Tips for Buying Jewelry
The word gold, used alone, means all gold or 24 karat (24K) gold. Because gold is soft, it is usually mixed with other metals to increase its hardness and durability.
The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with other metals. The most common marks for gold jewelry are 18K or 750 (signifying 75% gold), 14K or 585 (58% gold), and 10K (42% gold). Ten karat gold is the lowest level allowed under U.S. law.
So, the general rule is: The value is of gold is proportionate to its purity - the purer the gold, the higher the value.
Jewelry made of higher-karat gold is more yellow in color and slightly softer than gold jewelry made of lower-karat gold, which may include copper, silver, zinc, or other metals. Consumers also need to be concerned with the alloys if they are allergic to certain metals or have a high acid content in their bodies. Acid can turn the jewelry you wear black, appearing to be of poor quality when it actually is not.
Gold jewelry may contain metals other than gold. One of the most common metals mixed in a golden alloy is nickel. It makes the jewelry stronger but it is an issue for people with nickel allergies.
If you are allergic to nickel, then it is better to choose jewelry with a higher percentage of gold content. 18 karat purity is recommended for you.
To be sure you are receiving the best value for your money when buying gold jewelry, follow these tips:
Be sure the item is clearly marked with karat weight and manufacturer.
Note if the item will be susceptible to damage in the future.
Be sure the karat weight of the item is listed on the sales receipt.
The words silver or sterling silver signify a product that contains 92.5% silver, which also may be marked 925. Although rich in luster, silver tarnishes when exposed to the elements, causing it to turn dark or black. The tarnish can be cleaned using a variety of products on the market.
Keep these tips in mind when buying sterling silver jewelry:
Be sure the item is clearly marked "925" or "sterling silver".
Be careful not to confuse "nickel silver" or "German silver" with sterling silver, as those metals do not contain any silver.
Be sure the words "sterling silver" are written on the sales receipt.
When most people think of silver, they think of jewelry. However, jewelry is not the only use for which silver is famed. In fact, because silver is antibacterial and an excellent conductor of electricity, it has been used in many medical and technological fields.
If you are worried whether sterling silver is durable, rest easy. This is an hard metal that will last through the ages. If any surface scratches or damage occurs, sterling silver can easily be polished back to its smooth shine. In addition to that, resizing and repairs are very reasonably priced, so maintaining sterling silver jewelry is easily done.
It is definitely possible to find the best silver jewelry, whether you are browsing online or stopping by stores on your next vacation. When buying silver jewelry, make sure you scrutinize the pieces for hallmarks indicating fine silver and stay away from deceivingly inexpensive prices.