All about Gold - Opal & Jade

All about Gold

Posted on July 03, 2016 by Francoise Kout

Mother Earth often creates beautiful materials by surprise. For example, precious metals such as silver, gold, copper, platinum, and palladium can be found in several places around the world. As a goldsmith, much of my experience has been with silver and gold. When finding gold in its purest form, it is not easy to create long lasting jewelry due to the softness of the metal. If a ring was to be made out of 100% pure gold, silver, or platinum, it would lose its shape immediately with thin measurements used and one handshake. One would have to be extremely delicate when wearing any of these metals in its purest form. 
 
A clever solution has been invented where the pure metal materials can be mixed in order to make jewelry so that they are more durable for daily use and somewhat less expensive. Materials that are used to create this are copper, silver, and gold since they cause less irritation on the skin. Generally, gold and silver is mixed with copper or alloyed with copper, silver, or palladium alloy to provide wearable jewelry. Nickel, for instance, is a material where many people have irritation from and has been found to cause allergic reactions. 
 
You have probably seen stamped or written in gold jewelry pieces, the number 585/14K or 750/18K. In silver, you may have seen 925 or 835. In platinum, the number 950 is the most common. Jewelry or precious jewelry show these stamps which correspond to the alloy. These numbers are generally measured out of 1000, so 100% pure gold equals then 1000 pieces of pure gold. So if you see 585 written on the inside of a ring, it means that 585 our of 1000 is pure gold pieces and the remaining 415 pieces is an alloy of silver and copper. In the case of white gold, the 750 pure gold for example is alloyed with silver and palladium to mask the yellow of the gold and create the correct metallic color. 
 
After these alloys are melted, the material becomes strong enough for creating jewelry. The jewelry is then able to have precious stones mounted that will not come out easily. All of our designs at Opal & Jade are handcrafted with 14K rose gold or higher. 
With love & gratitude, 
Françoise

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