Gold Jewelery: What Are Carats All About?
Various metals are utilized in jewelry design. At first, the most ancient cultures wore copper ornaments. Later, bronze and brass gained popularity. When gold and silver were first mined, it became much more costly to ornament oneself with the lovely objects that resulted. Still, the people's love affair with jewelry went on growing. Along with gold and silver, many crave ornamental objects containing platinum, diamonds and pearls. And yet, gold remains the most sought-after substance for jewelry. The fascination with gold has never diminished throughout the ages.
Gold is, however, quite costly. Because of this people on limited incomes, or generally the 'middle class', are not able to afford to buy jewelry made from pure gold. Generally some lesser material, such as copper or silver, is mixed in with the gold to create a less costly jewelry. This process does not decrease the visual appeal of the gold jewelry.
The amount of additional gold in an alloy made of gold and a less costly metal is measured by a unit called carat. If you go to a jewelry shop, you can see a number and a sign for carat marked against each ornament. 24 carat depicts pure gold whereas 18 carat gold means that the ornament is made of an alloy that contains 75 percent gold and 25 percent of some other less precious metal.
It's hard to make ornaments out of pure gold, because gold is easily shaped but rather weak. Since it has low tensile strength, gold chips easily, and pure gold jewelry is susceptible to lots of nicks and cuts. On the market for buyers today, only biscuits or coins are available in pure 24 carat gold. There is, however, a wide selection of jewelry made from gold alloys.
In case your financial status does not allow you to buy 22 carat gold jewelry, please do not feel crestfallen. There are less costly options available which generate as much visual appeal as pure gold ornaments. 14k jewelry ornaments with embedded ruby, sapphire, emerald, and turquoise, known as semi precious jewelry, is one such option.
You can also get silver jewelry that is plated with gold. This looks just like gold jewelry. With high quality plating and polish, it can be very difficult to distinguish the difference with the naked eye.
Fascination for gold jewelery has only grown over the centuries. There are a variety of ways to buy jewelry that looks just as good, often better, than 22 carat jewelry. One way to do this is to buy semi precious jewelry that combines semi precious stones like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds with 14k jewelry. Another possible alternative is to purchase silver jeweler that has gold coating on it. Only a jeweler can claim to successfully distinguish gold plated silver jeweler from pure gold jewelry at all times. Yes, they look so similar to pure gold jewelry.
Published June 4th, 2008
Filed in Women