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Gold Varieties
Gold Varieties

Today more and more people realize that there are varieties to choose from, but there is still some confusion as to these varieties. Generally, there is ‘yellow gold', which is made from a combination of gold, copper and a very small amount of silver; there is ‘white hold', which is a combination of gold, nickel, zinc, silver, platinum and palladium; there is ‘green gold', which is a combination of gold, silver, copper and zinc- and finally there is ‘pink' or ‘red gold', which is made of gold, copper and a very tiny amount of silver. Choosing from this variety should depend on your budget, your taste, your level of sensitivity to alloys [some people get an allergic reaction from gold less than 14K] and your skin-color. There is also the very important question of durability. For example, if you want a piece with a very strong golden color, and you can also afford it, perhaps this is still not the best option for you. Often it is better to buy a 14K or an 18K instead of a purer form of gold and then get it coated with an 18K or a 20K coating. This will give you the approximate purity range you were going for, the very golden color you wanted, but the piece will last longer and be more resistant to wear. More expensive is not automatically better for you in the jewelry world, and this is something to consider before purchase. The more golden the piece- the weaker it is. Buying lower grade karat gold and then coating it with a purer grade is a common occurrence and it's also very sensible. The coating will wear off after several years of everyday wear, but replating it isn't expensive and this is a practical solution to an impractical material. White gold is a lot harder and more durable, but it is less popular because of its pallor. It also tends to be brittle, so delicate mountings or tiny prongs used to hold gems should be checked regularly by a jeweler.

Other gold types in use today are GF- Gold filled - which means that the piece is made of some base metal and then coated with real gold. In the U.S the minimum requirement for GF classification is that the gold coating represents atleast 1/20 of the total weight and that it be atleast 10K gold. Another type is GEP- Gold Electroplate - which means that a base metal piece has been dipped into liquid gold while electric currents bond the gold to the metal. This also has minimum requirements for classification, with the gold being atleast 7/1,000,000 of an inch thick. Lastly there is RGP- Rolled Gold Plate [also called ‘gold overlay'] - which resembles a much thinner gold coating than the GF type. In RGP pieces the gold coating may be thin enough to rate only 1/20 to 1/40 of the total piece's weight. Today there is even a new mix of alloy that almost allows you to use 24K gold in durable jewelry. This is called “ Gold 990 ” and it is a combination of almost pure gold with only a miniscule amount of titanium, resulting in a wearable, resilient material. The one drawback is the titanium's affect has on gold; reducing its distinctive color to a much paler hue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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