FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS $100+ FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS $100+

News

(Au)SOME: PROPERTIES OF GOLD

(Au)SOME: PROPERTIES OF GOLD

Ahh Gold (atomic symbol “Au”). Obviously one of our favorite elements on the periodic table, gold has been highly revered among humans for millennia… but why? The ancient Egyptians associated gold with the sun god, Ra, and their lore held that the skin of the gods shone with a golden luster. In modern times, the gleaming metal is valued for more practical reasons.

Gold is useful in so many ways: from aerospace where it coats the insides of space shuttles to protect astronauts from infrared heat – to dentistry where it coats our teeth without eroding over time. The metal is a fine conductor of electricity and heat, is corrosion-resistant, and is highly malleable. Those last two properties make it ideal for forging bodily adornment. The classic example being the wedding band.

If you’re in the market for a golden treasure, there are some things to consider. You’ve possibly wondered what the different karat values signify, here’s the deal: the higher the karats, the softer the gold. Pure (24k) gold is extremely soft, so it’s  alloyed with other metals to strengthen it – the gold content decreases as the alloy content increases, making lower karat pieces more affordable.  Jewelry is typically made with 10k, 14k, or 18k gold to create a balance between gold content and durability. 

Alloys are also what produce the color categories of gold. Common alloys for yellow gold are copper, silver, and zinc, while rose gold has a higher copper content and white gold adds palladium + nickel to the mix. Yellow, white, and rose are the “golden three” colors that are usually used in jewelry design, but other colors do exist (black gold is a thing). Because different alloys affect color, karat values will have some hue variation. Generally, the higher the karats the brighter the tint (18k yellow gold appears more yellow, while 10k is more muted). When you choose a specific karat value, you’re determining the durability, the value, and the tone of your piece.

We love gold in all its forms, but in honor of the classic wedding band we've created a little collection of solid gold bands, just for you!  

gold scale