Gold was among the first metals to be mined because it commonly occurs in its native form, that is, not combined with other elements, because it is beautiful and imperishable, and because exquisite objects can be made from it. Artisans of ancient civilizations used gold lavishly in decorating tombs and temples, and gold objects made more than 5,000 years ago have been found in Egypt.
Particularly noteworthy are the gold items discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922 in the tomb of Tutankhamun. This young pharaoh ruled Egypt in the 14th century B.C. An exhibit of some of these items, called "Treasures of Tutankhamun," attracted more than 6 million visitors in six cities during a tour of the United States in 1977-79.
The graves of nobles at the ancient Citadel of Mycenae near Nauplion, Greece, discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876, yielded a great variety of gold figurines, masks, cups, diadems, and jewelry, plus hundreds of decorated beads and buttons. These elegant works of art were created by skilled craftsmen more than 3,500 years ago.
What is a karat? Karat - indicates the amount of pure gold in the metal.The higher the percentage of pure gold the higher the karat.
Why is 18k gold is more valuable than 14k gold? Content of pure gold: 18k contains a higher (75%) percentage of pure gold than 14 k (58.3%).
What kind of markings can I see on the back of jewelry? You could see a karat mark to assure you that the karat marking is accurate, you should also see the manufacturers registered trademark and find the country of origin.
What is the difference between yellow, white, and rose gold? Pure gold ( which is always yellow ) is too soft for jewelry use. The metals that are mixed with pure gold for strength can also modify the color of gold resulting in different shades of yellow, white, and pink gold. White gold was originally developed to imitate platinum, and is usually an alloy containing 25% nickel and zinc. If stamped 18 karat, it would be 75% pure gold.
Why is there a difference in price, in similar pieces of jewelry? There are a few factors that determine the value of a gold jewelry piece:
- weight - gold is sold by weight - grams(gr) or pennyweights(pwt), the heavier the piece, the
- higher the gold content, therefore it is more expensive.
- design - designer jewelry is more expensive, especially if it is a one of a kind piece.
- finish - special finishes to the metal such as matte, or sand-blasted finish add to the cost of the gold jewelry piece.
How do I care for my gold jewelry? You could take good care of your jewelry by following a few simple steps : avoid contact with soap, perfume, cosmetics and hairsprays. Take chains and bracelets off at night, store chains flat, to prevent them from breaking. Use soft cloth to polish gold jewelry after wearing.