Photographed by David Monniaux
Gold won't tarnish, rust, or corrode, and though it's very strong, it is also the most malleable of all metals.
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.
Colors of Gold
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. Rose gold is obtained by alloying gold with copper.
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
Gold's purity is measured in karats. The term "karat" dates back to the ancient bazaars where "carob" beans were used to weigh precious metals. 24 karat is pure gold, but its purity means it is more expensive and less durable than gold that is alloyed with other metals. Different alloys are used in jewelry for greater strength, durability and color range.
The karatage of the jewelry will tell you what percentage of gold it contains: 24 karat is 100%, 18 karat is 75%, and 9 karat is 37% gold. When comparing gold jewelry, the higher the number of karats, the greater the value.
Gold is durable, sturdy, dependable, and makes an ideal setting for your precious diamond jewelry. However, to get a lifetime of enjoyment from your jewelry, be sure to keep it clean and safe.
Do not wear jewelry during rough work or when handling harsh chemicals.
Store it in a fabric-lined box away from other pieces to preserve it from getting scratched.
Finally, check the diamond settings periodically for any damage to the gold claws or bezels. If you see a loose claw, or if the setting looks out of line, bring it to a professional jeweler for repair at once.