What Is "Gold" Jewelry?
Gold has been around for as long as human beings have. It's one of the most durable, malleable, and beautiful metals available to us on earth. Gold is used in jewelry and luxury goods across cultures and time periods, but what exactly is this precious metal? Is there such a thing as a pure form of gold? And why does it sparkle so much? Let's dive into the history and chemistry of this illustrious element.
White gold is an alloy of gold and at least one other metal, typically nickel, manganese or palladium. The resulting substance has a white color and it's often used for jewelry because its appearance is similar to that of platinum. White gold is usually rhodium plated, which means that the surface layer has been treated with the rare metal rhodium (another precious metal), which makes it resistant to tarnishing when exposed to oxygen in the air.
Although white gold can certainly be beautiful, keep in mind that this finish will eventually wear off and you'll need to get it replated—a process that costs money. So if you don't want your jewelry looking worn out after just a few years' use, go with yellow gold instead!
Yellow gold is a mixture of gold and silver. It's also called "gold-filled," which means that the base metal is solid 14-karat (or higher) gold, with at least 10% more gold than silver by weight. Yellow gold jewelry can be thought of as a kind of "middle ground" between white gold (18K or higher) and yellow platinum (14K).
Like white and rose gold, yellow gold changes color depending on its purity level. For example, 14-karat yellow will appear more orange than 18K yellow; likewise, 14K may be darker than 18K when exposed to air for an extended period of time—this process is known as oxidation.
Gone are the days of simple, unchanging gold. Modern metallurgists have given us a plethora of alloys that can cut and carve like metal, but also change color depending on light and temperature. The most popular example is rose gold.
Rose gold is an alloy of copper and other metals (usually nickel). While it does contain some gold, it's not a pure metal—you can't melt it down and turn it into coins or bars like you would with regular old bullion.
Instead, rose gold has become popular for jewelry because its unique hue adds a sense of luxury to any design. Most often used in engagement rings because its soft pinkish hue evokes feelings of love and romance—but this same property makes it perfect for any kind of jewelry where you want people to associate your piece with something warm, inviting, or luxurious
Is There "Pure" Gold?
Gold is a chemical element and a precious metal. It's naturally occurring, meaning it's found in the earth's crust. Gold is very malleable and ductile, which means it can be rolled out into sheets or drawn into wires. Because of its malleability and ductility, gold is often used to make jewelry.
It's so beautiful that humans have been using it for thousands of years to decorate their bodies (think Egyptian pharaohs or rhinestone-studded cowboy boots) as well as their belongings (think fine watches).
Gold is a precious metal that has been used for centuries as a symbol of wealth, power and good fortune. It's also thought to have healing properties, and there are many different ways of using gold medicinally. Gold is one of the most valuable metals on Earth today because it's rare enough not to be found in large quantities but still useful enough that people want it around them all the time!
Until Next Time Our Precious Soul Fam,
- Soul Impactful