Gold is one of the most desirable and attractive metals. People have admired it for millennia and made all sorts of beautiful things out of it – from jewelry to tableware and interior decorations. But do we really know everything about gold?
Myth no.1: real gold must be yellow
In its natural state, pure gold is indeed bright yellow. It was only in the 20th century that chemists started adding so-called master alloys of other metals, usually copper and tin. Master alloys are also used to make gold harder.
Modern jewelers' experiments have allowed the creation of gold items that can take on many different colors. Platinum, palladium and nickel are added to produce white gold; cobalt adds red color, and copper gives gold an orange hue.
One can obtain even more exotic colors, but such gold pieces are very fragile and have to be worn with great care. If you drop an item made of blue or purple gold on a hard surface, it can break. If you are really into exotic jewelry, it's better to choose a piece made of gold with more traditional master alloys and with inserts of unusual colors.
Myth no.2: Gold doesn't cause allergy
Since gold doesn't oxidize, it is hypoallergenic. However, this cannot be said about the various alloys added to it.
For instance, some people are allergic to nickel, which is often found in gold jewelry. Even 999 gold contains 1% of impurities, which can cause a negative reaction.
Starting from 2000, nickel cannot be added to jewelry made in the EU anymore, due to frequent allergic reactions to it. Palladium is added instead, though it makes the resulting items more costly. In Russia, most jewelry factories still use nickel.
Myth no.3: only platinum jewelry is inlaid with diamonds
Many people still believe this myth, but the fact is that platinum is a rare and expensive metal whose toughness and high melting points create a lot of issues for jewelers. Over 90% of all platinum is used in the chemical industry and a few other markets; jewelry-making accounts for a very small part of platinum consumption.
White gold, obtained by adding palladium to gold, looks just as beautiful as platinum and costs much less, so most jewelry items containing diamonds are actually made out of white gold.
It should be easier for you to choose jewelry now that you know what master alloys are and that platinum doesn't look any better than white gold.
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