Gold, as a precious metal, has been valued and held in high esteem since ancient times and is still one of the most highly valued metals that has, throughout the ages, been used to symbolize wealth and power.
Gold is the metal most often used by jewelers and other artisans because of its flexibility and it's durability and it is not easily affected by moisture, normal heat, air, or everyday wear and tear.
The gold content in a particular alloy is expressed in karats (abbreviated as K or KT). Each karat is equal to approximately 4.17% of the total alloy. Usually, the higher the percentage of gold content, the softer (and yellower) the piece.
WHITE GOLD The karat weight system used for white gold is the same as that used for yellow gold (white gold is mixed with different alloys to give it a white color)
In order to determine the karat weight of a particular piece of jewelry, you may look for the quality mark. Generally, pieces will either bear the stamp of their karatage based on the U.S. or European system. The U.S. system uses karat designations (24K, 18K, 14K, 10K, etc.) Europe uses number designations which correspond to the percentage of gold content. For instance, 10K is marked "417" for 41.7% gold; 14K is marked "585" for 58.5% gold; 18K is marked "750" for 75% gold, etc.
24 karat = 100% gold Agreed to be too soft for jewelry 22 karat = 91.7% gold Too soft - Mostly not recommended for jewelry 18 karat = 75.0% gold Highly praised for fine jewelry 14 karat = 58.3% gold Highly praised for jewelry 12 karat = 50.0% gold Not proper for jewelry 10 karat = 41.7% gold This is the legal karat limit considered as real gold in the United States of AmericaCare For Gold
Make sure to treat your Jewelry with care, the gold jewelry item you purchase today could last you a long time So here are some ideas that will help preserve your precious jewelry.
Gold can lose its luster & shine over time if repeatedly exposed to dust, moisture, perspiration. So make sure to clean your jewelry on a regular basis You can bring it to your local jeweler and have it professionally steam-cleaned. After cleaning and rinsing, always dry and polish jewelry with a soft cloth to avoid scratches or to avoid the fabric catching on to your Jewelry and this will bring out the natural shine of your Jewelry.At last, make sure to inspect your gold jewelry for weakness or damage and bring it to a professional jeweler you trust or that has been with your family for years for immediate repair. You must make sure to pay attention to clasps: to ensure they are secure, prongs: to ensure they haven't cracked, bent, chipped, or loosened, which could cause the stone to fall out (which again is very rare, but it is always good to stay on the safe side), bracelet and neckchain links: to ensure they don't kink or bend, pin backs and earring posts: to see if they are bent or loose, and wedding bands, pendants and charms: dangling pieces and items worn every day for a long period of time are subject to wear and can thin out and eventually break. Basically you are using the same inspection method for all your Jewelry to insure all is in order. Your jeweler should be able to handle these for you and don't be afraid to ask your professional Jeweler for advice on how to care for your Jewelry.