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Gold
Gold Characteristics and Terms
Gold content is measured in karats, which should not be confused with the term carat, used to measure diamond weight. The higher the karat, the greater its gold content and price. The K number specifies how many parts, by weight, of pure gold is contained in 24 parts of the alloy. Therefore, the content of pure gold in the various karats are as follows:  

10k = 10/24 = 41.7% pure gold
14k = 14/24 = 58.3% pure gold
18k = 18/24 = 75.0% pure gold
24k = 24/24 = 100% pure gold


 The decision between 14k and 18k is a matter of personal taste and preference. 14k has the advantages of added strength, but lacks higher gold content and beauty of the rich yellow color found in 18k.

What is White Gold?

White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as nickel, silver, and palladium. White gold can be 14k, 18k, or any karat. Because 14k white gold is 58.3% gold, and 18k white gold is 75% gold, white gold will naturally have a light yellowish tint. To give white gold its brilliant white luster, in the final process of manufacturing white gold is rhodium plating. Rhodium is a shiny, white metal, which is extremely hard and durable. However, over time the rhodium plating may wear away, revealing the slightly yellowish tint of the underlying metal. To keep white gold looking its best, it may require rhodium re-plating every 12 to 18 months, depending on wear.

Care

Proper care for your gold jewelry is important to maintain its lifelong beauty and value. It is wise to remove your jewelry during rugged activities. To keep your gold jewelry clean, soak it in a mild solution of soap and water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Be sure to check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it to a professional for inspection.