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Purity of Gold: Difference between 24k, 22k and 18k gold

Gold has been considered a store of value by civilizations around the world for thousands of years. Whether its numismatic gold coins, gold bullion, or fashionable jewelry, today, gold’s spot price is once again close to $1900 an ounce. Understanding the quality and purity of the gold you are buying is the key to making an informed investment.

Gold Purity: Understanding the Karat

If you’ve purchased jewelry in the past, you’re probably familiar with the word “karat.” When referring to gold, a karat (K) is a measurement of gold’s purity and it measures the ratio of gold to other metals or alloys. Typically, the gold karat number is stamped into a piece of jewelry.

Karats are measured on a scale of 0 to 24, with 24K being pure gold. As a rule, the higher the karat number, the more gold is in the piece. Other metals that can be mixed with gold include, zinc, nickel, copper, silver or palladium.

In its pure state, 24K gold is very malleable. Pure gold is much too soft for jewelry and is used for investment-grade bullion, such as gold coins or bars. Most jewelry is made using 22K to 10K gold.

Pure gold bar

Gold “Fineness” Defined

“Gold fineness” is another way of referring to the gold to metal additive ratio. When it comes to jewelry, gold fineness also determines the “color” of gold. Pure gold is actually bright yellow. The more yellow the gold, the higher it’s purity.

By adding different metals and alloys, jewelry designers create gold colors. For example, “rose” gold uses copper to give it its unique hue, while white gold is created by combining gold with zinc or nickel. Green gold uses an alloy that is made from copper, silver and zinc. Designers create these different hues by mixing various metals and then smelting them together with pure gold.

Determining the Percentage of Gold in Jewelry

Jewelry is typically marked using karats, such as 18K, 14K etc. This mark tells you exactly how much gold is in your item. Knowing the karat number is the key to calculating gold content, and ultimately its value.

The formula is simple. The gold karat scale ranges from 0 to 24. Simply divide the number of karats, for example 14K by 24. In this example the total is .583. to convert this number to a percentage, simply multiply be 100. This means that 14K gold is 58.3% pure, or contains 14 parts gold, and 10 parts other metals.

Gold Jewelry

Karat Conversion

Here are the percentages of pure gold in the most commonly used karat measurements:

• 24K – 99.9% pure gold. This is the highest amount of gold and us typically used for creating investment grade bullion like coins and bars.

• 22K – 91.6% pure gold. This is the softest and most pure gold you would want to use for jewelry.

• 18K – 75% pure gold. More pure than 14K it is strong enough for jewelry and has a good balance of strength to purity.

• 14K – 58.5% pure gold.  14K gold is strong and is the most common purity used in making jewelry.

• 10K – 41.7% pure gold. This is the minimum standard for gold in the US. It’s great for jewelry as it’s affordable and extremely durable!

Seventy-five percent of annual gold use is for jewelry. Gold has many uses from an investment grade store of value, to being used in electronics, industrial application, aerospace, and even dental work. Understanding how gold’s value is defined by understanding how karats are measured can help you to make an informed decision when buying or selling gold! Visit Doylestown Gold Exchange for all of your gold needs; buy/sell, jewelry and coins.

 

Should I Get Jewelry Insurance?

If you’ve ever felt that heart-stopping moment when you reach for your wedding ring, earring, watch, or another precious piece only to find that it’s missing from its usual spot, you’ve likely considered getting a jewelry insurance policy. Jewelry insurance is available to anyone, and a good plan will cover the full value of your jewelry in cases of damage, loss, theft, or mysterious disappearance.

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about getting jewelry insurance so that you’re in the know about the options for protecting your most sentimental treasures.

Woman with Wedding Ring
Woman with Wedding Ring

When to get jewelry insurance

While you can insure any piece of jewelry, the question of whether to get jewelry insurance usually hinges on the replacement value of your item. Fine jewelry designed with precious metals and precious stones is often expensive to replace, making them ideal for jewelry insurance.

Consider getting jewelry insurance if your pieces have a high replacement value, such as jewelry made of:

· Platinum

· Gold

· Sterling silver

· Diamonds

· Rubies

· Sapphire

· Emerald

· Some semi-precious stones, such as black opals

· Precious gemstones, such as pearls

Pearl Necklace
Expensive Pearl Necklace

In the next section, we’ll outline the different types of jewelry insurance policies to consider.

