Gold jewellery has been a popular choice for jewellery for centuries. With a rich history and beautiful hues, the metal remains a classic choice for jewellery pieces, with many people preferring to pass down gold-filled or solid gold items to their family members. But with so much misinformation about the material and its care, it’s important to be prepared when using or selling this precious metal.
Despite being the most prized metal, gold is too soft to be used for jewellery in its pure form (known as 24 karat). To make it stronger, it’s mixed with other alloys such as copper and silver. These different concentrations of gold can create the colour and feel of a piece; Indian jewellery is known for its yellow tone due to higher concentrations of the metal, while antique Russian pieces often contain more silver which creates their distinct rose gold appearance.
Antique vs. Contemporary Gold Jewelry: Which Suits Your Style?
The use of these alloys allows gold to be shaped and formed into intricate designs which have become a signature of certain eras of jewellery. The Georgian and Victorian eras, for example, saw the development of filigree work and enamel details. These designs made use of intricate patterns and geometric shapes which were often inspired by nature.
Whether it’s a panther-shaped cufflink or the delicate details of a floral ring, the techniques developed at this time continue to inspire today’s jewellers. With pure gold still at a pricey premium, some jewellery makers coat less expensive base metals with thin coats of gold, creating what’s known as gold overlay jewellery.