Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” make mention of gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans. Today, we mere mortals are still in awe of its allure and treasure its value. Especially as we see its value skyrocket in the stock market. Jewelry today, for the most part, is not “pure” gold.
Gold is one of the heaviest metals known. One cubic foot of gold weighs more than half a ton. “Karat” or “carat” is a unit of measure, stems from the old Greek “keration”, a weight. In the U.S., pure gold is referred to as “24 karat” or equal to 1/24 part. Twelve (12) Karat gold, is 50 percent pure. In the European System, 100% pure gold is considered “1000 fine”. When you see something stamped on the inside of a ring as 750, it refers to 75% gold content, the same as 18 karat gold. Fourteen karat gold is 58% pure gold.
There is nothing like the rich deep yellow almost orange color of pure gold. Pure gold is soft and very malleable. To give gold strength alloys such as nickel, copper, silver and others may be added reducing the gold content and creating other color shades.
Colors come in shades of green, pale yellow, yellow, deep yellow, pink/rose and red. There are also white golds and even unusual colored golds, such as ‘purple gold’. They all have different strengths, hardness and malleability.
Whatever your karat or color preference, gold is a magnificent material. It also offers wonderful options for your wedding jewelry. Enjoy!