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FACTS ABOUT GOLD
Before Ordering Gold or Silver, Please Read
The following information is courtesy
of Sun Fashion Designs®
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THE VARIOUS "KARAT" RATINGS OF GOLD?
Pure gold is 24K
and is rarely used in jewelry because it is too soft. Gold is normally mixed with
copper and silver for yellow gold; or nickel, zinc and copper for white gold. 10K
gold is 42% gold and 58% alloy. 14K is 58% gold and 42% alloy. 18K is 75% gold and
25% alloy. Solid gold is NOT necessarily pure gold, but gold of whatever purity,
In the past, all
gold pieces carried a stamp indicating the karat value of the piece. Recently, this
has been changing. To save time and money, manufacturers have taken to stamping pieces
that have a large enough, design free area to carry a standard size stamp. Otherwise,
they have been stamping the attachment, i.e. bezel or bale.
WHAT DO THE TERMS
GOLD FILLED, GOLD OVERLAY AND GOLD ELECTROPLATE MEAN?
is an overlay of 10K gold or better, bonded by means of heat and pressure to a base
metal (usually brass). By Federal standards, the weight of the gold must be at least
1/20th of the total weight of the metal. If referred to as gold filled , the jewelry
must be stamped with the weight and fineness of the gold. For example: 1/20 14K;
or 14KGF. (If GF is used the weight is not required).
is manufactured by the same method as gold filled, however, the weight of the gold
can be less than 1/20th the weight of the metal. It can also be called gold plate,
rolled gold plate and rolled gold. It must carry a quality stamp as required for
gold filled; for example: 1/40 12K.
Gold electroplate is gold that has been electrolytically deposited on a base metal.
By Federal standards, in order to be called gold electroplate (or G.E.), the gold
must be at least 7 mils (millionths of an inch) of an inch thick and of a fineness
of 10K or better. The words goldtone and gold wash are Federally approved terms for
items less than 7 mils, however, "layered in 14K gold" is commonly used.
There is no Federal standard for the word "layered", so it can mean any
thickness of gold, even as low as 1 mil.
The words "Heavy Gold Electroplate" (HGE) can only be used if the thickness
of the gold is 100 mils or more. There are 40 mils to a micron, and occasionally
you will hear H.G.E. referred to as 2 1/2 microns of gold.
ISN'T GOLD FILLED
BETTER THAN GOLD ELECTROPLATE?
It depends on the thickness of the gold electroplate. Consider what happens when
a chain is made of gold filled material. A length of brass wire, which has a thin
layer of gold on the outside, is drawn, stretched, bent, stamped, polished, etc.
Some areas end up with little or no gold, while other areas might have more than
needed. Electroplating deposits the gold in a uniform manner on the surface of the
metal. If the gold is applied heavy enough, the finished product is superior to gold
HOW CAN I DETERMINE THE THICKNESs OF THE GOLD?
No one can tell the thickness of the gold just by looking at the piece. The most
accurate method of measuring thickness is with special x-ray equipment, and even
then the operator must know the exact alloy composition in order to get an accurate
WHAT ABOUT GOLD ITEMS ON THE FOREMOST JEWELRY SITE?
All gold jewelry at FOREMOST is 14K solid gold. Usually molded on one side and
concave on the other, to make the piece larger for the weight and to make the piece
"lie" better. Flat pieces may be etched on one or both sides. 3D pieces
are marked as such. The theme carries through on both sides.
Vermeil jewelry is sterling silver overlaid with gold, very often 22K.
WHY IS FOREMOST JEWELRY LESS EXPENSIVE THAN OTHER DEALERS?
Low overhead and we are here to make a living, not a killing.
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