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Understanding Gold:

A Deep Dive into Karats and Types

Gold, in its purest form, is too soft for many types of jewelry and can be prone to damage. To make it more durable and usable, gold is often mixed with other metals, which results in gold of different purities. This purity is typically measured in karats (K), with 24 karats being pure gold.

Let's delve deeper into the different types of gold commonly used in jewelry.

Purity: 100% Gold
This is pure gold, with no alloy metals added. It's the softest and the most yellow in color. Due to its soft nature, it's less commonly used in jewelry and more frequently in gold coins and bars.

Color Description: Bright, vibrant yellow. The purest and richest gold color.

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Chart Value: Gold: 75% - Other: 25%

This type combines 75% gold with 25% other metals like copper or silver, giving it a balanced blend of color and strength. It's less yellow than 24K gold but is significantly more durable.

Color Description: Slightly muted yellow compared to 24K. Still very rich and resembles what most people think of as "gold" color.

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Chart Value: Gold: 58.3% - Other: 41.7%

This mix contains a little over half gold (58.3%) and is commonly used in jewelry because it provides a good balance of color, durability, and affordability.

Color Description: A moderate yellow, less vibrant than 18K. The presence of more alloy metals starts to influence the color.

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Chart Value: Gold: 41.7% - Other: 58.3%

With just over 40% gold content, 10K gold is less yellow in color but offers excellent durability. It's a popular choice for pieces that will see heavy wear, like rings and bracelets.

Color Description: Lighter yellow. There's a noticeable difference between 10K and 24K in terms of color richness.

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Chart Value: Gold: 20.8% - Other: 79.2%

This is much less common and contains only 20.8% gold. Given its low gold content, it's less yellow and more resilient but might not be as desirable for those seeking a more pure gold appearance.

Color Description: Very muted yellow, almost leaning towards a beige or tan shade due to the high content of alloy metals.

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Gold-filled pieces are composed of a solid layer of gold, mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal. The gold content must account for at least 1/20th (5%) of the item's total weight. The gold layer in gold-filled items is much thicker and more durable than gold-plated items.

Color Description: This would depend on the karat of gold used for the layer. It could range from bright yellow (if a high karat like 24K is used) to a more muted yellow (if a lower karat is used).

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Vermeil is a specific kind of gold plating over sterling silver. To be considered vermeil, the gold must be at least 10 karats and be at least 2.5 micrometers thick. Due to its silver core, vermeil tends to be more affordable than solid gold pieces, yet offers a similarly shiny appearance.

Color Description: Similar to gold-filled, it would depend on the karat of gold used. However, since vermeil uses a silver core, it might have a slightly brighter sheen compared to pieces that use other base metals.

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