Buying Gold Jewelry
The word gold can refer both to (24K) gold and gold in general. 24 carat gold is too soft to use by itself. It is usually mixed with other materials to provide durability. All authentic gold jewelry should have a carat notice on it – 14k, 16k, 18k etc.
The karat quality tells you the mixture of gold to base metal. For example, 14K jewelry contains 14 parts of gold mixed with 10 parts of base. The higher the karat, the more gold it contains.
You should see a karat quality mark on all real gold jewelry. Although not required by law, it is accepted practice. Be wary of anyone telling you that the jewelry you are purchasing is real without a carat marking. In addition, the trademark of the company should be on the marking so you know who to deal with if your jewelry doesn’t live up to it’s purported karat quality.
Solid gold means that the inside is not hollow and the item is made of gold. Rather like the chocolate rabbits at Easter, always go for solid gold!
Gold plated jewelry is different. Plating refers to the mechanical process by which an item has gold adhered to it. Eventually, the plating will wear away to the base metal. How long that takes depends upon wear, thickness of the plating and skin chemistry.
Other types of “gold jewelry” include gold-filled, gold overlay and rolled gold plate. 10 karat gold is usually bonded to a base metal in those instances. The jewelry you buy should have it noted if it’s overlayed etc and with the quality of the gold (10K, 14K etc). If it’s not disclosed fully, don’t buy the jewelry.
Gold electroplate describes jewelry that, by electrolytic process, has of a minimum of 10 karat gold deposited on a base metal. Gold electroplating will wear away more quickly than any other type of bonded material.
Costume jewelry fall into a different category. With the improvements in lab created gems including cubic zirconia, quality jewelry that mimics the look and attributes of “real jewelry” is becoming more popular. Don’t mistake the term costume jewelry for the type of jewelry you could buy at your local dollar store. Today’s costume jewelry is very high quality and near impossible for the average person to distinguish it from “real jewelry”
Kim is an independent consultant with Jewels by Park Lane. Jewels by Park Lane has made buying high quality costume jewelry affordable and fun.
Kim is an independent consultant with Jewels by Park Lane . Contact Kim to schedule a jewelry party or find out how you can be your own boss and receive a $1000 jewelry kit for FREE!