Educational Home > Jewelry Education > Gold
When buying gold jewelry, always look for the karat mark. If all other variables
are equal, the higher the karat, the more expensive the piece is. In the United
States, 14-karat gold, or 583 parts pure gold, is the most common degree
of fineness. Gold Karat less than 10k cannot legally be marked or sold as gold
jewelry in the U.S. However, lower karat, such as 8-karat gold and 9-karat gold,
are popular in other countries. Always look for the karat mark or "k" that appears
on the back of the piece.
By U.S. law, if a karat mark appears you should also
see the manufacturer's
trademark to assure you that the karat marking
is accurate. The country of origin should also appear. In addition to the karat
mark, every piece of gold jewelry should be stamped
with a hallmark or trademark
of its maker, and sometimes its country of origin.
These designations assure
you that you are buying genuine karat gold jewelry.
Heavier pieces contain more gold.
Below are descriptions of the most common karats used in fine jewelry.
|24k - too soft for fine jewelry
14k/18k - ideal for fine jewelry
10k - affordable for fine jewelry
24 Karat Gold
In its purest form, the metal is comprised of 100% gold with virtually no alloy metals.
Because it is extremely soft and pliable, this is not recommended for use in fine jewelry.
18 Karat Gold
This alloy consists of 75% gold and 25% alloy metals. 18 karat gold has been found to be the perfect balance
between gold purity and strength. Anjolee’s entire jewelry line can be made in 18k White or Yellow Gold.
14 Karat Gold
The most popular for jewelry is 14 karat gold which is 58.3% pure gold; the remainder is comprised of alloy
metals. Anjolee’s entire jewelry line can be made in 14k White or Yellow Gold.
10 Karat Gold
This level of the metal consists of 41.7% gold. This is the minimum purity that can still be considered gold in
the United States. It weighs the least when compared to higher karat gold. Anjolee’s entire jewelry line can
be made in 10k White or Yellow Gold.
Gold Filled, also called Gold Overlay, refers to a layer of at least 10-karat
gold that has been permanently
bonded by heat and pressure to one or more
surfaces of the support metal, then rolled or drawn to a prescribed
The karat gold must be at least 1/10 of the total weight.
Gold Plate means that a layer of plating of 10-karat gold or better has been
bonded to a base metal. The karat
gold content may be less than 1/20, but it
must be properly identified by weight in terms of total metal content.
Gold Leaf is just gold plating that's been pounded and applied by hand.
Yellow gold is alloyed with copper, zinc and silver. It is frequently used in diamond
jewelry and considered
a classic metal choice. It is malleable, ductile, and generally non-corrosive, so it has a high melting point
and is not susceptible to compression.
White gold is alloyed with copper, zinc and nickel. The percentage of gold naturally
varies, according to the
amount of other metal used. White gold is highly reflective
and not subject to tarnish.
Rose gold (also known as pink gold) is alloyed with copper, and in some cases silver. The proportions are
about one part of copper to three parts of 24-karat gold.
Gold pricing is based on a number of factors, including karat, gram weight,
design and craftsmanship.
The karat and gram weight tell you how much gold
is in a piece, but don't rely on these alone to determine price.
a price based solely on gram weight does not reflect the work that has gone
into the piece.
Other important factors to consider are the jewelry's construction and design.
The techniques of construction
can make a piece more durable and flexible
for added comfort. A well-made piece in a classic design will give you
of wear and enjoyment and, if cared for properly, will last a lifetime.
Unique design, intricate details,
gemstones or a special clasp may add to
Gold jewelry is mainly produced by machine. Any additional hand finishing
or textural interest raises the cost.
Similar looking pieces may have vastly
different price tags. This is because different pieces may have specific
characteristics that make them unique. So look carefully to notice any
differences and similarities. Often, it's
these small details that give you pleasure through the years that you enjoy a piece of jewelry, and ensure
that your children will also enjoy it.