• Gold is an element listed on the periodic table as AU
• Almost all the gold on Earth came from meteorites that crashed the planet over 200 million years after it formed
• Gold is found in river’s, ocean’s and the Earths crust.
• In Mining ore, it takes about 3 tons to extract one ounce of gold, and it is difficult and expensive to extract. Although it is more scarce we think, it is the most popular metal for use in jewelry today
Here is a rundown on some types of gold used in jewelry; solid gold, gold filled, and gold plated.
Pure gold is 25-karat solid gold. It is much to soft and malleable to wear in jewelry, so it must be alloyed with other metals to give it strength and durability. 18-karat solid gold means 18 parts gold (75%), and 6 parts alloys (25%). 14-karat solid gold is 58.5% gold and 10-karat solid gold is 41.7% gold.
The remaining portion of the metal that is used in gold jewelry and other items is silver, but items can consist of other metals or a combination of metals such as platinum, copper, bronze, palladium, zinc, nickel, iron and cadmium. The lower the karat the less expensive it is because it is using less gold.
Gold filled is a solid layer of gold that is mechanically bonded to a base - jeweler’s brass. The layer of gold is 1/20th of the jeweler’s total weight. Gold used is usually 14-karat but sometimes may be 12-karat gold. It usually will be stamped with 14/20 or 12/20. Gold filled jewelry is good for everyday wear. It handles the wear and tear of daily living. It is affordable and with proper care it can last a lifetime.
Gold plated is a very light layer of gold on top of a base metal, usually brass or copper. The thin layer is plated onto the base metal to create gold plated jewelry. Gold plated jewelry is prone to tarnishing when it is exposed to any kind of liquids or chemicals (sweat, lotions, perfume, hairspray).
Sometimes the gold plating can be a higher quality than traditional gold plated jewelry. It is coated with an anti-tarnish coating so it will last longer than other gold plated jewelry. We recommend not exposing the jewelry to liquids or chemicals and to keep it in an anti-tarnish pouch when not is use.
At Carmella Designs, we use 14-karat, 10-karat and gold filled solid gold in our jewelry. When we do use gold plated in our jewelry, it is coated with an anti-tarnish coating. It will last longer when cared for as we have discussed above. We hope these facts have been useful to you and will be helpful in knowing what you are buying.
If you have a question about the metal we use in our jewelry, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 214-364-4707 during CDT business hours or email us anytime.