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Gold is one of the world's most precious metals and is the oldest known to humankind. Due to gold's magnificent properties and wonderful luster, it is considered to be the most important metal in jewelry making.

The purity of gold is measured in Karats and is now also measured in terms of fineness (i.e. European Marking). Pure gold is 24 Karats or 1000 fineness. The process of understanding what exactly a Karat is becomes rather simple when gold is thought of as an alloy (a mixture of various metals) where the karats define the percent of pure gold in the alloy. Therefore, you may determine the percentage of pure gold in any gold piece by dividing the karat by 24 (e.g. 18K gold: 18/24=0.750=75% pure gold).
The following table clarifies this:

Karat Parts Gold to Alloy Percent Pure Gold Fineness
(i.e. European Marking)
10K 10/24 41.67% 417
14K 14/24 58.33% 583
18K 18/24 75.00% 750
24K 24/24 99.99% 999

Nothing less than 10-karat gold can be legally marked or sold as gold jewelry in the United States. The legal requirements for minimum gold content vary widely country-by-country (e.g. 9 Karat is popular in Britain, while in France, Italy and Switzerland, 18k is the lowest permissible standard to be called gold).
Gold alloys, aside from strengthening gold for jewelry, can also affect its color. The following table demonstrates the most common colors of gold alloys and the metals used in making them:

Color Of Gold Additional Metals Used
Yellow Gold Copper, Silver
White Gold Nickel, Zinc, Copper
Green Gold Silver, Zinc, Copper
Rose Gold Copper, Silver
There are several different abbreviations for Karat that should be known. The following table demonstrates the most common of them:

Abbreviation Meaning
YG or KY Yellow Gold
WG or KW White Gold
K or KT Karat
It is very important to verify that when your paying for solid gold, you're getting it! When purchasing gold products from us, we guarantee that everything is solid. We do not sell any products that are gold plated, filled, bonded, etc. These items are much less expensive than solid gold. Common things to watch out for, unless you're specifically intending to purchase, are:

Vermeil - Vermeil is Gold Plated Sterling Silver

Gold Plated - Gold Plated (GP or KGP or RGP) items have a very thin layer of gold electroplated to the surface of the item. They have some other type of (base) metal underneath. GP items are always less expensive than their Gold Filled counterparts.

Gold Filled - Gold Filled (GF or KGF) is a layer of 10Kt or better gold mechanically bonded under heat & pressure to one or more surfaces of supporting base metal, then rolled or drawn to a given thickness. The amount of real gold used is why GF items are always much more expensive than their gold plated counterparts.
A little time and effort on your part will keep your gold jewelry looking new from the day you purchase it. Gold is lasting and durable but can get scratched or dented if treated roughly. The most important steps to care for your gold jewelry include:
  1. Make sure that all jewelry is removed during rough work or when handling harsh chemicals. Gold's worst enemy is chlorine, so be careful not to wear it in swimming pools or Jacuzzis.
  2. It is generally best to clean your jewelry with warm water, mild soap (not detergent), and a soft toothbrush. Rinse under warm running water and pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  3. Store it in a fabric-lined box away from other pieces to preserve it from getting scratched
  4. Periodically inspect your gold for weakness or damage and take it to a professional jeweler for immediate repair if you notice any deterioration. Your jeweler will be able to preserve it for you.