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A Survivor's Guide to Jewelry Buying - Gold

When it comes to making purchases, it’s up to the buyer to understand what they’re getting themselves into. But let’s be honest, the word gold can be a little misleading. How so? For starters, it can mean anything from the golden color to the material the jewelry is made from. The material could be either solid cold, gold filled, or gold plated. Gold also comes in different colors like white, yellow, rose, or green. On top of that, there’s a list of different karats of gold such as 24K gold, 18K gold, and so on.


Carefully reading the description of what you’re buying online is especially important as the title alone may not always explain what you’re paying for. If the seller isn’t completely clear with what you’d be purchasing, don’t buy it! Let us help sort out some of the terminology so you can understand what all these terms mean!

Since 24K gold is too soft to wear as jewelry, it is typically mixed with other metals (alloyed) to increase the hardness and durability. The karat quality stamping, usually found inside or on the back of a gold piece of jewelry, tells you what proportion of gold are mixed in with other metals. A few of them are:

18K or 750: This signifies the contents are 75% gold, 25% other metals

14K or 585: This signifies the contents are 58% gold, 42% other metals

10K or 420: This signifies the contents are 42% gold and 58% other metals. However, ten karat gold is the lowest level allowed under the US law.

Jewelry which is made of higher karat gold is more yellow in color and slightly softer than gold jewelry made with lower karat gold. The remaining amount that isn’t gold may include copper, silver, zinc or other metals. It’s equally important to be aware of alloys especially if you are allergic to certain metals or have a high acid content in your body. Acid in the skin or in your environment can cause your jewelry to change colors and deteriorate over time. This sort of chemical wear can make your jewelry appear to be of poor quality when it’s actually not.


Gold jewelry pulls in all sorts of style and design choices! Because of its creative design and manufacture, designer jewelry may cost more than jewelry gold jewelry. However, having the designer’s name stamped inside will increase the value of that specific piece, and many designer pieces become highly sought after.

Lastly, be sure your item is clearly marked with both karat weight and the manufacturer. This is especially true when buying jewelry online!

Gold pieces make beautiful jewelry that will last a lifetime. We’re more than willing to answer questions or talk through your gold choices. If you’re curious to see our work with gold, let us know and we would be happy to show you our handiwork!


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