Weekly Obsession: Gold

Weekly Obsession: Gold

By Elsa Navarrete

The history of gold is long connected with money, but in reality gold was generally used for a couple thousands of years solely to create things such as jewellery and idols for worship.

It wasn't until around the 1500 BC that Egypt, which sat on a gold-bearing region, Nubia, made gold the first official medium of exchange for international trade.
When the Spanish invaded the Mexico, he took mounds of gold and silver from the Aztecs. From the very beginning, something about gold attracted civilizations all over the world without those civilizations ever having made contact with each other. It has been a symbol of beauty, power, purity and accomplishment since its discovery.
Not only does gold’s natural beauty make it so mysteriously precious, but it may also be the most useful metal in the world. It is a good conductor of electricity, it does not tarnish or oxidize, and it is extremely malleable allowing it to be worked with, pounded and shaped without breaking. It is so malleable, in fact, that it can be rolled thin enough to let light pass through it.
Although gold was used as an economic standard for some time, (it no longer does) people still decide to keep their money in the form of gold bars. About 49% of all gold mined today is made into jewellery, which remains the single largest use of gold.
Throughout history, gold has been treasured for its natural beauty and radiance. For this reason, many cultures have imagined gold to represent the sun.
Although we have white and pink gold, yellow gold is still the most popular colour.
Although you will be hard pressed to find gold nuggets in a river like so many who went out for the gold rush in 1848 in California, you will be able to find plenty of gold in our Covett vault.

10 Interesting Facts about Gold

1. Gold arrived on Earth from Space.
2. 24 Karat gold is 99.99% pure gold
3. One cubic foot of gold weighs half a tonne!!
4. So far 180,000 tonnes of gold has been found ..on earth.
5. The largest concentration of gold in the world lives in the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York.... 6,800 tonnes of gold about 540,000 gold bars. This is over 25% of the world's gold in one single location.
6. Gold is edible in small quantities.
7. Gold melts at 1064.43 C
8. The largest gold nugget was found in Moliagul, Australia in 1869. It has a name: Welcome Stranger .... this baby weighed 2,520 ounces.
9. Gold in actually used in some medicines, but not in all even though they charge as if all medication was made of gold.
10. AU is the chemical symbol given to gold in the periodic table, derived from the Latin word aurum meaning 'shining dawn' and named from Aurora, the goddess of the dawn in Roman culture.

18-karat gold jewellery offers a good balance between durability and purity. Let’s take a look at what this gold alloy is made of and see how you should choose between 18K gold and jewellery of a higher or lower karat number.
The old karat is a measure of how much of the precious metal is contained in a piece made with it.  If a jewellery item is 18 karats, this simply means that out of a total of 24 parts, 18 parts of the piece are gold, and 6 parts are made up of other metals.


Pros and Cons: 18K Gold vs. 10K and 14K Gold

Compared with lower karat gold, 18K jewellery has some distinct advantages.

 For example, since it is purer, it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to nickel, if this metal is present in the alloy.

 A 10K gold piece that contains nickel, on the other hand, is more likely to give you a rash if you are allergic to the metal.

 Another upside to buying 18K gold is that its colour is closer to that of pure gold, while the yellow in 10K or 14K jewellery may not be as intense.

By the way, buying 10-karat jewellery, which contains 41.7% gold, means that you will be getting a piece that is made up mostly of metals other than gold.

The downside of 18K gold is that it is softer and less durable than less pure alloys. For example, a 10K or 14K gold ring will wear down more slowly than an 18K piece, which will scratch and bend more easily. 

18K vs. 22K Gold

Gold with a karat number higher than 18K is even purer and has a more intense colour, but this also comes at a price. 22K gold, for example, is much softer and scratches even more easily than 18K pieces; it is also more expensive.

So, think twice before going for higher karats, especially if you will be wearing the jewellery often.

 How to Recognise 18K Gold Jewelry

Recognising 18-karat jewellery is pretty straightforward (as long as the piece has been stamped with its karat number). Usually, you will see a stamp on the item such as 18K, 18Kt, 18ct, 18k, or a similar variation.

Sometimes, 18K gold will be marked with a number such as 750, 0.75, or a similar stamp denoting that the jewellery contains 75% gold (or 750 parts per thousand).

18 karat gold comes in yellow, white, and rose. The only difference between these options (other than the obvious difference of colour) is the mix of metals alloyed with pure gold. Other than that, 18k gold is a fantastic choice for any engagement ring and looks beautiful in all three colours.