Demystifying Gold: Your Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Gold Jewellery

Est. Reading: 3 minutes
November 23, 2023
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Gold, a timeless emblem of wealth and beauty, has enchanted humans for millennia with its mesmerising glow and intrinsic value. However, gold’s various forms and grades often raise questions – even among the most seasoned buyers.

In this article, we’ll unravel the fascinating world of gold, delving into its distinguishing traits, exploring its various hues and carats, and addressing some of the most frequently asked questions about this distinguished metal.

What Does 'Carat' Mean in Gold Jewellery?

The term 'carat' stands as a measure of gold purity, where 24 Carat (24K) is the symbol for pure gold. However, such purity makes the gold too soft for everyday jewellery, requiring it to be mixed with other metals to boost its strength.

Let’s take a closer look at how carat measurements relate to the purity of gold:

  • 10K = 41.7% gold (durable)
  • 14K = 58.3% gold (balance of durability and purity)
  • 18K = 75% gold (purer, softer)
  • 24K = 100% gold (pure)

It’s important to understand that these figures provide a range of choices – allowing you to select the gold purity that best suits your jewellery needs, budget, and lifestyle.

What’s the Difference Between KT and CT in Gold?

When it comes to gold jewellery, the terms 'KT' and 'CT' may seem different, but both represent the same concept – the carat purity, or measure, of gold.

The only difference is geography; 'KT' is predominantly used in North America, while 'CT' is more common elsewhere in the world. Learn more about what the difference between Carrot, Carat, and a Karat are here?

How Are Different Colours of Gold Created?

Gold in its purest form possesses a characteristic yellow hue. This means that the closer a piece of jewellery is to 24K, the deeper its golden colour will be.

But gold’s appeal isn’t just its natural lustre – its versatility also allows us to enjoy it in other colours.

Rose Gold

Rose gold owes its pinkish tint to the alloying of gold with copper. The resulting unique colour palette, combined with its warm undertones, has seen rose gold rise in popularity in many contemporary jewellery designs.

White Gold

Serving as a cost-efficient alternative for platinum, white gold consists of pure gold mixed with other naturally-white metals – giving it the white appearance. The most popular of these metal ‘additives’, rhodium, helps create a lustrous, silvery appearance whilst also reinforcing the jewellery’s durability.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gold

Diving deeper into the world of gold, let’s address some common FAQs:

Is Gold Hypoallergenic?

Gold itself is considered hypoallergenic, though many people can have allergic reactions to the other metals alloyed with gold in jewellery. If you have sensitive skin, consider higher-carat gold pieces to avoid any possible irritants.

How is Gold Jewellery Valued?

The value of gold jewellery is determined by the gold’s weight, its carat purity, and the design and craftsmanship of the piece. Historical items or pieces from renowned designers may also hold additional value.

What Does 'Hallmarked Gold' Mean?

A hallmark is a small impression stamped into the gold by an official assay office. This mark guarantees the gold’s purity and serves as a seal of quality assurance. In Ireland, the Dublin Assay Office oversees all gold hallmarking on the island.

What's the Difference Between Gold and Gold Plated?

Solid gold jewellery is made entirely of gold, whereas gold-plated pieces are made of a different metal coated with a thin layer of gold. While solid gold is more expensive, it’s also more durable and valuable.

Can You Resell Gold and Gold Jewellery?

Absolutely! Gold, as you know, is a valuable metal and can easily be resold. We offer a cash for gold service for anyone looking to sell their old and unwanted gold. Find out more about our cash for gold service here.

Ready to Learn More?

From timeless gold jewellery pieces to one-off modern designs, Martin Gear Jewellers brings decades of gold expertise to the heart of Dublin City Centre. To learn more simply drop into our workshop on 5 Mary St, Dublin 1, or call us on (01) 872 8726.

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