All About Gold
Some Facts About Gold
Gold is measured in "carats". The carat designation refers to the numer of parts per 24 that is pure gold, e.g. 14 carat is 14/24 pure gold.
|24 carat =||1.000 =||100% gold|
|22 carat =||0.917 =||91.7% gold|
|18 carat =||0.750 =||75% gold|
|14 carat =||0.585 =||58.5% gold|
|12 carat =||0.500 =||50% gold|
|9 carat =||0.375 =||37.5% gold|
Gold in Jewellery
- Gold wash - gold deposits with a thickness from 2 to 5 millionth of an inch. Wears very quickly.
- Gold plating - gold deposits with a minimum thickness of 7 millionth of an inch bonded to a base metal. Wears far more quickly than gold-filled
- Gold inlays - solid pieces of gold or gold alloy attached by dovetailing (usually 14-24 carat).
- Gold leaf - gold leaf is very thin, 3-4 millionth of an inch, made so by flattening under pressure. Can be hammered thin enough to transmit light.
- Gold vermeil - thin layer, 1/10 000 inch, of 10 carat gold or higher bonded to sterling silver by an eletrolytic or mechanical process.
- Gold filling (see below for more information) - refers to a base metal such as nickel that has gold sheet attached by soldering or some other means. Gold filled was once commonly used in watch cases.
- Heavy gold plate - a film of fine gold plated to other metals to a thickness of at least 100 millionth of an inch.
- Rolled gold - a layer of plating, of 10 carat or better, mechanically bonded to a base metal. Gold content may be less then 1/20th total weight
The Creation of 14 Carat Rolled Gold Wire (also known as Gold-Filled Wire)
14/20 wire or 1/20 Rolled gold wire is created by taking a sheet of 14 carat gold and bonding it though extreme heat and pressure to a core of semi-precious metal (brass). This is a very sophisticated process and only a few mills in the world do it.
You should not mistake this process for Gold Plating. There is a very big difference. Rolled gold wire has a layer of gold that is more than 100 times thicker than even the highest quality vermeil or gold plating. The end result is a 14 carat tube which is strong, durable, and resistant to tarnish because of its 14 carat gold covering. Rolled 14 carat Gold is so thick that most people with metal allergies to nickel find they do not have a problem wearing this. There is no nickel in the formation process as there is in the plating process.
Many people collect old wire gold-filled jewellery pieces and have many with dates on them from the early 1900's. They used this metal much more in the 30's and 40's to make watch bands, cameo settings, and just about everything.
Today there are very few jewellery items made with Rolled Gold commercially. Usually they are done in a very inferior gold plate to keep the costs down.