Gold jewelry is, without a doubt, the best possible type of metal used in jewelry making, and gold jewelry options are some of the finest quality pieces that work well for pretty much everyone.
You can’t really go wrong with gold jewelry because there are many options for everyone to choose from, and different gold pieces will match different skin tones. But which is the best type of gold jewelry for you to buy?
4 types of gold jewelry you should know
These are the main types of gold jewelry that you should be aware of, ranging from solid gold, gold vermeil, gold-filled, and gold-plated jewelry.
These versions of gold jewelry fall into different price ranges, and there is essentially something for everyone. So, let’s look at the differences between these types of gold used to create gold jewelry.
1. Solid gold
Of the many types of gold jewelry, solid gold is the best type of gold used in jewelry and is also the most expensive variety of gold.
The high cost associated with solid gold is that while pure gold would be ideal for use, it is too soft to create any kind of solid, wearable jewelry, and it must be hardened.
The only way to harden pure gold is to alloy it with other metals, which creates different types of solid gold.
The differences between the types of solid gold lies in the amount of metal that is mixed with the pure gold, and these differences in proportionality result in different gold alloys priced differently, which means that the higher the gold content in the alloyed solid gold, the higher its price tag, and vice versa.
Notably, the value of pure gold in different gold alloys corresponds to different karat levels – karatage refers to the purity level of gold. While the purest version of gold is 24k, alloys contain different karat levels of gold alloys, and solid gold jewelry includes 18k gold, 14k, and 10k gold options.
2. Gold Vermeil
The other common type of high-quality and relatively affordable gold used in gold jewelry is gold vermeil, a gold-plated kind of jewelry.
Unlike other forms of gold-plated jewelry, gold vermeil is plated with 2.5microns of gold, say 10k, 14k, or 18k gold plated over sterling silver.
Gold vermeil jewelry doesn’t tarnish, but after exposure to the plated layer of gold, the silver that makes up the base will tarnish, so you should clean the jewelry regularly.
3. Gold Filled Jewelry
The other type of gold jewelry that is popular is gold-filled jewelry. Gold-Filled jewelry has no gold coating; instead, the jewelry is made of a rather thick layer or sheet of solid gold that is applied over the base or the metal core under very high pressure, permanently bonding gold and the core metal.
But not all forms of gold jewelry made in this way qualify to be called gold jewelry. To be considered gold-filled, the permanently bonded gold should be at least 5% or 1/20th the total weight of the metal/ metal content, not less; the pieces should also be labeled with a 1/20 hallmark.
As a result, gold-filled jewelry is essentially 5-10 times thicker than the gold-plated jewelry options. The development of the thick layer of gold is jewelry lasting between 10 and 30 years.
But there’s a catch; the gold-filled options will tarnish after some time. However, tarnishing is quite rare, and it only happens after exposure to an extremely high level of sulfide that may cause blackening of the gold-filled pieces – this would happen in the nail salon, for example, where there are high levels of sulfide fumes.
4. Gold-Plated Jewelry
As the name suggests, gold-plated jewelry is made of electroplated gold jewelry over a cheap base metal like aluminum, nickel, or copper.
The layer of gold plated on these metals is quite thin at 1-micron thin, and the resultant jewelry pieces are some of the most affordable jewelry options.
The gold-plated jewelry will fade and tarnish after some time, especially with very thin gold electroplated on them.
5 types of solid gold jewelry
1. Pure gold
Pure gold is made of 24k gold, which is essentially made of 99.9999% pure gold. It is known for its bright orange-yellow color that stands out.
Unfortunately, it’s not used for wearable gold jewelry because it is extremely soft and malleable and won’t create the most durable jewelry options. However, it makes for valuable jewelry and gold coins, bullions, and jewelry worth a significant amount.
2. 22k gold jewelry
The next best thing next to 24k gold is 22k, made of 91.67% pure gold, meaning that it is one of the most valuable and slightly durable versions of gold used in jewelry making.
But pieces of jewelry made of 22k gold are still very soft and malleable, meaning that they are hardly used in jewelry.
3. 18k gold jewelry
18K gold jewelry is the finest quality jewelry made of 75% pure gold and 25% alloys, meaning that it is quite durable compared to 22k.
It is also ideal for you if you are looking for the finest quality gold jewelry for use in wedding and engagement rings.
4. 14k gold jewelry
14K solid gold pieces are made of 58.3% alloyed with 41.7% metal alloys like copper, silver, aluminum, palladium, zinc, etc.
These pieces are stamped with the 14K hallmark hence a significantly durable version of solid gold that is versatile and elegant and creates some of the best versions of solid gold jewelry. 14k gold pieces are much more scratch-resistant and also very durable.
5. 10K gold jewelry
This is the lowest possible quality of acceptable solid gold, made of 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% metal alloys.
This is the most durable version of solid gold but also the version of gold that tarnishes much faster than other types of solid gold.
Which gold jewelry is best to buy?
14k or 18k gold – you could buy either, but if you are looking for a fine-quality piece made of solid gold, preferably one that may not break the bank, 14k would be the most ideal option.
However, if you don’t mind splurging on gold jewelry for the most elegant looks, 18k gold would be your perfect investment.
Why do people often buy 14K or 18K jewelry?
Because 14k and 18k gold jewelry options make up the finest quality pieces of solid gold jewelry which are often hypoallergenic, they also offer the most value for money, will last a long time, and these pieces are also quite valuable.
They will remain valuable for decades and pretty much your entire lifetime.
Many types of gold jewelry are on the market, and the options are the best for different budgets.
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Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.