How is 24-Karat Gold Jewellery Made?
Throughout history, 24-karat gold has commonly been used as a currency. This has seen it traded in the form of bullion, which exists in various shapes, including coins, ingots, and old-fashioned bars.
Because of its purity, 24 karat is the standard for gold used as currency. Being unalloyed allows it to be traded at its 24-karat daily market price.
When it comes to gold jewellery, it’s common knowledge that 24-karat gold jewellery is considered the best quality gold jewellery you can buy. As accurate as this is, it is still quite rare to find jewellery that is actually made from pure, solid gold. This is due to the fact that there are more challenges to face when manufacturing it.
Working with pure gold, which has a softer consistency than other gold alloyed with stronger metals, is a finer art.
This has led to lesser-quality gold becoming more common in jewellery. Instead, 24-karat gold is alloyed with other, more durable metals, such as silver, copper, or zinc. These more common metals are added to the gold to strengthen it, making it more readily workable for jewellery use.
Because of this, gold jewellery can come in a variety of different colours, strengths, and karats. This is why, throughout this article, we answer the question: how is gold made into jewellery?
Join us as we explore how 24-karat gold jewellery is made.
Why 24-karat gold?
Different karat grades – such as 24, 18, and 16 – represent the purity of gold. Gold purity is generally displayed with these numbers, indicating the gold's prevelance by parts within a piece of gold.
In some cases, how many karats the gold contains can be partly determined by the colour of the gold itself. The value of gold of any denomination is determined by weighing it according to its purity in accordance with the gram calculation.
The karat scale represents the purity of the gold, which ranges from 24 karat down. Being at the top of the scale, 24-karat gold is comparable to 100 percent pure gold. The pitfall is that jewellery made from 24-karat gold is softer and more difficult to process.
For this reason, some metals (silver, copper, or zinc) are often added to gold to make jewellery that can be more easily sculpted and processed. Although this procedure does allow for the gold to become more durable, it also reduces its purity – and therefore its value – in the process.
Now that we’re up to speed on gold’s purities let’s delve into some of the processes involved in making gold jewellery.
How is jewellery made using 24-karat gold?
With a handle on purity, we’re able to answer the next question: how is gold jewellery made?
Gold jewellery is made using a variety of methods, the most common of which is called casting. Developed progressively over the last 4,000 years, the casting process involves melting the 24-karat gold, before pouring it into a pre-shaped mould.
Once the gold has cooled and hardened, the piece is then able to be filed and polished. Having existed for a long time as a tried-and-proven technique, the modern casting method is one of the most trusted in the industry.
The leading benefit of the casting process is that you can recreate designs with a high degree of accuracy. Instead of relying on interpretation and the naked eye, sculptors can simply trust their use of the mould to achieve the detail they so desire.
Jewellery that has been created using the casting method also generally lacks the weaker soldering points which cause other pieces to break. This results in an overall sturdier piece.
Another popular method for making gold jewellery is called fabrication. This involves using extremely thin sheets of gold, which are eventually cut and formed into the desired shape. This process concludes with the pieces being soldered together and polished.
Regardless of which method is used, each piece of gold jewellery is bound to be unique and beautiful.
When using 24-karat gold, there is obviously very little that can be done to improve the overall quality or standard of the gold itself. However, when lower karats are used, jewellers may add a plating of 24-karat gold to the surface of the piece to give it a slightly more luxurious (or “24-karat”) look and feel.
Remember, true 24-karat gold isn't mixed with any other metal in the process (or in rare cases, an extremely small amount). Its purity is why many people prefer it over alloyed gold. The heightened purity of 24-karat gold makes it a desirable choice for those looking for the purest and most exclusive gold jewellery possible.
What about jewellery that isn't pure gold?
If you are new to the gold jewellery scene, the concept of gold jewellery isn’t as black and white as you’d think. As we’ve already touched on, gold comes in various purities and is often alloyed with other metals, depending on the requirements and circumstances.
There are often set practices and routines involved in this gold-alloying process, which poses the question: exactly what is your gold jewellery made of?
The purest form of gold in existence – 24-karat gold jewellery – is not alloyed with any other metal. Because it is gold in its purest form, 24-karat gold is used as the base to be mixed with other metals to create a more durable alloys.
The resulting alloys can be used for gold jewellery of a lower karat (for example, 18-karat or 16-karat). The most common of these metals used are silver and copper, with the exact proportions of each metal varying on the desired properties of the final product.
For example, white gold always contains a higher proportion of silver, whereas yellow and rose gold contain more copper. Once the metals are combined, they are heated until they eventually melt and become homogeneous. Once they have cooled, the alloy is formed into the desired shape before it is finally polished to achieve a high shine. The end result is a beautiful piece of glistening gold jewellery that will last a lifetime.
Though not without its own appeal, alloyed gold of a lesser karat does come with some drawbacks. It can be more difficult to determine its value due to potential ambiguity surrounding the associated alloys and the percentage of gold used in the product. Furthermore, the additional metals used in alloyed gold can be prone to causing allergies.
Some of the alloy metals (nickel in particular) are known to commonly cause skin irritation. That is, naturally, something you want to avoid with such a treasured piece of jewellery that you’ll want to wear as much as possible.
If you’re after a solid piece of gold investment jewellery that you know won’t irritate your skin while you wear it, 24-karat gold is the choice for you.
What does this mean for your jewellery piece?
Because 24-karat gold jewellery is the purest gold jewellery you can buy, it also makes it a great investment. Thanks to the fact that it hasn't been mixed with any other metals, it is guaranteed to keep its value over time. It can even increase in value as the price of gold increases.
Other pieces of jewellery, such as 18-karat gold or 14-karat gold, don’t have as high a gold content as 24-karat gold, and are simply, therefore, not as valuable. While many jewellers will use 18-karat or 14-karat gold for their pieces, it's important to be aware of the difference in purity so you can best make an informed decision when purchasing gold jewellery.
Because only 24-karat gold is pure gold, it is the only gold grade that can be assessed by its gram weight and valued according to the 24-karat live gold price. This makes 24-karat gold THE choice for investment jewellery. It is only 24-karat gold that provides you with the opportunity to invest in a tangible asset that not only appreciates in value but also makes you look great in the process.
If you're looking for a beautiful, unique piece of jewellery, 24-karat gold is a fantastic choice.
It may cost a bit more upfront, but it's usually worth the investment! For those considering investing in 24-karat gold, our expansive and stunning 24-Karat Gold collection contains what you’re looking for.
You're bound to discover that special item within our comprehensive and bespoke range of necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants, charms, and cuffs.
By purchasing jewellery from 7879’s esteemed collection, you’ll know you’re receiving nothing but pure 24-karat gold in your product.
This purity allows you to track the value of your piece at any time using the current market rate. Your precious jewellery is rendered into an actual investment that you can wear for the world to see.