The Mine

Welcome to The Mine, a digital magazine where you can explore the exciting world of precious metals and enjoy unearthing the mysteries and beauty behind the world’s most sacred commodities.

article image

Precious metals

Pure brilliance: What is 24-karat gold?

In the world of precious metals, 24k gold stands out for its luxury, history, and unparalleled beauty. At 7879, our passion for this radiant metal runs deep, and our expertise is rooted in years of crafting, studying, and celebrating its many facets.

From understanding what makes a 'karat' to exploring the intrinsic value of 24k gold, this guide illuminates every angle on pure gold. You're not just uncovering the secrets of what 24-karat gold is; we'll debunk myths, offer insights into its investment potential, and even explain how to ascertain the purity of your gold pieces. Whether you're a seasoned gold enthusiast or a curious novice, this exploration of the history, science, and artistry around 24-karat gold will show you something new. 

The bottom line: 24-karat gold is the epitome of purity. It's 100% gold, with no alloyed metals, giving it a distinct, bright, and captivating hue. Its soft nature makes it less common in jewellery like engagement rings, but with the right craftsmanship, it's suitable for everyday wear.

First of all, what's a "karat" or "carat"?

Before we answer the question "What is 24-karat gold?", it would be helpful to understand exactly what a karat means in this context. 

Two terms that often get interchanged, but represent different things, are 'karat' and 'carat'. While both 'karat' and 'carat' speak to the value and quality of a piece, they apply to different aspects of jewellery. Let's demystify these terms.

Karat

Predominantly used in the context of precious metals, 'karat' is a unit that describes the purity of gold. Think of it as a pie divided into 24 slices. In a 24-karat gold piece, all 24 slices are pure gold. This means that 24-karat gold is 100% pure, without any alloyed metals. Conversely, if you have a piece that's 18 karats, it means 18 slices (or parts) are gold, and the remaining 6 parts are made up of other metals, often added to enhance durability or influence colour.

Carat

On the other hand, 'carat' is a term you'd encounter in the world of gemstones, particularly diamonds. It's a measure of weight, not purity. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. So, when you hear someone talking about a 2-carat diamond, they're referring to its weight, not its purity or quality.

Understanding the distinction between these two terms is crucial. Knowing the difference ensures you're well-informed, whether you're investing in a golden heirloom or choosing the perfect gemstone for a special occasion.

What is 24-karat gold?

When we talk about gold in its purest form, we're referring to 24-karat gold. This is gold that is 24 parts gold out of 24, unblended with other metals. Its unalloyed nature gifts it a captivating, rich orange-yellow hue, a shade that's unmistakably deeper and more vibrant than the paler tones of alloyed golds.

This high gold content gives 24-karat gold its unique properties. Beyond its vibrant hue, it's also more resistant to tarnish than its alloyed counterparts. Its purity also means it's softer and more malleable. This softness, while often seen as a drawback, can be a boon for artisans, allowing for the creation of intricate designs and patterns that might be challenging with harder metals.

How much is 24k gold worth?

The allure of 24k gold isn't just in its radiant beauty, but also in its transparent value. Given its pure nature, determining the worth of 24k gold is straightforward. If you know the weight of your gold piece, you can simply refer to the current market price of gold per gram to ascertain its value. This direct correlation between weight and market price is a unique advantage of pure gold, eliminating the ambiguities that come with alloyed gold.

At 7879, we've taken this transparency a step further. By fixing the prices of our jewellery to the current gold price, we offer our customers a clear and honest valuation. This ensures that when you invest in a piece from 7879, you're not just acquiring a beautiful ornament; you're making a transparent investment, where the value is tied directly to the global gold market. It's this commitment to purity and transparency that sets 24k gold apart as a unique investment.

If you're keen to dive deeper into gold valuation and understand the factors that influence its price, we recommend exploring the definition of bullion value and our insights on gold price predictions.

How can I check the purity of my 24k gold?

If 24 karats is the gold standard, ensuring the purity of your gold jewellery is paramount. If you're uncertain about the purity of your gold jewellery, you can carry out tests to help determine its authenticity. Here are some methods to guide you:

  1. Check the stamp: Gold's purity is measured in karats, with 24K being the purest form, equating to 99.9% gold. Authentic gold jewellery should have a karat stamp. For instance, a "24K" stamp indicates 99.9% gold content. 

  2. Check its weight: Gold's unique density makes it challenging to imitate. If a jewellery piece feels lighter than expected, it might indicate a lower karat or even a fake.

  3. Do the magnet test: Pure gold isn't magnetic. If your jewellery sticks to a magnet, it's likely not pure gold. Since other non-magnetic metals can be used in fake jewellery, only use this test in conjunction with others.

  4. Do the "ping" test: Strike your jewellery piece lightly. Genuine gold produces a long, high-pitched ringing sound, distinct from base metals which sound duller.

  5. Do the ceramic test: Dragging your gold over an unglazed ceramic plate can reveal its authenticity. Genuine gold leaves a gold streak, while fake gold leaves a black one. 

  6. Do the nitric acid test: Pure gold is resistant to oxidation and corrosion, so it won't react to nitric acid. If your jewellery reacts, it's not pure gold. However, this test can damage your jewellery if it's not genuine.

Our comprehensive gold jewellery purity check guide explains in detail how to conduct these tests, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each. But while these tests can provide insights, the most foolproof way to ensure your 24-karat gold's authenticity is to purchase from a reputable dealer. Reputable dealers use advanced gold-testing machines, offering a non-destructive way to verify the purity of your jewellery.

Is 24k gold a good investment?

