When it comes to choosing an engagement ring or a wedding band for yourself or your significant other, you want it to be absolutely perfect.
Even if you are purchasing gold jewellery that has nothing to do with a relationship, it is a precious occasion and you want to ensure that you are informed on all variables so as to select the sacred jewellery piece of your dreams. Contrary to popular belief, 24 karat gold is necessarily the right choice.
We are here to explain why.
What is 24k Gold?
The factor that makes 24 karat gold so completely alluring is the fact that it is 100%, as-pure-as-it-gets gold. In other words, it is non-alloyed. If gold is alloyed then it consists of gold that is combined with varying ratios of other metals or ‘alloying additions’ such as nickel, silver, zinc, and copper.
What Are the Properties of 24k Gold?
Due to the absolute purity of 24 karat gold, its colour is a rich and royal yellow. It exudes an elevated level of class that is unmatched by any other jewelry – except, perhaps, diamonds. The purity of the material informs the colours of gold. Therefore, a 100% gold composition allows for the most splendid orange-yellow.
As it is pure gold, the durability of this material, while aesthetically beautiful, is not excellent. It is prone to bending and scratches due to its relatively soft composition.
Is 24k Gold Too Soft for Jewelry?
Despite popular belief, many expert jewellers would advise against purchasing an engagement or wedding ring that is made of 24 karat gold. This is because, due to the gold’s guaranteed purity, it is a malleable material and it’s thus prone to losing its structural integrity over time.
While its shine and colourful brilliance might be tempting, wearing soft jewelry on your finger every day is sure to compromise its initial beauty. We would highly recommend purchasing a ring that is made of gold in addition to other alloying additions so as to ensure its longevity. After all, if your love is eternal then your ring should be too.
Will 24k Gold Turn Skin Black?
Pure gold – that is, gold that has not been mixed with any other metals – will never turn your skin black. This only happens when other metals are present in the alloy mixture. Therefore, a 24-karat gold piece of jewelry would not discolour your skin as it is biocompatible.
In other words, it is in no way harmful to any living tissue. That being said, we have mentioned that it is not recommended that you wear 24k jewelry on a regular basis due to its malleable nature.
How to Tell if Gold is 24k Gold
We highly recommend consulting a reputable jeweller when trying to establish whether or not gold is 24 karats. Here they will scratch the gold on a testing pad and observe its reaction with nitric acid.
Alternatively, if you want to conduct a simple at-home experiment, all you need is vinegar. Drop a small quantity of the vinegar onto the item you are testing. If the colour changes, it is not pure gold. If it remains the same then it is pure 24k gold.
How Much is 24k Gold?
24 karat gold is the most expensive type of gold on the market today. At the beginning of 2021, the standard price for one ounce of this pure gold was $1,528. It should be noted that its price is in a constant state of relative fluctuation – although it never drops by a significant amount – and this will depend on a range of marketing factors. Furthermore, as this type of gold is rarely used for jewelry, it is challenging to directly compare it to the prices of 14 or 18 karat gold.
Is 24k Gold Rare?
24 karat gold is extremely rare as sourcing pure gold is a taxing endeavour and it is not found in abundant quantities. It is precisely this scarcity that makes 24k gold so precious, valuable, and desired.
Does 24k Gold Tarnish, Fade or Scratch?
As has been mentioned, 24 karat gold is, by nature, a soft material. Unfortunately, this means that it is prone to getting scratched and tarnished if exposed to daily wear and tear.
The upside to this material is that it is the least reactive element. This means that it will never react when in the presence of or in contact with any other element and hence, the colour of the yellow gold will never be compromised. It will remain as brilliant and shiny as the day you bought it.
How to Clean 24k Gold
Many people are confused as to how to clean gold jewelry. As a first choice, we would always recommend having it professionally cleaned. If, however, this is not possible then there is a simple method you can follow to re-enhance the lustre of your 24-karat gold.
Soak the gold in a glass bowl with two cups of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Let this soak for fifteen minutes. Take the jewelry out of the water and gently scrub it with a very soft and clean toothbrush. Rinse it carefully under some warm water and dry it with a lint-free cloth.
Is 24k Gold Jewelry a Good Investment?
Purchasing gold is, without a doubt, always a good investment. As it is available in finite quantities, the demand is high and the supply is low. Do some simple maths and you will quickly realise that the value of your gold will only increase as the years go by.
That being said, in order to preserve the value of 24 karat gold, you need to care for it. If you are wearing it as daily jewelry then its structure will be compromised and it could decline in value. As a financial investment that is stored away and cared for, you can never go wrong with 24k gold.
What are Other Uses of 24k Gold Beyond Jewelry?
Due to its pure composition, this type of gold is most commonly used in the production of electronic or medical devices. It is also frequently used to make coins and bars which are purchased and resold as relatively-assured financial investments.
How Does 24 Karat Gold Compare to Other Karats: 24k, 22k, 18k, 14k, 10k?
Now that we have established the basic properties and uses of 24 karat gold, we can look at the characteristics of other karats. The lower the karat, the lower the price and hence, those who have a tighter budget would likely opt for a 10k gold piece.
It should be noted that the difference between 10 and 14 karat gold is rather substantial. While 10k gold might irritate your skin, 14k gold caters to the more sensitive skin types whilst also being of a higher quality and on the more affordable end of the spectrum. Furthermore, it is more durable and therefore suited to daily wear as a wedding or engagement ring. 18 karat gold has an impressive purity of 75% and although it may be slightly duller in colour than 24 karats, it will never cause skin irritations when worn as jewelry.
What Karat Gold is Most Suitable for Engagement Rings?
When it comes to purchasing an engagement ring, most jewellers will tell you that 14 karat gold is the way to go. It offers the greatest combination of rich colours, reliable durability, and reasonable pricing options. In fact, almost all gold jewelry in the United States is 14 karat gold.
Is 24k Gold the Same As 999?
“999” refers to the purest form of gold. Therefore, it is the same as 24k gold. While many claim that 24 karat gold is 100% pure, there are a number of other sources that believe it is 99.99% pure. At the end of the day, this difference is absolutely negligible and therefore they are essentially one and the same.