Even the cosmic origin of gold as an element connects us in a romantic way to the origins of our planet. Not only is gold useful in our technologies and innovations, it connects us to ancient civilizations that are the foundations of our modern societies.
On earth, gold is one of the most valuable precious metals and rarest natural minerals. It is also one of the 118 elements so far discovered and classified by humans. It’s so soft that, in its purest form, it can’t really be used for everyday wear. In our first blogpost, we elaborated on the history of jewelry and their significance in different cultures over time. In our latest blogpost, we will be discussing gold as an element as well as it’s use as an investment.
Pure gold is a bright warm yellow, malleable, and soft substance. To harden it, it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, platinum, palladium, and zinc. Its primary use is in jewelry, but it’s also used in finance, electronics, computers, dentistry, medicine, aerospace, glassmaking, and as awards and status symbols. It’s clearly present in the formation and upkeep of many of our innovations, but how is gold made?
How is gold formed and where is it found?
What makes gold so rare? It is a heavy metal that is formed when neutron stars collide. Over 4.5 billion years ago when the earth was forming, heavy metals gravitated towards the core of the planet. Therefore, large amounts of gold are not possible to find on the earth’s crust. While diamonds are concentrated at 200,000 parts per billion on the Earth’s crust, gold is only concentrated at 4 parts per billion. In its natural form, it is found deep in the layers of the earth where it is transported by water, molten lava and volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. Geologists have found gold in rocks as old as 4.5 billion years ago. The Witwatersrand, one of the most gold-rich mining areas in the world, is located in a 300km radius crater in southern Africa, thought to have been caused by a meteor strike over 2 billion years ago. This theory reinforces the idea that gold was brought to earth from the cosmos by asteroids.
What does Karat mean?
The word ‘karat’ is a term used to both measure and describe the purity or ‘fineness’ of gold. The purest measurement possible is 24k gold. So, the higher the karat rating, the less other alloys have been combined with the gold. These alloys are most commonly zinc, copper, silver, and nickel. A piece of 18 karat gold will therefore consist of 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy.
When it comes to gold – specifically the different karats – you may feel somewhat overwhelmed by information and conflicting opinions regarding the relative desirability of each. Gold, particularly 18k gold, is regarded as an especially sophisticated and magnificent material for jewelry across the globe. Aesthetics aside, many value this material as a financial investment that is both safe and substantial.
How To Tell If Gold Is 18K Gold?
The easiest way to find out whether your gold is 18 karats is to examine the surface for markings. Gold jewelry will usually have the karat number stamped onto the piece of jewelry. Therefore, if the jewelry is 18 karats you should be able to find a marking that reads ‘18k’ or ‘18kt’. Alternatively, you can visit a reputable jeweler such as ANTY and they might be able to figure out the karat number based on some standardized testing techniques.
How Does 18K Gold Compare To 24k Gold And 14k Gold?
There is a substantial difference in the characteristics, uses, and quality of 24k versus 14k gold. 14 karat gold caters to the more budget-sensitive buyer as it contains proportionally less pure gold. Since over 40% of 14k gold jewelry is made up of alloys using zinc, nickel, and copper, this jewelry not only does not hold as much value but also can cause skin sensitivities in some people. Added to that, 14k gold does not have the same luster as 18K, 22K, and 24K gold.
24 karat gold, on the other hand, is as pure as it gets. It is composed of between 99.99 and 100 percent gold. It is, therefore, aesthetically flawless. Its golden hue is guaranteed to never fade although its structural integrity is not quite as assured. Since it is pure gold, it is a softer, more malleable material and is vulnerable to being scratched or bent out of shape.
18 karat gold is, therefore, the perfect compromise. Its color is brilliant, and its structure is sustainable, making it resistant to scratches. The added benefits of jewelry made with 18K gold is that it’s value as an investment piece is guaranteed and the higher purity of gold is suitable for people who are allergic to other metals.
Is 18K Jewelry a Good Investment?
Gold is always a worthy investment. The demand is high and due to the earth’s limited and slow-renewing resources, the supply is low. While there might be minor fluctuations in the price of 18k gold, it is almost guaranteed to steadily increase as the years go by. Investing in gold is also a form of diversifying asset portfolios. In uncertain times of war or economic crisis, countries and people alike have turned on gold as a financial resource. This is partly because of the steady increase in the value of gold. For example, the average price for 1 ounce of 24K gold in 2000 was $279 and the same quantity was selling for an average of $1800 in 2022.