The 24-karat question: aside from looking good on your wrist, is pure gold a sensible place to park your money? Pure gold is a tangible asset with undeniable, intrinsic value. Unlike other investment avenues, the value of pure gold is universally recognised, and fixed to global markets. 

The durability and timelessness of gold solidify its position as a preferred choice for investors. Gold doesn't oxidize or corrode, ensuring its lasting value. Historically, even when faced with market fluctuations, gold's value has demonstrated resilience against other investment products, like bonds or real estate. The enduring nature of gold means it's considered a safe-haven asset, often bought to ensure stability in troubled times.

Today, investing in gold doesn't just mean buying hefty bullion or coins, or investing in gold you'll never see. Brands like 7879 have revolutionised investments, allowing individuals to invest in chic, modern jewellery pieces that are not only wearable but also tied to live market value. It's an elegant fusion of style and substance, ensuring that you can both flaunt your assets and watch them appreciate.

If you're considering diversifying your investment portfolio, 24-karat gold offers a blend of aesthetic allure and financial stability. We invite you to explore the pros and cons of gold jewellery as an investment you can wear, cherish, and, if the need arises, liquidate with ease.

Can 24k gold be used for jewellery?

Contrary to popular belief, 24k gold isn't too soft for jewellery. With proper care, it can be worn gracefully. But why is there a misconception about its suitability for jewellery in the first place?

The world of jewellery often leans towards 14 or 18-karat gold, primarily because these lower purities, being alloyed with other metals, are understood to be stronger. Critics often point to the malleability of 24k gold, suggesting that its softness makes it more susceptible to scratches and dents. 

While alloying does enhance strength, it comes at the cost of diluting the gold's content and intrinsic value. Unscrupulous jewellers will often sell less pure gold at a premium, expecting buyers to pay above the odds for brand names or craftsmanship. 

Historically, alloys were used to lend gold additional strength, leading to the misconception that pure gold isn't durable. But with modern advancements in metallurgy and innovative crafting techniques, this belief is being overturned. 

At 7879, we've championed the cause of making jewellery with 24k gold, creating pieces that are not only radiant in their beauty but also resilient in their structure. The glow of pure gold is unparalleled, reflecting nature's beauty combined with skilled artisanship. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, 24k gold offers hypoallergenic properties, making it a perfect companion for sensitive skin.

How is jewellery made using 24-karat gold?

Creating jewellery with 24k gold is a process that marries traditional techniques with modern metallurgy. There are two primary methods used in its creation: casing and fabrication.

Casting

Casting is a transformative process. It begins with heating the pure gold until it's in a liquid state. This molten gold is then carefully poured into pre-designed moulds, capturing the intricate details of the desired design. As the gold cools and solidifies, it takes the shape of the mould. Once fully set, the piece is extracted and undergoes a series of polishing stages, ensuring a smooth and lustrous finish.

Fabrication

Fabrication is a method that requires a keen eye and a steady hand. In this technique, artisans start with thin sheets or wires of 24k gold. These sheets are then meticulously shaped, bent, and soldered together to craft distinctive jewellery pieces. The process allows for a high degree of customisation, enabling the creation of unique and personalised designs.

Both these methods, while distinct in their approach, aim to capture the essence of 24k gold, ensuring that each jewellery piece resonates with the purity and brilliance of this precious metal.

Does 24-karat gold tarnish or lose its shine?

One of the many marvels of pure gold is its enduring brilliance. Being non-reactive, it stands resilient against tarnishing, ensuring that its radiant glow remains over time. While less pure, alloyed gold will develop a patina over time, that's not something you need to worry about if you've invested in 24-karat gold. This inherent quality makes it an exceptional choice for jewellery, promising a timeless lustre that captivates. 

However, like all precious treasures, even pure gold benefits from a touch of tender care. To ensure your jewellery retains its pristine shine and remains in impeccable condition, it's worth acquainting yourself with some essential care practices for gold and platinum. These guidelines not only help in preserving the lustre but also extend the longevity of your cherished pieces.

How does 24k gold compare to other types of gold? 

With all this talk about pure gold, it's worth exploring other options, like 10-karat, 14-karat or 18-karat gold. The primary distinction between these forms is their purity and the metals they're alloyed with. 

Unlike pure, 24k gold, alloyed golds are mixed with other metals. For example, 10k gold, containing 41.7% gold, is alloyed with metals like copper, zinc, or silver, enhancing its hardness and durability -- ideal for certain jewellery pieces. On the other hand, 18k gold, with its 75% gold content, is a blend of gold and other metals, offering a richer hue than 10k but with added resilience compared to 24k. 

These alloys not only provide strength but also allow for variations in colour. For instance, the addition of palladium or nickel can result in white gold, while blending copper produces the romantic hue of rose gold.

While 24k gold is celebrated for its unparalleled purity and brilliance, choosing between gold types is dependent on the desired aesthetic, functionality, and personal preference. Remember, though, lower purity means lower value by the gram.

Invest in purity

Choosing 24k gold isn't just about embracing a piece of jewellery; it's about making a statement, an investment, and cherishing a piece of history. As you adorn yourself with this radiant metal, you're not just wearing a piece of art but also carrying an asset that appreciates over time. 

If you've been captivated by the allure of gold and want to explore further, our pure 24k fold jewellery collection offers a range of unique pieces, each showcasing the brilliance of the metal.

If you're eager to delve deeper into the world of precious metals, our catalogue of articles offers a treasure trove of knowledge. Embrace the golden era with 7879, where luxury meets transparency and craftsmanship meets purity.

article image

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

Full comparison o...

NEXT ARTICLE

5 Ways to style y...
article image