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Learning Lounge: Golden Goodies



|Facts About Gold Jewellery| |Frequently Asked Questions About Gold|

FACTS ABOUT GOLD JEWELLERY

gold Why Gold is Unique: Of all the world’s precious metals, only gold combines lustrous beauty, easy workability, rarity, and virtual indestructability. Gold is so soft and malleable one once can be stretched into wire an incredible 5 miles long. Or hammered into a sheet so thin, it covers 100 square feet. It is said that more steel is poured in one hour than gold has been poured since the beginning of time. Since it does not rust, tarnish or corrode, gold virtually last forever. For instance, coins that have been found in the sunken galleons centuries old are a bright and shiny as the day they were cast.

Romancing the Gold: Whatever else gold means to the world, it has always been associated with the beauty of adornment. Wearing jewellery has not only accompanied man through most of his evolution, it may even be his oldest surviving tradition. Reflecting the properties of the precious metal itself, a gift of gold has always been the symbol of lasting love and devotion. Multiplied by millions, the simple gold wedding band probably uses more of the world’s gold than any other single type of jewellery. The Tradition of the wedding band began far back in history, when the groom placed a gold ring on the third finger of the bride’s left hand, believing that an artery ran from this finger directly to the heart. I is a tradition that has come down through the ages, and it exists almost everywhere on earth. The circlet of gold encloses the world of two loving people and also stands as a symbol of eternity as the band has no end and no beginning.

MEASURING BY KARAT: Gold in its purest state, 24 karat, is generally considered to soft for use in jewellery. By mixing or alloying it with other metals, however, its hardness can be increased and its colour modified, The term Karat is used to designate the proportion of the gold in an alloy. The word Karat (and carat the unit of weight used to measure gems) derives from the Italian carato, the Arabic qirat, or the Greek Keration, all meaning the fruit of the carob tree. The seeds of the fruit were once used to balance the scales in weighing gems and gold.

In Canada and the U.S. the proportion of gold in an alloy is expressed in Karats (abbreviation, k) using a scale of 24. Twenty-four karat is 100% gold 18k is 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals; 14k is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metal, etc. In European marking system, karatage is expressed on a scale of fineness of 1000. Twenty-four karat would be 999 fine or 100% gold. 18k is 75% gold and referred to as 750 fine. 14k would be marked as 585 and is 58.5% fine.

American/Canadian Minimum European
Marking Fine Gold Marking
(Karatage) Content (Fineness)
24K 100% 999
18k 75% 750
14k 58.5% 585

THE COLOURS OF GOLD: Gold alloys, aside from strengthening, gold for jewellery, can also affect its color. Various combinations of alloys and gold create different shades of gold. When gold is combined with copper, a pink or red tint is created, When gold is alloyed with copper and silver, it retains a natural yellow shade. Yellow gold is the most popular shade in Canada and the United States. Most gold jewellery contains a mixture of at least 2 other metals However, when gold is alloyed with copper, nickel and zinc, white gold is the result. Green gold is not common and most people have not seen it at their local retailers, however, a green hue can be created when gold is mixed with silver and small amounts of copper and zinc.

Info provided by: The Gold Information Center and reprinted from Man and His Gold

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GOLD

  1. What is the Chemical symbol of Gold? Its chemical Symbol is Au which is short for the Latin word for gold “Aurum” which when translated meaning glowing dawn.

  2. What is the melting point of gold? Gold will melt when it reaches 1064 degrees centigrade and has a boiling point of 2808 degrees centigrade

  3. What is the most famous piece of Gold? The answer is the treasures found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. These treasures were found in 1922 by Howard Carter and have now been viewed by millions of viewers. The face mask of King Tut is housed in the Cairo Museum. However his tomb held many golden treasures including, crowns, bracelets, anklets, rings, collars, amulets, and charms. The walls of his coffin were even gold.

  4. Why does gold turn my finger black? Popular to contrary belief faulty gold or under karated gold is not the cause of this problem. The most common reason for gold turning your skin or leaving marks on your clothing is metallic abrasion, typically caused by cosmetics. Cosmetic often contain compounds which are harder than the gold jewellery itself, which wear or rub off very tiny particles. Very finely divided metal appears black rather than and looks some what like jet black dust. When this dust comes into contact with absorbent surfaces such as skin or clothing, it sticks, forming a black smuge.

    Another cause is actual corrosion of the metals. Gold itself goes not corrode, but is primary alloys of silver and copper will, forming a dark chemical compound under moist or wet conditions. So when you perspire, fats and fatty acids released can cause corrosion of 10k or 14k gold, especially when exposed to warm air. This reaction can worsen when chlorides combine with perspiration to form a corrosive element that discolours the skin.

    The best way to prevent this from happening is to remove your jewellery before applying cosmetics, or using soaps, cleaning solvents and detergents. Also gold should not be worn when swimming in commercial swimming pools as the chlorine content is very high and may cause the finish to turn a deep colour. To help prevent these chemical reaction be sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly before putting the jewellery back on.



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