gold jewelry

How to Buy Gold Jewelry. The Correct Way in 2023

Why is gold jewelry so expensive? Why are others too cheap? What you need to know when buying and what is important to check every time. Here you can find all the answers.

Last update 5/11/2022. The average read time is 7 minutes.

Average read time 7 minutes

Gold jewelry

How much is it worth? It can vary, from $50 to $10K. It all depends on the quality. Read below How to Buy Gold Jewelry. Patience Is The Way. All the things you have to know about gold. Find the right accessory at the right price. Do not hurry, and don’t buy gold from the street or from untrusted sources.

Gold-filled versus other metals.

  1. Solid gold. No other metals and no plating, just gold. It must be at least 10 carats to be considered “solid gold”.
  2. 14K gold filled. The core of it is solid jewelry brass with a thick layer of 14K gold pressure-bonded to the metal base, making it super long-lasting and very unlikely to rub off. The thick layer of gold is also great for people sensitive to base metals.
  3. Vermeil gold. Vermeil gold is a heavy 2.5-micron layer of gold over 925 sterling silver. The heavy plating along with the high quality of the silver retains the plating the best and makes it more valuable.
  4. Heavy gold-plated – 1 micron and up. Heavy gold plating is when the layer of gold is 1 micron or thicker. This creates a longer-lasting layer of gold. The base metal can be brass, copper, steel, stainless steel, sterling steel, etc.
  5. Gold-plated stainless steel. Gold-plated items undergo flash plating with a thin layer of gold. Stainless steel retains this plating the best and, since the base metal is hypoallergenic, it results in a quality and affordable solution.
Gold jewelry

Check the gold price here

The fineness of gold (karat value)


Since ancient times, the purity of gold has been defined by the term karat, which is 1/24 part of pure gold by weight.

Pure gold is equivalent to 24K. Gold purity may also be described by its fineness, which is the amount of pure gold in parts per 1000.

For example, a gold ring containing 583 fine gold has 583 parts (58.3%) of gold and 417 parts (41.7%) of other base metals.

Federal Trade Commission rules require that all jewelry items sold in the United States as gold shall be described by “a correct designation of the karat fineness of the alloy.”

No jewelry item less than 10K may be sold in the United States as gold jewelry.

The following table lists the relationship between different international gold markings.

United States MarkingsParts GoldGold %European Markings
24K24/24100%1000 or 999
22K22/2491.7%916 or 917
18K18/2475.0%750
14K10/2458.3%583 or 585
10K10/2441.7%417

What is the difference between carat and karat?

Both are a form of measurement in the jewelry industry, but what’s being measured is very different. 

Carats are used to describe the weight of diamonds and other precious gemstones.

In this case, however, we’ll be delving into the term karat, or the measure of purity when referring to gold, as well as which karat of gold would be best for you.

In its pure form, gold is a very soft metal. It’s too delicate for everyday wear, so it’s often alloyed (or mixed) with other metals such as silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to improve its strength and resilience.

The most common mixtures of gold are 14K, 18K, and 22K, but 14K and 18K are the most ideal for jewelry.

Check to see our recommended articles about gold rings for women

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.

Leo Tolstoy

Which one is best? 24K, 22K, 18K, or 14K?

You have to consider a few facts. How often do you wear jewelry, what do you do when wearing it, the coloring, and the budget? Look below for a quick guide on how to choose when you buy any gold jewelry.

24K. 100% pure gold

It is easy to assume, that if you have 100 % pure gold, this is the best. While it is the best known, it is very soft and very easy to scratch and bend. Using 24K gold jewelry is not recommended for daily use. But there is a tiny percentage of people who can afford to wear them on special occasions. It is all about prestige.

22K. 92% gold and 8% metals.

Even with a mixture of only 8% metals, 22K gold is stronger and more durable than pure gold. When buying this mix, care should be taken as it is not the strongest form of mixed metal jewelry.

18K. 75% gold and 25% metals.

It is the most traditional mix of gold and other metals. The yellow tone of 18K pieces is much deeper than that of 14K. Because of the higher gold content in 18K pieces, it will also yield higher prices than 14K. That’s usually a sign of a higher-quality piece of jewelry.

14K. 58% gold and 42% of metals.

This alloy will provide higher resistance to wear and tear than the 18K, or 22K alloys. It’s ideal for everyday use and is the most popular choice for engagement rings. 14K jewelry is the best option for those with an active lifestyle.

12K, 10K, or less.

Anything less than 14K is not recommended when buying fine jewelry. Even the 10K jewelry is considered the lowest in the United States. Be careful when buying 10K or greater. Always check the stamp for purity or ask for any qualifications.

If you want to read more about gold jewelry, you can check out gold.org.

Different colors of gold

Yellow gold

This is the color that comes to mind with the word gold. Very often we refer to gold as a color, like honey, sunshine, flowers, and animals. Almost everywhere you can find the gold color.

rings

White gold

This looks like bright silver because the gold is mixed with metals like nickel or palladium.

White gold is sometimes paired with yellow gold to create a two-tone item.

white gold rings

Rose gold

Often called Crown gold is gold mixed with copper. It will produce a pink hue which is why is called rose gold.

Rose gold engagement rings are very popular. For an 18K rose gold ring there is 75% gold and 25% copper.

rose gold rings

Green gold

Something rarer and more expensive is when mixing gold with silver or silver plus cadmium. This will produce a green-yellow color and can be supplemented with green stones like an emerald.

green gold ring

Black gold

Black gold is gold coated with a layer of ruthenium for added strength. Black or brownish color can also be achieved by treating gold alloyed with copper with potassium sulfide.

black gold ring

Purple gold

Purple gold is an industry breakthrough. Made by mixing gold with aluminum and iridium makes this unique color is so different yet so beautiful.

purple gold earrings

What to consider when buying gold jewelry

Our advice is never to buy from unknown websites or suspicious auctions.

Choose a vendor that is reputable. Authorized dealers that sell famous designer’s jewelry are always the best option, but you will pay more for a designer’s jewelry.

Independent dealers are also a good choice, but be careful to check for certificates and credentials. Search for the small details that will ensure you that you have made the right decision.

Comparing prices is your best approach. When you buy gold jewelry most of the time they are together with precious gemstones – diamonds or pearls – which makes the comparison very difficult. Try to find people you trust to give you an extra opinion or to double-check the quality and price.

Consider your budget and stick to it, whatever others say or recommend. If the gold ring has a diamond choose something cheaper or different so you will spend according to your budget.

Check our video on How to Buy Gold.

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