May is Gold Month - Why Gold?
We're not exactly sure why they named May the month of Gold...but why not use it as an excuse to celebrate our favorite precious metal?!
Humans have been using gold since at least 4000 B.C. as forms of payment and ways of adorning royalty. Gold is a metal that has always been recycled. All of the gold ever taken from earth has been melted and re-melted to be used again and again. The gold ring you own today may contain some of the same gold that once adorned an Egyptian princess...or that once decorated a chariot!
Gold is the ideal metal for jewelry. Three quarters of the world's gold mined every year is used to make jewelry. Gold is very rare, has an easy workability, and is valuable. Pure gold is very soft- a single ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire approximately 50 miles long! Therefore, gold used in jewelry is alloyed (combined) with other metals for increased strength and workability. Gold is also commonly used for other reasons besides jewelry- did you know that the helmet of an astronaut has a coating of gold on the visor to reduce glare and heat from the sun?!
Creating beautiful heirlooms and pieces of jewelry is both an art and a science. Color variations are achieved through combining gold with various metals. Yellow gold is made when pure gold is combined with equal parts of silver and copper.
Adding nickel and palladium makes white gold. A beautiful rose tone is used by adding copper.
The 10k or 14k written on the inside of your ring tells you the purity of your gold jewelry. 24 karat gold is pure gold that has not been combined with any other metal. It is rarely used in jewelry because it is too soft. Most American jewelry is made of 14 karat gold. The 14k means that 14 parts gold are combined with 10 parts of another base metal to add strength and color, only 58% pure gold. 10k gold means that 10 parts gold are combined with 14 parts of other metals, 41% pure gold. Nothing less than 10k gold can be sold as jewelry in the US.
But our favorite thing about gold is its beauty and timelessness. Nothing shines nor accents gemstones like pure gold. What better way to showcase your precious stones than with a precious metal?! The feel, weight, and beautiful warm color makes gold our favorite metal.
Did you learn anything new from this article? What color gold is your favorite? Feel free to comment below!