Frequently Asked Gold Questions:

Q. What is the difference between gold jewelry, gold plated jewelry and gold filled jewelry?

A.  Gold jewelry is an alloy containing an approximate amount of gold, silver and copper and in some cases nickel and palladium. In order for a piece to be labeled as any particular karat or fineness it must have a minimum amount of gold by weight. That amount differs by karat. Gold filled jewelry is made from two thinly rolled sheets of gold with a sheet of copper between them. Gold plated jewelry is jewelry made up of another metal, usually copper or stainless steel, and the gold is plated on the jewelry by electrolysis. Gold plate is the lowest grade of gold scrap and usually contains no more than .10 cents per sq. inch. Typically, karat gold jewelry will have a karat or fineness stamp on it, gold filled jewelry will be stamped GF indicating it is gold filled  and gold plated pieces (for the most part) have no karat stamps at all. One exception to this is Italian jewelry which can be plated or karat. Sometimes though, the karat or gold filled stamps have been worn off so testing is required.

Q. What is the difference between carats, karats and fineness?

A. Carats with a “c” are used to describe the weight of gemstones, mainly diamonds. Karat and fineness  relates to the amount of pure gold by weight in any given piece. In America we use the karat system while manufacturers in Europe use the fineness scale. Both are the same and show very simply the amount of gold in any given piece of jewelry. For example a 12k piece is 12 parts out of 24 pure gold or 50% gold. That same piece if manufactured in Europe would be stamped 500 fine.

Q. how do you estimate the amount of pure gold?

A. We use various methods such as acid tests and electronic testers to determine the amount of gold in jewelry. In certain cases such as jewelers waste, refining filters and x-ray films require processing.

Q. How do you get different colors of gold? Is there such a thing as white gold?

A. Technically no, there is no such thing as naturally occurring white gold or gold of any other color than gold. To get yellow, white, green or rose gold, pure gold must be alloyed with other metals to bring out that particular color. For example in white gold the gold is alloyed with nickel or palladium to make it white. Gold by itself in its naturally occurring color is gold.