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By: DragonFly2Jewelry
Buying 14k gold jewelry can be fun as you give the gift of precious metals or give yourself a wonderful gift; a gift that lasts a lifetime! A high quality item is always a great gift to receive. Whether you choose 14k gold jewelry or 18k gold jewelry, you should know that purchasing any expensive item is making an investment in not only the person receiving the gift, (even a gift to yourself), but an investment in fine metals that will hold their value. Before making a costly purchase perhaps a little information on gold and what constitutes karats would be helpful in determining what karat content you would want to obtain.

Pure gold is soft, much too soft to substantially hold up to wear and tear or to hold a valuable and expensive stone in a setting. Because of the softness, it is usually mixed with other metals to form a substance that is more durable and hardy. This procedure is called alloying. To alloy is to mix metals together. When gold is alloyed with other materials or metals, the content in a particular object is then measured by karats. For example, 14k jewelry means that the gold content of the jewelry equals 14 parts to 10 parts of other materials. It is the same with 18k jewelry. A piece of jewelry certified as 18k, will have 18 parts gold to 6 parts of other metal contents. The standard karat content of most jewelry is 14k, 18k and 22k.

While alloying is done for durability, some fine jewelers alloy gold with other metals to reach a desired or specific color. Higher karat content items, such as a 18k jewelry will produce a more yellow color to the finish of the product. But, when a piece of gold is alloyed with nickel, silver, or platinum, the finish can be silver, or what is more commonly known as white gold. When a jeweler or designer wants to keep costs at a minimum, 14 carat is generally the least expensive cost. The lower the karat or pure gold content, the less expensive the product.

A piece of 14k gold jewelry or 18k gold jewelry should be clearly marked, letting the buyer know that they are buying a specific quality. The content should always be marked, along with another marking for a registered trademark and where the ring or necklace has been made. Marking a piece is not required by law, but is a courtesy marking, guaranteeing the buyer that they are buying specific content of metal. Always look for a 14k gold jewelry trademark or an 18k gold jewelry trademark when purchasing finer pieces, knowing that you are buying a item that is guaranteed to have substantial precious metal content.

There is also a process called gold plating. Plating is actually 10K gold that has been electroplated to another host metal. Plated jewelry can be beautiful, but durability is an issue, as the plating eventually wears off when the piece is worn considerably. There are jewelry pieces that are gold filled and overlaid as well. Any piece that has overlay or is filled should be marked with an abbreviated term to clarify the content of the item in question.

When buying jewelry, much of what is selected will be determined by personal preference. The higher the precious metal content, the more valuable the piece. A 22k or 24k gold ring will have a beautiful finish that has a unique yellow tone, and this piece will be worth quite a bit of money. But a ring with high karat content would need to be taken care of, and never worn for daily activities. Also, precious jewels mounted would be at risk. 18k gold jewelry and 14k gold jewelry are certainly the most popular choices because of these factors.

If you are in the market for a piece of jewelry, then speak with the jeweler about their recommendations for what you want the piece for. There are occasions when a 22k or 24k piece may be just what the buyer needs or wants. There is also more information on buying fine pieces online through the Internet, and interested parties can browse the information about metal content and its value online. Gold is a valuable and precious metal. God's Word, the Bible tells us that our faith is much more valuable than gold to God. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:7)

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