This is one of the most popular choices of metal for jewelry. For ages, gold has captured people's attention and temptation. Throughout history gold has been used to decorate tombs and houses of worship the world over. The first gold objects, traced back to 5 millenniums, were discovered in Egypt.
The main reason why gold is so popular is that it doesn't rust, corrode, or tarnish. Unlike silver, gold jewelry retains its shine and luster for years and years.
Far from the fallacy that gold is only golden yellow in color, these days gold is available in three different colors - yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. Each of these has its own charm and beauty.
The purity of gold jewelry is expressed in karatage, better known as karat. It is often represented by the letter "k." Karatage is measured in 24ths. This means that 24k gold is 100% pure gold.
You should not buy 100% pure gold as this very soft and not suitable for jewelry. Typically gold is mixed with other metals in various ratios to make it more suitable for jewelry. The ratio in which it is mixed determines the karatage weight of the gold. Most gold is either 18k gold (composed of 75% gold) or 14k gold (composed of 58.3% gold). You can easily make out how pure the gold is by observing the markings on the gold. The gold that you buy will have marking such as '14k' or '18k' to indicate the karat. Sometimes gold also comes with markings such as the registered trademark or the country of origin.
The metal alloys that are mixed with pure gold for strength also change the color of the gold. This gives gold the different colors such as yellow, white, and rose gold. White gold that has become extremely popular these days, was initially developed to imitate platinum,. While gold usually contains 25% nickel and zinc.