A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO GOLD
Gold has enchanted humanity for all of our existence, perhaps because it is a celestial metal, having been delivered to earth withinin meteorites. It is the first found metal, present on every continent and used in most every culture and is the source of myths and legends, secular and non-secular. Pieces of gold jewellery have been found dating as far back as 4600-4200BC., including such far ranging areas as Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, China, India, Greece, Rome and Egypt. Egyptians standardized gold as the first currency and medium for international trade. The discovery of gold has influenced human migration patterns world wide. It is hard to find another material so interwoven with the human experience.
WHY IS GOLD CONSIDERED A PRECIOUS METAL?
To be considered a precious, a metal must meet 3 criteria:
It must be valuable.
As we’ve mentioned, gold has been treasured by humans since recorded history and has been valued as currency, for objects of art and jewellery and is used in industry as well.
- It must be naturally occurring.
Gold is found in its pure form in nature, needing no refinement, where its gorgeous colour and seeming self illuminating shine is easily evident and highly desired.
It must be rare.
Gold is one of the rarest metals on earth. By comparison, silver is about 19 times more abundant than gold. About 200,000 tonnes of gold have been mined so far in human history, all of which would fit in a 21.4meter cube, about 30 times as big as a hot tub. Since gold cannot be created and is virtually indestructible, around 80% of the world's total gold has already been mined.
Gold jewellery is the height of the art of gift giving, always representing beauty and love. Gold connects the wearer to this tradition and we seem to absorb its radiance and beauty. Gold in its pure form is non-tarnishing, non-rusting, non-toxic and non-irritating (even internally).
WHAT IS A KARAT?
Karat is the measurement of gold purity based on 24 parts. 24K gold is pure gold.
Given that pure gold (24K) is too soft to be practical for jewellery, alloys of gold are used. An alloy is a mixture of metals designed to enhance the strength, durability or appearance of a metal. 14K gold is 58.3% pure gold (14 parts pure gold and 10 parts other metals: usually silver, copper and zinc). 18K gold is 75% gold pure gold (18 parts pure gold, 6 parts other metals).
YELLOW GOLD, ROSE GOLD & WHITE GOLD
The higher the karat, the more yellow the gold appears. Pure 24K gold is a bright, vibrant yellow. Rose gold gets its rosy pink hue from a higher copper content. Traditional white gold obtains it’s whitish-grey hue from a higher nickel content. This can be problematic as nickel can be an irritant so many people are now opting for palladium white gold which is a beautiful and irritation-free alternative, a better option for the highly sensitive wearer.
While it used to be a "fashion faux pas", mixing and matching gold colours is totally acceptable and can look downright stunning.
WHAT IS GOLD FILLED JEWELLERY?
At Mikel Grant Jewellery, we use solid 14K & 18K gold as well as 14K gold filled, sometimes known as rolled gold. Gold filled jewellery simply means that an outer layer of solid karat gold is heat & pressure bonded to an interior core of another metal (usually brass). Gold filled is referred to as 12/20 or 14/20. The first number refers to the karat gold (12K or 14K) and the second number refers to the amount by weight in relation to the inner core (14/20 means that 5% of the weight is karat gold). The value and durability of gold filled jewellery is higher as there is an actual layer of gold rather than a microscopic film as in plated or vermeil jewellery which tend to wear off after time.
Gold filled jewellery is a beautiful & inexpensive alternative to solid gold and can last a lifetime with proper care.
We are so grateful to be a part of such a long tradition of working in gold. We create a wide range of solid gold and gold filled jewellery as well as custom designs in gold.
Give a lasting gift of love in the form of our Gold Love Knot Necklace, Open Heart Studs or a classic Gold Love Knot Ring.
Let yourself shine with our everyday Gold Ball Studs, a Pair of Gold & Pearl Earrings or a Gold Dream Necklace.
Find the perfect sentiment of love.
Find a treasure for yourself.
Shine on forever with our gold pieces.