A Gold Tutorial

20 January, 2016


Gold is not just a beautiful metal but has so many enduring and hypoallergenic qualities. Found naturally in a distinct yellow colour, gold is resistant to rust, tarnish, and corrosion. Although gold is very strong, it's also the most workable of all precious metals. The more pure gold - and less blended alloys used - gives the jewellery a more hypoallergenic quality to it.

Pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, so with fine jewellery it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability (Mimosura Jewellery gold is NICKEL FREE). Karatage, identified by a number followed by "k" indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewellery is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold, 100% gold.

Our goldsmiths craft our jewellery using 100% 18k gold. 18k gold is made up of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough for everyday wear. Alternatively - which we currently do not work with - 14k gold is composed of 58.3% gold and 41.7% of other metals.

Platinum is commonly alloyed with iridium, which is hypoallergenic. Gold is also a good choice for individuals with nickel allergies. Nickel is found in some gold jewelry, so choose 18K gold, which contains 75 percent pure gold and only 25 percent alloy.

The colour of gold is determined by two factors:
The type of metal alloys included
The percentage of each metal alloy

Yellow Gold
Natural gold and colour-saturated alloys are what give yellow gold jewellery its rich shine. The alloys most commonly used, are copper with a red hue, and silver featuring a green hue. A mixture pure gold, copper and silver gives this precious metal its signature warm colour.

White Gold
A silvery white character is what makes white gold jewellery so appealing. In order to make the gold white, it is combined with metal alloys that are white in nature (like platinum and silver) and plated with an extremely hard element called rhodium. Although strong, rhodium may wear away over time. Replating is a simple process that can be done to restore whiteness to your jewellery.

Rose Gold
The beautiful pink hue of rose gold jewellery is created by using a copper alloy. Again, the overall percentages of metal alloys is the same for rose gold as it is for yellow or white, there is just a different mixture in what alloys are used.

24 karat = 100% gold
Too soft for fine jewellery
22 karat = 91.7% gold
Too soft for fine jewellery
18 karat = 75.0% gold
Ideal for fine jewellery
14 karat = 58.3% gold
Ideal for fine jewellery
10 karat = 41.7% gold
Not acceptable for fine jewellery

Since gold is a natural element, it is affected by harsh chemicals such as chlorine or other cleaning products. We recommend that you remove your jewellery when using chemicals to reduce daily abrasions and prolong the lustre. To clean gold jewellery, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap with a soft-bristled brush. When not worn, store your gold pieces in soft cloth bags or the original box to protect them from the elements of daily exposure.

*information courtesy of: http://www.bluenile.com/ca/education/metal/gold

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