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We took all the questions we could think of and all the questions you sent to us and created this FAQ so that everyone can find an answer to any questions they may have. This FAQ is always a work in progress. If we receive questions that we are asked often, we will add it to our FAQ. If our FAQ doesn't answer your question, email us and we'll answer you as soon as possible.
Loose Diamonds
Here, we look at various information and questions about the different metals used in jewelry making.
Question & Answer
What makes gold so popular?
Gold was popular with ancient civilizations for its brilliant shine. Because gold is a soft metal, it is easy to work with allowing early artists to manipulate it. Gold is also a rare element making it more expensive to mine.
What is a Karat?
“Karat” tells you how pure the gold is. 24K gold is 99.999% pure gold. 18K is (18/24)=75% pure gold and 25% other metals. “Karat” refers to the purity of the gold. 24K (karat) gold is 99.999% pure gold. 18K is 18/24 or 75% gold and 25% other metals.
Why don’t I see 24K gold jewelry that often?
24K gold is very soft. Jewelry made with it could be damage easily. Mixing gold makes it harder and cheaper. Depending on what other metals are used, different colors can be created.
Which is better, 18K or 14K gold?
Which is better is a personal choice. 18K gold costs more because of its higher gold content. 18K gold has a higher gold content making it more yellow. The higher gold content also makes it softer. Jewelry made with 14K gold can hold stones a better because the 58.333% of other metals stiffens it.
I don’t see a gold karat stamp on my jewelry. Is this real gold?
All jewelry we sell is 14K white or yellow gold. Its karatage is also stated on the item description. If the karat stamp was on the portion of your jewelry that was removed for resizing, the karat stamp will be missing. Sometimes the jewelry manufacturers rush orders and skip the stamping process.
Can I get this setting in Sterling Silver, 18K/22K/24K Gold or Platinum?
We only carry 14K white or yellow gold jewelry.
How do I know that jewelry I purchase from you is real gold?
You can perform some tests yourself on the gold.
Looking at the gold, are there any black, silver or other color blotches in it?
When you hold the gold item, does it feel heavy?
Does it have a karat stamp on it?
The following table shows common locations for the karatage stamp.

Jewelry Type:Stamp Location
Ring: On the inside surface of the ring.
Earring:On the post.
Pendant:On the back. Sometimes on the chain loop
Bracelet:On the clasp.
Necklace:On the clasp.

Gold is the only yellow metal that does not react with nitric acid. Test kits using an acid are available at jewelry supply stores. The test usually involves rubbing a miniscule amount of the metal on the supplied paper and putting a drop of the acid on the paper rubbings. If the color does not change, it is real gold. 10K gold or less may react to this test due to the low gold content.
Another test you can use is the price test. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. To figure out the value of the jewelry, you need to know the current market value for gold, the weight of the gold jewelry in ounces and its karatage. The value can be calculated as:
value = (gold market value) x (weight in ounces) x (karatage/24)
For example, if the price of gold is $900 per ounce, and you are looking at a 22K gold pendant that weighs 1/4 ounces, the formula would be:
Value=$900.00 x (1/4) x (22/24) = ?
Value=$900.00 x (25) x (91.667) = $206.25
The price can be higher for workmanship or branding, but if the asking price is $100, you can be sure that the pendant is not 22K gold or even real gold.
I heard there’s pink gold. How is that possible?
24K gold is yellow and yellow only. Gold can be mixed with other metals to create other colors. The following chart shows what combinations of other metals are used to create the different colors of gold.
  Bright Yellow         18K     75% gold         15.5% copper      9.5% silver
  Bright Yellow         14K     58.5% gold      29% copper         12.5% silver
  White*                  14K     58.3% gold      29% copper         12.2% nickel 5.97% zinc
  Deep Green75% gold         25% silver
  Deep Pink75% gold         25% copper
  Bright Red**75% gold         25% aluminum
  Blue**75% gold         25% iron
  Black**58.3% gold      41.7% iron
  Purple**58.3% gold      5% tin                  1.5% thorium
What is platinum?
Platinum is a relatively recent addition to the precious metals used in jewelry compared to gold. Platinum will not corrode, tarnish or rust. An added bonus to platinum jewelry is that the metal itself is very hard compared to gold or silver. Platinum is often mixed with iridium to further harden the metal making it stronger to hold precious stones, but harder to work with.
Why is platinum so expensive?
Platinum is a very rare metal… rarer than gold. Platinum is also heavier than gold. Jewelry made with platinum will weigh more than the same piece of jewelry made with gold. Due to its high melting point and cooling, it is also difficult to work with. Annually, 113 tons of platinum is mined compared to the 1782 tons of gold mined.
What are the other metals mentioned for jewelry and what are they used for?
The other metals used with jewelry are:
Rhodium        Used to plate white gold and platinum to give it a more silvery appearance.
Iridium This is alloyed with platinum to make it harder.
Palladium Items are alloyed with this inexpensive and lightweight to reduce cost.
Ruthenium This is occasionally alloyed with platinum to make it harder.
Osmium This is the hardest known metal and is rarely used in jewelry.