Gold has been prized for millennia for its singular appearance and warm sheen. It has gained an aura of mystique that sets it apart from virtually any other precious metal – it was worn by royals to symbolize divinity, it rests at the heart of the world's monetary systems, and has even been the impetus for some of history's most famous battles. But how well do you understand the unique properties of this time-honored element? Read this section to learn all about gold and what makes it unique.
Gold, represented as "Au" on the periodic table of elements, has many remarkable qualities. It is extremely resistant to tarnish, rust, or corrosion, yet remains one of the softest metals when found in its purest form. So soft, in fact, that for generations, jewelers have blended gold with more durable metals such as silver, copper, nickel, and zinc, thereby making gold suitable for everyday wear without sacrificing its natural beauty. The measurement of the presence of other metals within gold is expressed in karats, with 24 karats equal to 100% pure gold. For maximum strength and beauty, choose either 14 or 18 karat gold; over 18 karats is considered too soft for jewelry and less than 14 karats is considered to be of lesser quality. As you would expect, prices increase as karat weight increases.
Gold jewelry obtains its color from both the type and quantity of metal alloys included within the piece. We offer jewelry in yellow, white and rose gold.
We offer both 18k and 14k yellow gold jewelry. Since 18k gold contains more gold that 14k, it presents a deeper, richer yellow color. Typically, 14k gold is used for earring backs, bracelet clasps, and other situations where strength is critical.
Both 18k and 14k white gold of course contain gold, and therefore display a muted yellow color. To achieve total whiteness, most white gold is rhodium plated. Over time, wear can cause this plating to diminish and reveal the yellowish color underneath. Jewelry can be re-plated easily and will restore the piece to its original brilliance.
To achieve the distinctive blush of rose gold, the proportion of copper in the metal alloy is increased. Rose gold is available in 18k or 14k.
Caring for gold
To keep your gold looking as bright and beautiful as the day you received it, avoid harsh chemicals like chlorine and certain cleaning liquids. To clean gold jewelry, simply rinse the gold in a mixture of warm water and detergent-free soap. You may use a soft bristle brush if needed to clean away debris and buildup. We recommend that you store gold jewelry wrapped in individual soft cloth bags or within their original boxes to keep them safe from scratches and abrasion.