When it comes to buying jewelry, and especially gold jewelry, you as a customer must go into any situation with some pre-existing knowledge of what you should be looking for.
Choosing to use high-quality real gold is a very important feature to designers working with breathtaking color gemstones and brilliant diamonds because they want to provide a secure and stunning backdrop to these gifts from nature. The designers at JustDesi, are passionate about making sure that all of our customers are equipped with the knowledge and education that enable them to make informed decisions about factors like gold purity and the different types of gold that are available to them. We also think it is important for our clients to be able to recognize and understand the various quality markings that distinguish one type of precious metal from another. This also helps to determine if an item is created solely from precious metals or if base metals are part of the piece as well.
Here is the Just Desi guide to everything that you need to know when you are shopping for an engagement ring or buying gold jewelry for any other special occasion.
How To Understand Gold Purity
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you have an understanding of the purity of gold. It is primarily the purity that determines the value. Essentially, the higher the purity, the higher the value and cost.
The purity of gold jewelry is measured in something called karats. If the gold in question has 24 karats, that means that your piece is 100 percent pure gold, the absolute purest standard available for a buyer. The thing to remember, however, is that you don’t need to limit yourself to buying solid gold jewelry and only solid gold jewelry.
The truth is that 24 karat gold is actually incredibly soft, and therefore it is prone to get damaged easily. Even a slight bump or scratch or dent can be caused by doing regular everyday activities if you aren’t careful with your pure gold piece.
If you are looking to build a jewelry collection that is suitable for every day, then we advise you to search for quality gold that is in the lower karats bracket. For example, items like rings and gold chains in the 10 karats to 14 karat range are ideal to wear every single day without worrying about tarnish and damage while still maintaining the natural beauty of gold.
For pieces such as necklaces and earrings, JustDesi recommends looking in the jewelry store for 14 karats to 18 karat options. You can afford to go a little bit higher in karats for these pieces because necklaces and earrings are worn in places on the body less prone to knocks, scrapes, and friction.
High karat gold jewelry is best for special occasions. Precious metals between 18 karats and 24 karats are the most delicate you can have, and these items should only be worn on special occasions to preserve their quality for as long as possible.
Different Colors of Gold Jewelry
You might be most familiar with traditional yellow gold, but there is an entire range of colors to choose from. When you combine two precious metals, they create an alloy, and this alloy is much stronger than pure gold on its own.
Part of the result of creating a gold alloy is getting a range of different colors, here are a few of the most popular colors for this type of jewelry.
White gold is incredibly popular, accounting for a large portion of all affordable modern gold jewelry sales today.
White gold is created when jewelers combine nickel with gold, but it can also come from combining other elements like copper, palladium, and zinc.
Though the name is white, white gold alloys can never be completely white. The truth is that the majority of white gold jewelry gets plated with rhodium to give it its distinct color. Rhodium is another precious metal that is beautiful and highly prized in the creation of fine jewelry.
It is easy to confuse white gold and sterling silver so always check for hallmarks. Sterling silver is marked with 925 while white gold will be stamped with its karat grade.
Something to be aware of is that due to the fact of white gold has yellow minerals in it like zinc, it can sometimes tend to turn yellow over time.
Platinum is a popular alternative to white gold.
Rose gold is one of the trendiest options on the market and has been for the last decade or so.
JustDesi promotes rose gold for its versatility, able to suit both casual and formal occasions perfectly. Rose gold is an alloy of copper and gold which gives it its stylish pink hue.
Most commonly, you will find rose gold pieces in 14 karat, which is 58.5 percent pure gold.
One of the biggest selling points of rose gold is the way that the color blends effortlessly with other precious metals and gemstones. You can pair rose gold pieces with silver jewelry as well as other gold pieces
Gold Plated, Gold Filled, and Gold Vermeil
More affordable than real gold is gold plated, gold-filled, and gold vermeil jewelry. These are stylish alternatives to solid gold jewelry. Though these pieces are not as durable or valuable, they can still make a statement,
Gold plated is the most affordable. It is made by electroplating where a thin layer of gold is laid over a base metal such as brass or copper.
Gold-filled jewelry is made by bonding a base metal with a thicker layer of gold, and to be authentic it needed to be a minimum of 5 percent gold by weight.
Gold vermeil is very similar to plated gold, with the difference coming in the base metal which is generally of higher quality than silver. To be true vermeil, the plating needs to be at least 100 millionths of an inch thick, and a minimum of 10 karats!
Although not real gold, technology has enabled these faux golds to look very good and people are not able to tell the difference when it is worn as jewelry
The All-Important Quality Markings
When buying gold jewelry, always look for quality markings. Also known as hallmarks, they ensure that the item is the real deal and not counterfeit or of lesser quality.
You can find quality marking engraved or stamped directly onto the piece of jewelry, and gold plated jewelry will often have a GP mark on it.
When dealing with solid gold, there will be a karat mark. For example, if your piece of 10 karats, you will find a 10 karat mark (or a 417 European mark depending on where you are in the world). This signifies that the jewelry is 41.7 percent pure gold.
Something that is 24 karat gold will have the 24 karat mark or 999 in Europe. This is to signify the item is made from 99.99 percent pure gold.
Tips For How To Choose Your Gold Jewelry
Alongside all of the advice Just Desi has already provided above, here are a few more tried and tested tips for how to choose the best gold jewelry.
- Always buy from a jeweler who has an established and customer-friendly return policy. Make sure that the return policy and warranty are all valid before you make any big purchase.
- Consider the occasion that you are buying for because not all pieces of jewelry match all occasions. For big-ticket events like weddings, a higher karat piece might be appropriate, but lesser occasions such as anniversaries, birthday gifts, or even everyday wear don’t require such a level of cost or karat.
- Consider your collection at home (or the collection of your recipient), and choose something that you think is suited to the recipient’s style. It doesn’t matter how much something costs, if the person doesn’t like it or thinks it doesn’t match the rest of their collection, they are much less likely to want to wear it!
- Here at JustDesi, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of choosing a good seller from whom to buy your gold jewelry. There are so many great pieces available everywhere that it can be tempting to pick who is closest, or who is cheapest, but it pays off to do your research. Settle on a jeweler who is trustworthy and has a good reputation in the industry. When large amounts of money are changing hands for relatively small items, you want to have the confidence and assurance that you are doing business with a company that has the customer’s best interests at heart.