Things to Know When Buying Gold Jewelry

By: Shelia Foster

For thousands of years people have recognized gold as a precious commodity and have cherished it. The Aztecs thought it was tears from the sun and gathered huge hoards of gold. As societies evolved over the eons gold was used as a universal trade currency as virtualy all societies and governments cherished it and recognized golds value.

In the not too distant past gold jewelry was something that was only worn by the wealthy and it was only the industrialization of western society that led to working people being able to afford more then a wedding band with regards to gold jewelry. So, now people everywhere are buying and wearing great gold jewelry that there ancestors would have not dared to dream of ever owning and wearing.

What is it about gold jewelry that separates one piece from another and why is some so much cheaper then other pieces that are so similar to it. To start with the carat weight of gold doesn't refer to the actual weight of the gold itself such as it does in a gemstone. The carat weight of gold jewelry only refers to the amount of gold that is in the gold itself.

For instance, 24 karat gold is pure 100% gold and if you ever have had chance to see it, it has a very rich gold color. Gold jewelry is almost never made from 24 karat gold, because it is far too soft and will dent and scratch very easily. 24 karat gold is often used to decorate wine glasses and table ware. On the other end though 10 carat gold is only 48 percent gold and it will contain other metals such as copper and silver to make up the other 52 percent.

This is why 10 karat gold jewelry is so much less expensive, tends to have a lighter look and can tarnish. Buying gold nugget jewelry can be a tricky business. To start with, you must be sure that the actual nuggets are genuine and not manufactured. Odd or interesting shaped nuggets tend to be more expensive then others.

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