This precious metal has been highly prized by civilizations and societies throughout history. In fact, there are no records showing any civilization that did not value gold.
Gold is highly sought after for many uses other than jewellery. Not only is it a prime commodity on the international monetary exchanges, but also on the industrial exchanges as well. Everything from computers and other electronic devices to military components use gold. This valuation of gold is the primary reason for the high price of gold.
For the jewellery market, two types of gold are utilised by designers. These are white and yellow gold. Yellow gold is perhaps the most commonly known type of gold. For purchasing jewellery, the colour of gold should be considered, especially in regards to the wearer’s skin tone and colour.
Gold is measured in carats. This standard denotes the amount of pure gold in the mixture. Twenty four carat gold is the highest purity of gold. This means that the piece is pure gold. Other rankings are 22 carat, 18, 14 and 9 carat gold. These denote that anything from 22 to 9 parts out of 24 is gold. The rest of the alloy is made up of other metals.
In some parts of the world, instead of carats, gold is measured in fineness. Fineness is denoted by a three digit number. In the fineness rankings, 22 carat gold is measured by the number 916, while 9 carat gold is 375.
Why is gold so popular?
Gold is the most sought after metal for jewellery for two main reasons. First and foremost is the value which our society has placed on gold. This value has been inherited from previous civilization upon which ours was built.
Secondly, gold has a lower melting point than almost any other precious metal. Due to this fact, gold jewellery is far easier for a designer to work with and repair. Gold is not hard as diamonds. The flip side of this is that pieces of gold jewellery that have precious stones in them are more prone to damage and breakage depending upon the setting and wear. However, this should not deter anyone from purchasing and wearing gold jewellery.
The best practice is to be careful with gold jewellery, especially with precious stones mounted on or in it, and buy a higher carat of jewellery for a safer setting. Removing jewellery during sleeping, bathing, swimming and sports is also good practice. The only other piece to consider is the jeweller from whom you are purchasing the piece. Look for reputable places that have a history of good business.