There is a lot of difference between the white gold, the yellow gold, the rose gold. And what about the vermeil gold and goldfilled items! It’s not only the color and the value but also the amount of gold in your piece of jewelry. Since gold is becoming more and more popular it is good to know what is the difference between all the golden precious metals. And to find out what choices you have when you want to purchase a gold necklace or earrings.
The Italian women are always ‘into the gold’!
At the moment I am in Italy and when you sit on a terrace watching people going by (a favorite hobby of mine) you notice that Italian women wear a lot of gold. And they look absolutely great with their golden jewelry.
But the thing is that the color of the Italian gold is quite different then what I see at home (in the Netherlands). That is understandable because in the Netherlands the Italian or 8 carat gold is no gold. It is not called gold in my country. Even the 14-carat gold has not enough gold in it to call it gold. It is called ‘doublé’.
You have to add another metal to gold!
Gold itself is too soft to work with. So goldsmiths add another metal to it and depending on the extra metal the gold color changes. When you have a look at 18-carat gold, you know that they used 75% gold and 25%, copper. Copper is a reddish material, so the more copper is added to the gold the redder the gold becomes. Red gold contains 75% gold and 25% copper, rose gold is 75% gold, 22.5% copper and 2.5% silver and the pink gold has 75% gold, 20% copper and 5% silver. That is how the colors in gold are made.
But there are more colors in gold.
You don’t only have yellow or red gold, there is also white gold. That is, there is gold that is mixed with palladium or nickel to get the white color. 18 Carat of white gold contains 75% gold, 10% palladium, 10% nickel and 5% zinc. 14 Carat white gold has 59% gold, 25,5% copper, 12,3% nickel and 3,2% zinc. To get that extra beautiful white glance on white gold they plate it with rhodium, what is a very rare metal and about 8 times more expensive than gold.
The amount of gold is important to determine the value.
Every country has (or should have) a certain percentage of the value of all the money of that country in gold bars in the bank. In this way, everyone knows that the money has a certain value and everybody accepts that money. Although it is only a piece of paper.
This system is invented by the Medici, a very very rich family from Florence, They started a bank in Italy in the late Middle Ages. And published papers with a certain value and they were the back-up. And the guarantee that the value on this paper was paid in gold whenever the owner of that paper asked for it. Very practical for salesmen, so they don’t have to carry all that gold around.
Gold in your safe
I cannot imagine that you want to have a bar of pure gold in your safe, just to be sure that your money is safe. You can look at it and pay a fortune to prevent someone to steal it from you. The good thing is that gold not only remains its value but the value increases since there are not so many goldmines anymore.
Haven’t you seen all those jewelry shops that advertise with ‘bring your old gold and I will give you the best price’? That is a way to gain gold and to recycle it in new pieces of jewelry. The bad thing is that ‘new’ gold will get more expensive.
Nowadays rich people have stocks. But when a trade war is going on or the rich and famous don’t trust the value of their own money anymore they buy diamonds and gold. At the moment a lot of people sell their stocks and buy gold. Just now the golden jewelry is getting more and more popular.
So the amount of pure 24-carat gold in your piece of jewelry determines the value of that jewel.
What is goldfilled or vermeil gold?
As mentioned above the material gold is very expensive and when people cannot or will not pay for a solid gold piece of jewelry. And still want a golden jewel, they mostly choose for vermeil of gold filled jewelry. What is this?
Vermeil is 925 silver layered with a thin coating of gold. The standard plating is about 2 millionths of an inch of gold, but a vermeil coating is much more than that: it is 50 times more, so 100 millionths of an inch of gold. Vermeil has the same shine and glance as 14-carat gold and it does not wear down easily. You can clean it with a soft cloth, but don’t use chemicals, like a silver or gold cleaner.
Gold-filled is even better than vermeil. The base is silver or another metal and this material is plated by a minimum of 1/20th of the total weight of the piece of jewelry. And with gold filling, they use also 14 or 18-carat gold. The amount of gold used in gold filled is regulated by the government. Gold-filled looks exactly the same as 18-carat gold, although it is not solid gold.
So when you want to buy a piece of gold jewelry you know it will keep its value, And you have a choice in such a lot of types of gold that you will find one piece that you love and can afford!
In the meanwhile, I am looking in the windows of the jeweler shops here in Italy. Amazed about the great designs, quality, and choice in pieces of jewelry they offer. Probably I look like a magpie, but I am happy to look at all these gorgeous pieces. I’ll bet you want to have something in gold too.
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Hug, Florence of FlorenceJewelshop