Of all the materials and metals used in the jewelry industry, gold is the most prized of all. This metal is so treasured for its beautiful bright yellow shine and its malleability. Early craftsmen fashioned various types of decorative pieces using gold. Artisans of the Middles Ages received training as goldsmiths in order to produce ornamentation and pieces of jewelry for the higher orders. Many of these crafters could surpass the creators of today with their talent in design and creativity.
Today, beautiful pieces of jewelry are created using gold. There are endless choices in rings, necklaces, chains, bracelets, earrings and more found readily available on the market. Manufacturers strive to continue to bring new selections made of various types of gold. The type of gold a piece is made from will aid in determining its cost.
Types of Gold
In the United States, most of the gold items purchased by consumers are 14K gold. Gold jewelry is popular because it will not tarnish. It does not tarnish because it will not react with other elements. Pure gold cannot be used to make items. It must be mixed with various other elements in order to give it strength. This is known as alloying. Most pure gold is mixed with copper, silver and nickel. This gives durability and color to pieces.
Gold that is 14K contains 58.3 percent of pure gold. Seventy-five percent of 18K gold is pure gold. The higher percentage of pure gold in 18K gives it a more yellow tint of color. 14K is more durable than 18K. For those buying rings and other jewelry that will receive lots of wear, 14K is the best choice by far. 18K gold pieces are much softer and will not wear as well. 18K gold pieces will also be more expensive than 14K pieces.
Gold Jewelry Throughout History
Throughout history, gold can be seen in many forms. Many cultures used gold to create jewelry and other items. Gold statues were crafted dating back into Biblical times. Skilled craftsmen used this malleable metal to create some of the most sought after artifacts in history. Most of the noted rulers of many empires and countries have been depicted wearing various types of gold pieces such as crowns and breast plates. Some of the pieces even included rare gemstones adding to the pricelessness of each. In many places around the world, the amount of gold one owns determines their stature in that society. For many centuries, travelers would use gold coins and other gold items in trading. Many paid for dwellings, livestock, wives and more using this rare metal. With gold becoming increasingly rare in its natural state, the demand will continue to rise. This will more than likely also add to the value of gold and gold items.
In the jewelry industry, there have been many different colors of gold created to help in making more and more beautiful pieces. Choosing from these fabulous choices can often be rather difficult. It is important to check for the type of gold being purchased. Never purchase a piece that does not have a clear marking or stamping of the type of gold that it has been made from.