14k Gold Jewelry

Gold is a unique material. It has many uses and is one of the only materials that are guaranteed to grow in value over time. The price of gold increases as the value of other currency declines. Gold is non toxic, is easily shaped, and is extremely durable. It has always been associated with power, wealth, and beauty. It is also beautiful, ranging in shades and able to be formed into virtually any shape. As common as gold is today, it is a very limited resource. IN fact, all gold ever mined would fit under the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Called the “tears of the sun” by the ancient Incans, gold was found as a valuable metal as far back as 3100 bc. Gold was the first metal that was well known among humans. Discovered around the world, gold changed every civilization it was found in.

The Ancient Greeks were the first to use gold as a currency. It was mined in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas by the year 550 bc. More sophisticated mining techniques were then used. Greeks developed a system to divert streams and even used water wheels to separate the gold. The use of gold as currency had a large impact on the world economy. It allowed the Roman Empire to trade with others such as India, China, and Africa.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, gold was a main reason for migration to the West Coast of the United States. Mining, though very dangerous, was also extremely profitable. Prospectors could also pan for gold in streams relatively easily. The draw of instant wealth caused many families to brave the trip across the country and stake their claim. Some people were lucky and made a fortune, others were not rich but stayed to found towns and shape modern civilization. Similar gold rushes also took place in Brazil and Canada around the same time.

Since 1905, the largest producer of gold in the world is South Africa. Gold is also produced in Australia, Russia, Peru, and parts of the United States.

Pure gold is a very soft material. For jewelry it is alloyed with another metal to add durability and color. This lowers the amount of pure gold by carats. Common cartages of gold include; 22, 18, 14, and 10. The most common metal to combine with gold is copper. Golds with a high amount of copper have a rose color. Bronze, iron, and aluminum alloys make other shades of gold. They are bronze, blue, and purple hues.

When purchasing gold jewelry, ask if the gold is hallmarked. Hallmarks are used to denote the percentage of pure gold in a piece. It will also help you to verify if the piece is solid, plated, or overlay. Marks of “GP” or “EP” are gold or electro plated. A stamp of “RGP” is used for rolled gold plate. Filled gold has a stamp of “HGE.” In place of an actual hallmark it may be stamped with a number. Pieces that are 14k gold should be stamped as .585. If a piece of jewelry is marked as gold tone, it does not actually contain any gold. Gold tone is simply another metal that has been colored to resemble gold.

Ancient Egyptians are recorded as using gold for healing purposes. Over 5,000 years ago, they consumed gold to purify their thoughts and bodies. Alchemists created elixirs made of gold which was believed to restore health. It was also used for dental work, much like common dentistry practices.

Though gold was used by many civilizations for healing, it was not until 1890 that the claims were scientifically verified. Robert Koch was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine that year; he was a German doctor specializing in bacteria. He discovered that when used in medicine, gold slowed growth of the bacteria causing tuberculosis. During the nineteenth century, gold was used to help curb cravings for alcohol. This practice is still used in the United States.

Though commercial cleaners are available for purchase, a simple solution can easily be made at home. Warm water and a small amount of baking soda will clean dirt from your gold jewelry. You should not leave your pieces in the solution more than a minute and dry immediately. Avoid chlorine; it will have a negative affect on the alloys used in your gold jewelry.

Post a Response