eye. Those rated J to M have a trace of color, while any diamond with an N or higher carries a noticeable yellow tint

The charts above are clarity plots, which is a representation of the number and size of inclusions typically present in diamonds of a particular clarity grade. Look for a clarity plot on a diamond certificate, or grading report, to get a clear idea of the number and size of inclusions in a particular diamond. From this map, you can perfectly determine a diamond's clarity without even

Gemologists use grades of clarity to describe how many inclusions a diamond has. These grades range from flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) to included (I3), with the numbers indicating varying degrees of quality within a grade (1 being the best). Most commonly diamond sold are diamond that has no inclusions visible to the unaided eye, like VS1 and SI1-2. Diamonds of this clarity are much less expensive than flawless diamonds, and will not contain inclusions that would reduce from the splendor of the diamond