The Turner Earrings18K yellow gold pair
Even if you do not plan on reselling your 18k jewelry, such as this featured 18K Yellow Gold Turner Earrings from ANTY, we are certain that such a magnificent piece will be worn and passed through generations. It is certainly a great investment.
How to Choose Your Gold Jewelry?
Here at ANTY, our founding values are to make beautiful jewelry that are also investment pieces that will grow in value over time. We have a range of collections and categories that can cater to all customers. While we do have pieces like diamond tennis bracelets, diamond hoop earrings, and unique wedding rings that use precious gems, most of our collections also have pieces that are made entirely from gold. Here are some stylish investment pieces that can be worn every day from ANTY:
The Hexagon Earrings that are our interpretation of 18K yellow gold hoop earrings.
Hug me ring this sculptural 18K yellow gold ring is an easy way to add a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ something to any outfit.
The Universal Earrings feel like a superstar every day when you wear this fun pair of 18K yellow gold earrings.
Cuban Necklace chain necklaces are all the vogue right now. Why not also invest in a solid 18K yellow gold necklace that will always be a minimalistic statement piece. The Link Bracelet or matching Cuban Bracelet, both also in 18K yellow gold, nicely compliments the Cuban Necklace
The Cuban Necklace 18K Yellow Gold. 45cm long.
The Cuban Bracelet 18K yellow gold. 26cm in length.
The Link Bracelet 18K Gold. 19cm in length.
ANTY offers exclusive custom pieces in your choice of gold. We have experience making custom wedding bands, gold rings, and other gold jewelry with solid 18K gold. Where to buy and select amazing investment jewelry pieces? Visit ANTY to purchase our top designs that come with free shipping.
What Are the Different Colors of Gold?
As discussed above, there are many colors of gold. These colors are not only aesthetically appealing, but also tell you something about the metal’s durability and possible content. But even with an 18K piece of jewelry, it’s important to know which metals have been used in the production process. You don’t want to end up with a piece that’s hard to resize if it’s an engagement ring, for example.
Rose gold was much beloved by the Russian elite in the early 1800s. Following the October Revolution in 1917, the nobility fled west and used these pieces to acquire property and other assets in their new home countries, earning rose gold the nickname “Russian Gold”. There were many pieces in circulation in the 1920s, but slowly the metal fell out of fashion and began to be more associated with antiques. The 1990s and the fall of the iron curtain saw a rise in international trade with the former USSR and therefore a surge in popularity in the West.
Rose gold is a gold-copper alloy, closely related to red and pink gold, the distinction being the ratio of gold to copper and whether silver has been added. The rose gold we use at ANTY is 18K rose gold containing 75% gold, 22.25% copper, 2.75% silver.
The 18K varieties come in at very similar price points and generally have the same value as yellow gold.
White gold is an alloy of gold and a “white” metal such as silver, platinum, palladium, or nickel. White gold is a broad term that encompasses many colors of gold. Both pink gold and green gold have been called “white gold” at certain points in human history. When combined with silver, white gold is hard-wearing, while palladium, a soft metal, creates a more malleable alloy. These different alloys can aid in different stages of the jewelry-making process, from gem-setting to reinforcement.
Due to its broad nature, white gold comes in many different karats and therefore at many different price points.
It’s important to note that certain white gold can contain both nickel and mercury, a skin irritant and a toxic substance respectively. Therefore, it’s important to buy jewelry from respected dealers Like ANTY
Yellow gold is what we think of when we imagine pure gold. As discussed above, yellow gold can come in a variety of karats and therefore a variety of price points. 18K is the standard for premium jewelry and is generally composed of gold, copper and silver. Gold, particularly yellow gold, is also believed to have healing properties in new age spiritual traditions as well as in old religions and traditions. Gifting gold or gold jewelry is considered auspicious in many cultures.
Visit the ANTY online store to buy gold jewelry you can trust at competitive prices. Sign up for our newsletter to get alerts to be the first to know about new collections and exciting discount offers