What Makes Gold Jewellery so Special and Valuable?

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What Makes Gold Jewellery so Special and Valuable?

Gold is the most ductile and malleable metal that is known to mankind, making it a good metalworking material. Based on the fact that a single ounce of it can be beaten into an extremely thin well-sized sheet. An ounce of gold can also be turned into a fine thread that can stretch to kilometres. Apart from that, gold is also an extremely good conductor of heat and electric currents. Only silver and copper which incidentally are in the same group of metals (Group 11: refer to the periodic table) are considered to be better conductors. What Makes Gold Jewellery so Special and Valuable?

What Makes Gold Jewellery so Special and Valuable -gold jewellery

Another unique characteristic is that gold is also chemically inactive. Meaning that this element does not react to oxygen, moisture and most ordinary acids. Its only weakness is halogens which are the chemical elements from group 17 of the periodic table, which include Bromine, Chlorine, Fluorine, Iodine and Astatine. Aqua Regia, for instance, is used to dissolve gold is basically a mix of nitric and hydrochloric acids which is intended to liberate the chlorine that reacts to gold. Gold is also relatively a soft metal when compared to other metals. Therefore, it is generally hardened via alloying (usual candidates that are chosen for alloying are copper, silver, and platinum).

Jewellers often use alloying methods to enhance the aesthetic value of the jewellery that they produce. For instance, white gold jewellery is an alloy of gold that is made by mixing gold with either palladium, platinum, zinc, nickel, or both nickel and zinc. Green Gold, on the other hand, is created by mixing up gold with silver. Rose Gold, is made up of gold and copper which on occasions is also used for coinage.

When you go to sell gold jewellery, however, it doesn’t matter what colour of gold you have to sell. ‘The value is in the gold content alone, and while to the naked eye, it can sometimes be difficult to tell white gold and silver apart. It is easy for jewellers and gold buyers to test the gold purity using acid tests and XRF x-ray scanning tools, which are industry standard technology.

The content of gold within an alloy is generally defined by carats, which is a 24 point scale system whereby 24 carats simply represents ‘pure gold’. As an example, if a jewellery item is stamped with an 18K mark, it simply means that the jewellery piece is 18 out of 24 parts gold. In other words, 18/24 x 100 which equals to 75% and therefore if the jewellery weighs 10 ounces, 7.5 ounces of it is pure gold. Gold has become scarce over the last few thousand years and most of the surface gold on our planet earth has already been mined. And although there is a large amount of gold that is present in seawater, the cost for extracting it with the current technology we have far supersedes the value of gold.

There is also a large amount of gold believed to be stored at the core of our planet, but again the cost of extracting it would not make economic sense. Gold is also generally believed to the first metal that humans managed to manipulate successfully due to its softness and its beauty seems to have kept the human race mesmerised for eons which subsequently lead to people to add magical efficacy to it during the Middle Ages.

Based on all these facts, it becomes evident as to why gold is given such high value.

Hannah Murray

Hannah is a freelance travel and fashion writer who prides herself in finding the perfect tours and operators to make your journey as authentic and memorable as possible.

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