Gold Jewelry - In Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces Etc

Gold is a precious metal and is generally measured in karats (K), 24K is pure gold. However since pure gold as a metal is too soft to be used in jewelry, it is usually mixed with some other metals (alloys) to make it stronger and more durable for use in jewelry pieces. A 10K gold jewelry piece for instance will contain 10 parts in gold and 14 parts of some other metal alloy(s).

In some countries, there is a minimum amount of gold karats that should be in a jewelry piece in order for it to be referred to as a gold piece, in the United States of America for instance, a jewelry piece must contain at least 10K (about 41%) of gold content for it to qualify as a gold jewelry piece.

A Red (Rose/Pink) Gold Jewelry Piece
14K Rose Gold Dangle Earrings

14K Rose Gold Dangle Earrings

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Pure gold is yellow in color, when it is mixed with some metal alloys it can however be used to produce gold metal in some other colors including white, red (also known as rose or pink gold), green and purple. Black gold can be produced as an oxide layer on the surface of metals that are made with a combination of gold and some specific type of metal alloys.

White gold is produced by mixing gold with a white metal like palladium or nickel. Some gold jewelry pieces like rings may be rhodium plated to make them look more whitish, the rhodium plating however will eventually wear off and will need to be reapplied at some point in time.

Some jewelers/stores may simply rhodium plate a yellow gold jewelry piece as white gold, this will become very obvious when the rhodium plating wears off, you may therefore need to confirm that your white gold jewelry piece is truly a white gold alloy and not just a rhodium plated yellow gold piece, before you buy.

Red gold is made by combining gold with copper and green gold is produced by combining gold with silver. Purple gold can be made with a combination of aluminum and gold, purple gold is however too brittle to be used on its own as a metal piece, hence it is generally used as inlays/gems on jewelry pieces.

Black gold can be made with different types of methods including electroplating as an oxide layer on the surface of some gold alloy metals, the layer may however wear off over time, hence you may need to know if they can be replaced/reapplied before you buy any piece of jewelry that would have been made with them.

Some common gold karats in jewelry pieces are 9K, 10K,14K, 16K, 18K and 22K, these will contain about 37%, 41%, 58%, 66%, 75% and 91% of gold content respectively.

The market value or real worth of the gold content in a jewelry piece (that is, in a ring, bracelet, necklace etc) can be derived/calculated by using the current market price for gold and the percentage of gold in a piece. You can learn more about this at Easily Determine If Your New Or Old Jewelry Piece Is Valuable Or Not.

The more the gold content that is in a jewelry piece the more valuable that piece will be.

A Yellow Gold Jewelry Piece
Yellow Gold Created Sapphire Necklace
Yellow Gold Created Sapphire Necklace

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Reusing Old Or Existing Gold Jewelry

As noted earlier a gold jewelry piece will usually contain an alloy(s), hence in order to reuse an old or existing jewelry piece, the piece will need to be refined to remove the alloy and any other impurities and unwanted materials in the piece. Without this, the gold from the old/existing jewelry piece may be porous and can be brittle enough to break if it is simply melted and then reused again as it were.

Some jewelry stores may be able to refine your gold jewelry for you or may send it to a refinery.
Your piece will usually be sent along with some other gold jewelry pieces for refining by a jeweler. Hence it may not be the exact gold from your original piece that you will get back, since the gold in your piece would have been refined along with those other pieces.

Jewelers may provide you with some store credit and/or pay you based on the market value of the amount of pure gold in your piece. You will however need to pay for the cost of refining your jewelry piece, you may also have to pay for some other costs like the cost of labor etc too in order to reuse your recovered gold in a new jewelry piece.

Some other options you may also have with reusing a jewelry piece especially if it has some sentimental value, is to simply add some gemstone to the piece without refining the gold, or you may opt to use the gemstone(s) in the piece in a completely new jewelry piece instead, you can review all of these options together with a jeweler in order to determine the best option that would work for you.

A White Gold Jewelry Piece
White Gold Citrine Ring

White Gold Citrine Ring

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Allergies And Hypoallergenic Jewelries

Some people are allergic to nickel and copper hence they may be affected in some way by the nickel or copper alloy in a gold jewelry piece. Such people will therefore need to choose or select some gold jewelry pieces that are without any of these alloys for their use. You can learn more about hypoallergenic jewelries at Hypoallergenic Jewelries And Allergies.

Gold Plated Jewelry

These are not made with gold but are rather plated or coated with it. All types of gold plating/coating will eventually wear off after a while, it may however be possible to re-plate or re-coat some of these.

Gold plated jewelries may be plated or coated with differing layers of gold, they can be electroplated with a thin layer or gold filled/rolled with some thicker layer. They can also be toned or merely colored with some gold or can be vermeil plated. You can learn more about gold plating at Jewelry Quality – Choosing The Best Type Of Jewelries In Terms Of Quality.

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