Gold won't tarnish, rust, or corrode, and though it's very strong, it is also the most malleable of all metals.
Pure gold is too soft to withstand the stresses of every-day wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, palladium, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability. Karatage, noted by a number followed by "k" indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewelry is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold 100% gold.
The colour of gold is determined by two factors:
The type of metal alloys included in it
The percentage of each metal alloy
At La Mode Fine Jewellers, you'll find 22k, 20k, 18k, 14k and 10k yellow gold. 18k gold contains more precious metal than 14k gold. It is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough to withstand every-day wear. Because 14k gold is composed of only 58.5% gold, and 41.5% other metals that give it strength, its gold color is not as rich as 18k gold. 14k gold is most commonly found in cases where strength is most important, like in earring backs and bracelet clasps. 10k gold though believed to be the strongest gold is in fact more suseptible to tarnishing and deterioration. There is more alloy in 10k gold jewellery than actual gold.
Because 18k white gold is 75% gold, and 14k white gold is 58.5% gold, jewelry made from these metals has a slight yellow colour. To enhance the whiteness, almost all white gold is plated with rhodium, a shiny, white metal which is extremely hard. Depending on the amount of wear to a piece of jewelry, over time this rhodium plating may wear off, revealing the original metal colour. Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore your jewelry's whiteness if needed. La Mode Fine Jewellers offers same day rhodium plating as it is done right on site.
14k X-1 White Gold
At La Mode Fine Jewellers we also offer a special brand of white gold called X-1. The gold composition is the same as regular 14k white gold however this metal never requires rhodium plating, ever. The cost is the same as regular white gold. Instead of the usual 1 week turn around on a custom made piece of jewellery it may require an additional 2 weeks to have a piece custom cast for you in X-1 white gold.
Rose gold gets its colour from a larger proportion of copper in the metal alloy. This gives the gold a beautiful pink colour.
Green gold gets its colour from combining pure 24k gold and pure or fine silver. Sterling silver is not used as it contains small ammounts of copper. This gives the gold a beautiful green colour.
Keep your gold jewelry away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning fluids. This will reduce daily abrasions and prolong gold's luster. To clean gold jewelry, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap and wash gold gently with a soft-bristled brush (a dull tooth brush works well). Store gold pieces separately in soft cloth bags or original boxes to protect them from the exposure to harsh daily elements.