Gold Horse Jewelry On Your Mind?
Here's a Few Facts You Might Find Helpful

Thinking of gold horse jewelry as a gift for your horse lover? Fine gold horse jewelry can of course be expensive and it may help to know a few facts about gold before making this investment.

Gold, symbol Au (Aurum), is the most precious metal used as a common commercial medium of exchange. It has a characteristic yellow color. With an atomic weight of 196.7 gold is one of the heaviest substances known.

It is soft, malleable and ductile, and quite unalterable by heat, moisture, and most corrosive agents - therefore well suited for its use in coin and jewelry.

  • Gold is money. If you are getting gold at a significant discount, either you are not getting as much gold (by weight) or the item was vastly overpriced in the first place.

  • The karat (or, sometimes, carat) is a measure of fineness. A unit of fineness in gold is equal to 1/24th part of pure gold in an alloy.
    • 24 karat gold is pure gold
    • 18 karat gold is 18/24th's or 75% gold
    • 14 carat gold is 14/24th's or 58.3% gold

  • Pure gold is too soft for ordinary use, and is hardened by alloying with silver and copper, the latter giving a characteristic reddish tinge. Pure gold jewelery needs to be worn with more care than alloyed gold jewelery.

  • When gold is alloyed with other metals, it becomes harder. Many people mistakenly assume that the more "other" metals are added, the better.

    In truth, 18 karat gold, when properly worked, is harder and more durable than 14 karat gold and may therefore be the better choice for an item if longetivity is an issue.

  • 18 karat gold is also generally more resistant to chemical reactions and attacks than is 14 karat gold

  • the commonest metals used in alloying with gold are copper and silver; also used are palladium, nickel, and zinc

  • there is no such thing as White Gold. Gold is yellow, always will be, while White Gold is gold mixed with nickel, zinc, or palladium to produce white alloys (Note that the meaning of "karat" remains unchanged for "White Gold").

    White gold alloys became fashionable in the 1920's, mainly as a substitute for platinum, which is quite expensive and is harder to work with than gold. A typical white gold alloy might be, in parts per thousand: Gold 75%, Copper 5%, Nickel 15%, Zinc 5%.

  • There are several ways to manufacture gold jewelry:

    • Die Striking,in which a casting is placed in a machine which strikes and compresses the gold, increasing the density for longer wear. This method is typically used in the manufacture of gold rings.

    • Casting in which many items of the same design are mass produced; this is the most cost effective method. Most horse jewely you will see has been produced by the casting method.

    • Hand Crafting or creating a jewelry item from individual pieces of gold. As each piece is custom created and in a sense unique, it will generally be of the finest quality, hence the most expensive.

  • Finally, in case you were wondering, when it comes to precious stones such as diamonds, the karat is a unit of weight (200 milligrams) rather than a measure of fineness or purity, as for gold.

We hope this has been of help if you've been considering a gift of horse jewelry.

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