How jewelry insurance works Jewelry insurance is much like any other insurance policy, including homeowners’, auto, pet, and others. First, you’ll purchase coverage, and then you’ll pay a monthly premium to retain the policy. If you need to file a claim, the insurance company will walk you through settling the claim according to the terms in your policy.

There are two primary types of jewelry insurance policies:

1. Repair and replacement policy – This type of jewelry insurance policy is the most common. It usually covers the full cost of working with a jeweler to repair or replace your piece so that it’s as close to the original as possible. Check your policy to determine whether it requires that you use a specified jeweler. If not, you’ll have the freedom to work with a jeweler of your choice.

2. Reimbursement policy – This type of jewelry insurance policy is a little more complicated because the reimbursement value will depend on whether your insurance company values your compensation using actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost. Asking about the reimbursement valuation when you purchase coverage can help ensure there are no surprises if you need to file a claim. When you purchase a piece of fine jewelry, ask a graduate gemologist or reputable jeweler to provide an appraisal, including the details about the item and its replacement costs. Your insurance company will require this information to start a policy or when you file a claim.

Where to get jewelry insurance

Most insurance companies offer jewelry insurance coverage, so your first step might be to check with your insurance agent about insuring your valuable pieces. If you don’t have an insurance agent or want to compare policies, consider an insurer specializing in jewelry, such as Jewelers Mutual, a highly respected and reputable company.

What are the 4 Types of Precious Stones?

Image of assorted precious stones

In the field of Gemology, four gemstones in the world have earned the classification of precious stones. These “big four” are diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into each of these gems and highlight interesting facts along the way, courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Continue reading What are the 4 Types of Precious Stones?

5 Tips for Choosing a Jewelry Repair Shop

Earrings with a stone on the table, surrounded by jewelry repair tools

Do you have a too-tight or too-loose ring tucked away in your jewelry box? What about a necklace or bracelet with a broken clasp? Are your earrings missing a stone? Or does your watch need a battery? Expert jewelry repair services can revive your beloved pieces so that you can enjoy them once again.

When searching for a jewelry repair shop near you, don’t trust your precious valuables to just anyone. Instead, look for an experienced, honest, and reputable local jeweler. One who is knowledgeable and will take the time to talk with you about the repairs that need to be done so you are comfortable leaving the item with them.

So, how will you know which local jewelry repair shop to choose? Continue reading to find out. Continue reading 5 Tips for Choosing a Jewelry Repair Shop

How to Sell Gold and Silver Coins for the Best Price

Collectible coins

Calling all coin collectors! What is the number one rule when you’re planning to sell coins in gold or silver? Make sure you get the best price for your unique collection, of course. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a savvy coin expert to maximize the return on your investment. All it takes to sufficiently pad your wallet is a healthy dose of industry insight from local experts who are in the know.

In this blog post, we’re sharing the following helpful insider secrets on how to sell gold and silver coins for the most money:

  • Check the current market value
  • Authenticate and appraise your coin collection
  • Follow storage and handling best practices
  • Choose a trustworthy dealer

If you want to sell coins, keep reading as we dive deeper into these hints for getting the most bang for the buck.

Continue reading How to Sell Gold and Silver Coins for the Best Price

Why Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Surging in Popularity

lab-grown diamond

Where do diamonds come from? If you said, “the Earth,” you’re right. And if you said, “a lab,” you are also right. So, what’s the difference? Earth-mined diamonds also referred to as simply ‘mined diamonds,’ have long been the standard for engagement diamonds, diamond earrings, and other diamond-studded treasures. However, new technology has given these “below ground” precious stones a run for their money with the creation of lab-grown diamonds, an “above ground” alternative. Continue reading Why Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Surging in Popularity

Need jewelry repaired? Come see our experts at Doylestown Gold Exchange!

Spring is a time of new beginnings. With new life peaks out of frosty gardens, it’s a good time of year to think about reinvigorating your jewelry collection. Old and broken jewelry tends to fall to the back of drawers or the bottom of your collection. Don’t let it! Continue reading Need jewelry repaired? Come see our experts at Doylestown Gold Exchange!

US Gold and Silver Shortages: The Short and Long Term Effects

Gold and silver have gained recognition and reverence throughout history. There are many reasons to own or sell gold and silver. Unlike money, these metals have intrinsic value. When economies collapse and fiat money becomes valueless, governments resort to gold.

Do you have gold and silver pieces sitting idle somewhere? We will explain why this year could be the best time to sell gold and silver. Continue reading US Gold and Silver Shortages: The Short and Long Term Effects