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Gold. The yellow metal.
The Inca’s called it “tears of the Sun”. Surely, the sun does not even eyes have but this gives a good idea about the origin of gold.
Kings kept it in their treasures for centuries and even today central banks hold gold reserves.
Let’s take a deeper look into the world of the king of metals.
What is Gold?
It’s a chemical element that has a reddish yellow color in its natural format.
Gold is a transition metal with atomic number 79. It’s symbol is Au coming from the latim “Aurum”.
It is a ductile, malleable and soft metal: an ideal material for jewelry.
One very special aspect about gold is that it is one of the least reactive chemicals in the periodic table.
Gold has a very high conductivity, but it is rarely used for in electrical circuits because of its high price. In these kind of circumstances silver is used and only where tarnish may be a problem gold is chosen.
It’s the best choice for implants used inside the human body as the body does not interact in a negative way with it. Everyone should remember when gold was used in dentistry as a teeth replacement.
In the ground, Gold can be found in alluvial deposits, veins, rocks and nuggets. Moreover, you can find natural alloys of gold combined with palladium and copper and in some minerals too, such as tellurium.
What is karat?
The gold purity is measured in karats. 24-karat gold is pure gold that is 100% of its weight. Thus 1 karat gold means 1/24th of the alloy is gold.
Karat is used to represent the purity of a nugget or similar natural form of gold and also the amount of gold included in gold coins, bars and jewelry.
Why don’t we use pure gold in jewelry? We prefer adding other metals such as copper to gold decreasing its karat but also making it harder. Had gold only been used in making of a necklace for example, it would be too soft thus open to physical damage more easily.
We have 14k, 18k, 22k and 24k gold as some of the most important karatages.
We can easily find the percentage purity of gold: just divide the karat by 24 and multply it with 100.
For example say we have a 18-karat gold bracelet, This bracelet has 75% of its weight in gold mixed with 25% of other metals.
As the other metal used to make it harder is much cheaper than gold, the karat of any jewelry is the first question to ask when buying gold jewelry.
You should always ask if the jewelry you consider is gold or gold plated because there will be a significant difference in gold weight thus price.
Never hesitate to ask the jeweler to weight the precious item. Always learn its weight in definite terms and do not rely on your personal perception or comparison with any jewelry you are wearing.
How is gold used?
Today we use gold mainly in jewelry. About 80% of all the gold on our planet is made into jewelry.
Gold, just like silver, is also made in coin, rolls and bars. Gold coins are made by national mints while private mints produce rolls. Generally, both coins and rolls are made of 1-ounce gold with beautiful designs making them both precious in monetary terms and aesthetic.
Gold coins(and rolls) are a very popular gift item and also one of the best ways to store gold. You can buy gold coins in small amounts whenever you save money and easily store them in a safe box or home safe or a bank safe.
You can also buy gold coins in larger amounts such as a tube or monster box. You may buy 20 gold coins in a tube, or if you want even more, you can choose to buy a monster box where there are 500 coins. Now that’s a big box!
Not only do these retain their gold value, but many of them also add up the coin value on its own, especially if it’s an older one. There are plenty of shapes and designs for coins, but they do tend to be very similar to one another.
You may find coins and rolls with American eagle, Canadian maple leaf, American Gold buffalo, Chinese panda and many animals and plants specific to the geography of that country.
Gold bars come in weights such as 1000 oz, 3000 oz and 1 kg bars etc.
Gold is a common element in institutional portfolios worldwide mainly in form of gold certificates as it is much easy to store and transfer.
In industry, gold is used in the electronics field, mostly because it is high conductivity. While silver is the better choice because it is cheaper, where tarnish may be a problem gold is used instead.
Gold is also used in dentistry, medicine and aerospace.
How to buy gold jewelry?
You have a particular bracelet model in mind, you have 3 alternatives in front of you all with very similar design and different prices. How are you going to decide?
The first question you should ask is the materials of the bracelet you are holding. Are they gold, gold-plated or some other metal which looks gold-like?
Always ask for the certificates and check the markings showing the producer and purity of gold.
You can very easily calculate the price of gold used in a gold bracelet by finding its weight and then multiplying it with the actual gold price.
How to take care of gold jewelry?
As in all jewelry items, gold jewelry should be worn after makeup and any sprays are used.
You should avoid contact with water and of course keep away from any interaction with heavy chemicals.
Remove gold jewelry before showering and any cleaning work.
Ideally, every jewelry item should be stored separately. You may purchase soft jewelry bags and keep your valuable items in them until next time.
It’s good practice to keep gold jewelry away from water. Whenever, there is a splash of water, dry it as soon as possible. Always keep your jewelry dry.
If you have more than a few items demanding regular cleaning, you may want to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner. These are functional devices which reduces need of visit to the jewelry store and let you easily clean your gold jewelry.
You’ll be surprised that it very easy and convenient to clean your gold jewelry with vinegar which is found in every kitchen. Another good household material which can be used in gold jewelry cleaning is surprisingly baking soda. Check this article for methods to clean gold with baking soda easily.
Always clean your jewelry with a soft cloth before storing. Remember if you take good care of your gold jewelry, it will take good care of you too!