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A Guide to Gold Basics

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With the soaring prices of gold it is a good time to consider buying or selling your gold jewelry. You need to have some basic knowledge to make smart decisions. Gold jewelry seems like it never goes out of style. This is because it is beautiful and easy for most people to afford and wear.

Pure gold will not tarnish, rust or corrode and is the most malleable of all metals. Pure gold is too soft for jewelry so it is mixed with other metals, including silver, copper, nickel and zinc to give it strength and durability. The color of gold is determined by the type of metal alloys it is mix with and the percentage of each metal alloy.

Most people think all gold is yellow, but the fact is there are many variations of color that gold can be. Colored gold is just as “real” as golden colored gold. The color depends on what the gold is mixed with. Other alloys are mixed with gold to make it strong and to hold up under every day wear and tear that jewelry goes through. Craftsman learned through the ages that mixing gold with copper, silver and platinum would increase its durability. When gold is alloyed with other metals it changes the color of the finished product. An alloy of 75% gold, 16% silver and 9% cooper makes yellow gold. White gold is 75% gold, 4% silver, 4% copper and 17% palladium. Other combinations of alloys can make pink, green, peach and even black gold.

The alloys of gold have a lesser value per unit weight than pure gold. The standard in the gold trade is known as karatage which is commonly called karat. Pure gold is known as 24 karat gold and is usually marked with 24K. An alloy that is 50% gold is 12 karat gold and is marked with a 12K. An alloy that is 75% gold is 18 karat gold and is marked with 18K. High karat gold jewelry is softer and more resistant to tarnish; on the other hand, lower karat jewelry is stronger, but less resistant to tarnish.

Gold is highly valued and there is a limited supply and has been used as a medium of exchange or money for centuries. 6000 years ago is when the first transaction was done using pieces of gold and silver. The reason that gold has been used for this purpose for so long is because it has high value, durable, portable and can be divided easily. At one time the United States used a gold standard and maintained a stockpile of gold to back every dollar in circulation. It became too cumbersome and is no longer used by any nation. Gold coins were commonly used in transactions. Gold coins were issued in two types of units. Some were units of currency and some were issued in standard weights.

Today gold coins are no longer in wide use for financial transactions. Gold coins issued in specific weights are popular for people who want to purchase and invest in a small amount of gold. Gold coins are also collected and issued as commemorative coins. These types are a good investment because gold retains its value overtime. These are just some informative basic facts about gold. As you can see gold is a good investment whether it is in fine jewelry or coins.

The best online resource to sell gold or sell gold coins can be found at

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