Gold has been popular
for millennia for its brilliant shine. The
fact that it does not corrode, tarnish or
rust is great too. It is a rare element and
its price reflects that. Being a soft metal,
it is also easy to work with.
Neither is better than
the other. 18K gold is more expensive due to
the higher gold content. Because it has more
gold, it is more yellow. However, the extra
gold also makes it softer. A setting made
with 14K gold will hold stones a little
better because the 58.333% of other metals
stiffens it. Ultimately, it comes down to
your personal taste
Your item is real
gold. Its karatage is stated on the item
description. If the karat stamp happened to
be on the portion that was removed when your
item was resized, the karat stamp will be
missing. The stamp could also be missing if
the manufacturer of the item rushes
manufacturing and skips the stamping
There are some tests you can perform on the
gold to test it. First being a visual
When you look at the gold, are there any
black, silver or other color blotches in it?
When you hold the gold item, does it feel
heavy? Has the karatage been stamped on it?
The following table will show you the common
locations of the karatage stamp.
Another test you can do is the acid test.
Gold is the only yellow metal that does not
react with nitric acid. 10K gold or less may
react to this test due to the low gold
content. Test kits are available at jewelry
supply stores. The test usually involves
rubbing a miniscule amount of the metal on
the supplied paper and putting a drop of the
acid on the paper rubbings. If the color
does not change, it is real gold.
A third test you can do is the price test.
If the price is too good to be true, it
probably is. To figure out the value of your
gold, you need to know the current market
value for gold, the gold ounce weight and
its karatage. The value can be calculated
value = (weight in ounces) x (gold market
value) x (karatage/24)
For example, if the price of gold is $900
per ounce, and you are looking at a 22K gold
pendant that weighs 1/4 ounces, the formula
value = (1/4) x ($900.00) x (22/24) =
value = (0.25) x ($900.00) x (91.667) =
The price can be higher for workmanship or
branding, but if the asking price is $100,
you can be sure that the pendant is not 18K
gold or even real gold.
24K gold is yellow and yellow only. Gold can
be mixed with other metals to create other
colors. The following chart shows what
combinations of other metals are used to
create the different colors of gold.
12.2% nickel 5.97% zinc
* White gold is often coated with
Rhodium to mask any yellow tints.
** These are hard to work with and
are rarely found in jewelry.
Platinum is a relatively new precious metal
to the jewelry field compared with gold. The
qualities of platinum are similar to gold in
that it will not corrode, tarnish or rust.
However, platinum is very hard compared to
gold and silver. It is usually mixed with
iridium which makes it difficult to work
Platinum is expensive because it is rarer
than gold. It is also heavier than gold,
making jewelry of the same size weigh more.
It is also more difficult to work with due
to its high melting point and rapid setting.
Annually, only about 133 tons of platinum
are mined, compared to 1,782 tons of gold.