Gold jewelry, which carat to buy and why
Good morning my dear readers! In this post we will explore a fundamental topic regarding the purchase of gold jewelry.
I’m aware that this topic might seem a bit boring, but it is absolutely fundamental for us lovers of jewelry. The most important step is to start with getting to know this precious material.
Gold is a noble metal, extremely malleable and inexhaustible by chemical agents such as oxygen, heat or humidity.
For those reasons it has always been used by goldsmiths to make coins.
The measuring unit of gold is carat (K, ct). The highest degree of purity is defined as 24 carat, which means that the material is at least 99,9% pure gold.
Often in the world of jewelry, gold is combined with other metals. For example, in Italy we usually find 18 carat gold with a purity of about 75% of the total weight, which is why in a piece of 18 carat we can find a stamp with the number 750. The remaining 25% are made of other metals.
How to recognize the carat of the gold from the stamp?
By law each piece of gold jewelry has to have a visible stamp which signifies the amount of gold in it as well as an identification mark that indicates the origin and the producer.In Italy the concentration of gold is expressed in thousandth parts, for example 750 or 999 of 1000. In some oriental countries it is expressed even more accurately, which means that on the high end you would have an even higher concentration of pure gold. Instead in countries such as Germany or England you will find mostly jewels with lower carats (often about 9K), while in the United States you will find always jewels of 14 carat.
Why is there an increasing amount of low carat gold on the market?
The most famous producers of jewelry managed with the time to build up their prestige on the market. Luckily for them, even in periods of economical crisis the luxury market has been one of the few that was able to maintain stability and in some cases even grow. For that reason brands such as Tiffany, Pomellato, Bulgari or Rolex had the possibility to maintain the same price level or become even more expensive. It is therefore understandable that their products don’t lose their value over time.
Because most producers of gold jewelry constantly try to increase their market share, they also cater to people with less economical possibilities. All the big companies therefore producepieces with very high quality but low carat, so called gold 375 or 9 carat gold. This way of producing gold jewelry allows everyone to own a luxurious jewel of an important brand at a low cost.
What is the difference between white and pink gold?
In yellow gold, we find 75% pure gold, 12,5% silver as well as 12,5% copper. In pink gold, we find 75% gold, 5% silver and 20% copper. Because of the bigger percentage of copper, the tone of this material becomes pinkish. In white gold, we have 75% pure gold and 25% of silver or palladium.
Is there a visible difference between gold of 750/1000 (18K) and the one of 375/1000 (9K)?
In a piece of 375 we find approximately 38% less gold compared to one of 750. The weight of the piece therefore is lower and a bigger percentage of copper will be visible, so there is a bigger tendency of oxidation. To achieve the same coloration in a piece of 375 as in one of 750 or to create even more brilliance, some pieces are covered with a film of pure gold that also helps to achieve a better conservation over time.
Is gold still an investment?
Gold has always been representing a way of investing because it tends to maintain the same value over time. For those who aren’t lovers of jewelry but want to buy gold as an investment, I would suggest to buy gold bars (also called gold ingots). Gold bars are only produced with 24 carat, so that the value can be clearly established through their weight. The bars must have a certificate given by the bank or by a metal counter. Another interesting possibility is to buy coins of Pound Sterling in gold, which also come in 24 carat, always beautiful and beyond time.
At the end of this maybe rather boring text, my suggestion to you is to always buy jewelry in gold. Maybe with stones that can make the piece even more fascinating and colorful, but this makes sense only if the stones are pure and certified, otherwise they just add extra weight and the piece might not maintain its value over time.
Don’t ever think that your gold will be out of fashion one day, because fashion always comes back, and it’s always so precious and beautiful to wear a special piece of gold jewelry that was once owned by your grandmother.
Till next time, my lovely readers!