6. Is Gold Gold? continued….

When using gold for making jewelry there are some criteria to take into consideration.

First of all, that 24k gold, pure gold or fine gold, is too soft and malleable to be suitable for making ‘everyday’ jewelry. The goldsmith is not being unscrupulous or deceptive when alloying gold, but simply practical.

Second, we would not be able to have any other colour ‘gold’ apart from yellow or slightly orange depending on who is looking. No red, or rose gold, white or green gold or brown or even blue gold to play with.

If the client requires rose gold the copper content will be much higher than in white gold. Similarly the alloys used for making hard gold will differ again. The goldsmith needs to be able to use different alloys to create alternative hardnesses of gold for different applications. Having said this, 9k, is the most in question here as the content of fine gold is so low.Remember 9k is just 37.5% fine gold content. The rest is largely alloys of copper and silver.

In the middle east anything below 14k ‘585’ is not sold, or considered as gold. Similarly in the US 9k is not allowed to be called gold. The lowest in the US is 10k which is 41.7%, and even that is a tad of a stretch to my mind.

Should 9k be called something other than gold as the content is largely copper? For this reason we don’t use 9k and, quite frankly, 9k isn’t very nice to work with. Given the choice I would use platinum 950, or…..umm…..platinum 950.


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