Is the quality of gold always the same?
How to identify the quality of gold?
Gold has always been considered a symbol of wealth and prestige. That’s why it’s widely used to make jewelry, coins and other valuable objects. However, there are many types of gold with different levels of purity, which can make it difficult to identify the quality of the gold. In this article, we’ll look at the different methods of determining gold quality. Whether you’re a potential buyer of gold or simply curious to know more about this precious metal, this article will provide you with the information you need to identify gold quality accurately.
Are carats the ultimate guarantee of quality?
The carat is a jewelry unit of measurement limited to 24 parts. 24-carat gold is therefore pure gold, 99.99% gold. It has a uniquely bright yellow color. There is no higher purity. It is used to make coins and gold ingots since it is too soft to make jewelry (especially rings and other regular shapes). 24-carat gold is therefore more of an investment grade physical gold. For those wishing to invest, don’t hesitate to visit one of our specialized agencies, where our experts will give you an estimate of the price per gram of your 24-carat gold.
The gold jewelry 22 carats means that 22 parts of the jewel are made of gold, while the other 2 parts are made of other metals: this is known as an alloy. The quality of the gold remains very high, since 91.67% of the jewel is pure gold. The remainder is made up of silver, zinc and copper. Gold thus becomes less soft, for longer-lasting jewelry. However, it should not be used for diamond jewelry or jewelry set with precious stones.
18-carat gold is the world’s most widely used assay. It is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals, allowing special shades such as rose gold, green gold, white gold, etc. to be obtained. It’s a very strong alloy, making it ideal for jewels set with stones and diamonds. Moreover, prix per gram of 18-carat gold makes it a very attractive investment product.
Finally, a 9-carat gold is generally used for less high-end jewelry. It is an economical alloy with only 37.5% gold. It is often this quality of gold that is found in mainstream jewelry stores, for occasional gifts such as birthdays or Mother’s Day.
Does the quality of gold depend on the grade?
Yellow gold is an alloy of gold, silver and copper with a characteristic yellow hue. The percentage of each metal in the alloy can vary, affecting the color and strength of yellow gold. It is one of the most common types of gold used in jewelry.
As you might expect, gold jewelry is always golden yellow in color. The intensity of the yellow hue is often characteristic of its gold content. For example, a 24-carat ingot will glow with a raw, intense yellow, while a 9-carat gold jewel will have a more subdued coloration.
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However, just because gold objects have a gray or pinkish sheen, it doesn’t mean they are of lower quality! In fact, in high-end jewelry, the color of the jewel can change without affecting the quality of the gold. It all depends on the proportions used between the gold and the other metals. For rose gold, here’s the composition: 75% gold, 19% copper and 6% silver. Red gold can also be obtained by adjusting the copper content.
White gold is obtained from an alloy of white and silver metals such as nickel, silver and palladium. In addition to the quality of the gold, it’s also a popular choice for jewelry, as it provides greater durability, especially for brooches and rings.
Green gold will consist of a gold alloy and silver. This combination occurs naturally: it’s called Electrum. Its reflections range from yellow to light green or more pronounced. Green gold may also contain a little copper and zinc.
What about hallmarks?
The silver hallmark or gold is to reproduce a lettering or figure invisible to the naked eye, but which can be observed with a magnifying glass. It is an element that guarantees the quality of gold and authenticates the work of an artisan jeweler.
The master hallmark (the creator’s mark) or the title hallmark indicate the weight of gold contained in the jewel. As soon as an object contains precious metal, it must be hallmarked. However, there are a few exceptions: jewelry that is too light or too thin may not be stamped, as this could damage the object. In such cases, a detailed invoice or certificate of authenticity is preferable.
There are 4 unofficial reasons for guaranteeing the quality of gold and its metal content:
- Seahorse for 24-carat gold;
- the Tête d’aigle for 18-carat gold;
- the Coquille Saint-Jacques for 14-carat gold;
- the Trefoil for 9-carat gold.
Certificates of authenticity
The certificate of authenticity takes the form of a legal contract of conformity. It certifies that the jewel, and the stones of which it is composed, meet all jewelry standards. By presenting you with this document, the jeweler assumes responsibility for the merchandise sold.
To be valid, the certificate of authenticity must include the following information:
- name and description of the jewel ;
- title of the gold in carats or thousandths ;
- color and alloy ;
- type of gemstone and setting ;
- weight of gemstones ;
- weight of finished jewel.
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