Considered to be the noblest of all metals and deeply embedded in the human psyche, gold is replete with bewitching versatility, opulence and glamour. Of all the world's precious metals only gold combines lustrous beauty, easy workability, rarity and individual indestructibility. The obsession for gold can easily be summed up in these famous remarks 'more men have been knocked off balance by gold than by love!'.
Qualities and Characteristics
Over the ages, no other metal has fascinated mankind as has gold and it has inspired some of the world's most brilliant and intricate craftsmanship. Gold is so soft and malleable that one gram can be stretched into a wire 3 ½ kilometres long. One ounce or 31.1035 gms can be hammered into a sheet so thin that it can cover a 16 sq mts area. Gold is virtually indestructible as it does not rust, tarnish or corrode. Coins found in sunken galleons are as bright and shiny as the day they were cast.
The Different Karats of Gold
Karat is the term used to measure the gold content or purity. 24 karat gold contains 24 parts pure gold. 22 karat gold contains 22 parts gold and 2 parts of other metals added as alloy. 21 karat gold contains 21 parts gold with three parts of other metals added. 18 karat gold contains 18 parts pure gold with 6 parts of other metals added. In the West, the karat is expressed in fineness. For eg. 24k gold is expressed as 1000 parts out of 1000 pure or fineness 1.000. 22k is expressed as 22 divided by 24, multiplied by 1000 which will give you a fineness of .9166, 21 karat is 21 divided by 24 multiplied by 1000 which is .875 fineness and similarly 18 karat is .750 fineness.
|24 karat||Pure gold|
|22 karat||91.7 % gold|
|18 karat||75.0 % gold|
|14 karat||58.3 % gold|
|12 karat||50.0 % gold|
|10 karat||41.7 % gold|
The Different Colours of Gold
24 karat gold has the natural warm colour of pure gold and its colour cannot be changed without changing the purity to less than 24 k. Other colours of gold can be made by changing the composition of the alloy in the making of the jewellery. Pink gold, for example, is made by adding more copper in the alloy composition of the gold. Likewise Green gold is more of zinc and silver and white gold is more of nickel. A surface colour can also be given to gold articles by electroplating. However, this can only be a surface finish and will be worn off over a period of time.
Technical Data for Gold
Ever wondered what the difference was between gold plating and gold filling? Or how about 23 karats of gold and 10 karats? Read on.
Gold is a yellow, noble metal.
Its chemical symbol is Au, from Aurora or dawn.
The weight of gold or gold articles is usually expressed in troy ounces. (1 troy ounce = 1.097 ordinary ounces)
The purity of gold articles is generally described in three ways: per cent (parts of gold per 100), fineness (parts of gold per 1000) and karats (parts of gold per 24). The weight of gold or gold articles is usually expressed in troy ounces. the table below provides a convenient way to translate between troy ounces and other units of weight.
|1 troy ounce||20 pennyweight|
|1 troy ounce||1.097 ordinaryounces|
|1 troy ounce||480 grains|
|1 troy ounce||31.1 grams|
|1000 troy ounces||31.1 kilograms|
|1 gram||.03215 troy ounces|
|1 kilogram||32.15 troy ounces|
|1 tonne||32,151 troy ounces|
|1 avoirdupois (ordinary) ounce||.911 troy ounces|
|1 avoirdupois (ordinary) pound||14.58 troy ounces|
Caring for Your Jewelry
Some simple guidelines to keep your jewelry looking great for years:
Don't wear your jewelry while doing rough work. Even though a most jewelry is durable, a hard blow can chip a stone.
Bring your jewellery to a qualified jeweller if you notice a loose stone setting, stones moving or any other noticeable damage to your jewellery. It's a good idea to have a jeweler check the setting in your diamond ring (while you watch) once a year.
Always remove your jewelry before bathing and grooming. Think of your jewellery as the final touch and put it on right before you get on with your day. Hairspray, gel, body lotion, moisturizer, perfume, mousse, make-up, shaving cream and soap are chemicals that can leave a residue on jewellery, creating a dull film that is very difficult to remove.
To be safe, always remove your jewellery before working with chlorine bleach. When silver is exposed to chlorine bleach, the chemical has an oxidizing effect on the metal, causing it to turn an unsightly black. Chlorine is detrimental to gold as well.
Keep it dry. Using water to clean and rinse some of your jewellery is permissible; however, make sure it's dried thoroughly when you're done. Moisture will cause tarnish on silver and will weaken the springs and clasps. Certain jewellery, such as pearl and gemstone jewellery, should never be soaked in water or worn when bathing. The stones in such jewellery may be glued into the settings and the moisture will cause the glue to loosen, causing the stones to fall out and get lost. Always make sure your jewellery items are thoroughly dry before placing them in an enclosed area, or your jewellery will get water spots.
When you're not wearing your jewellery, be sure to store it in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments-- jewellery pieces can scratch each other.
Cleaning Your jewellery
Your jewelry can get smudged, soiled and dusty over a short period of time. Lotions, powders, soaps--even the natural oils from your skin--can create a film on gemstones, reducing their brilliance. In addition, chemicals in the air can oxidize or discolor the mountings. Keeping your jewelry clean will maximize its beauty. Here are four ways Diamond.com suggests you clean your jewelry :-
There are many types of these small machines available to the public today. They will clean any piece of jewelry that can be soaked in a liquid within a matter of minutes. These machines often have a metal cup, which is filled with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, highfrequency turbulence is created. Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners on emeralds.
Buy one of the brand name liquid jewelry cleaners, choosing the one that is best for the kind of stones and metals in your jewelry. Read the label carefully and follow the instructions. Do not touch your clean diamonds with your fingers, as the oils from your hands will leave a film on the stone.
Make a solution of 4 parts cold-water and 1 part very mild dishwashing detergent. Soak the pieces for several minutes. Lift out and tap gently around all sides of the mounting with a soft brush. Rinse the pieces in the solution once more and drain on tissue paper.
Prepare a small bowl of warm suds using any mild household liquid detergent. Brush the jewelry with a soft brush until you have created a lather around it. With the jewelry on a plastic or metal strainer, rinse off with warm water (be sure not to clean your jewelry over the drain!) Pat your jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.