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You may be wearing a gold necklace or a gold wedding band, but how much do you know about gold jewelry? Here are 10 interesting facts about gold. You may find some of the facts useful when you’re buying or selling gold, or you can use some of the facts just to show off your knowledge among friends or at social gatherings.

Pyrite

Pyrite was historically called “fool’s gold” because of its similarities to gold. Pyrite is actually a shiny, yellow mineral made of iron disulfide. It’s used in costume jewelry and beads.

Karats

The purity of gold is measured in karats. A 24-karat piece of gold is pure gold; it has no traces of other metals. It’s the most expensive. It also has less density, so it’s not suited for regular types of jewelry. It’s found in coins and bars of gold. The lower the karat, the less percent of gold. For example, a 22-karat piece of gold has 91.7 percent of gold and 8.3 percent of other alloy metals, and a 10-karat piece of gold has 41.7 percent of gold and 58.3 percent of other alloy metals.

Markings

A piece of jewelry may contain other markings following the number of karats that indicate it’s not solid gold. For example, GF means the piece is gold filled—it’s bonded with a sheet of gold. You may see the initials RGP (rolled gold plate), GP (gold plated), or GEP (gold electroplate). The Atlanta gold you’re buying or selling may not be as expensive as you think.

South Asian Gold

The gold you find in south Asia is purer than gold you find in the United States. Jewelry in south Asia is about 22-karat gold, while jewelry in North America is around 14 karats.

Engagement band

Purity

Pure gold will always be gold. If the gold is another color, it has been mixed with other metals. Cooper gives rose gold its color. White gold can be 14-carat or 18-carat gold. Nickel is mixed with gold to form a white or gray color. Palladium is also used to make white gold, and it costs more. Purple gold is created by mixing gold and aluminum.

Oxidation

The exposure to air causes gold jewelry to oxidize over time, creating a thin layer. Patina is the name given to the color and texture that oxidation gives to a piece of jewelry. You can polish your jewelry to get rid of the patina. The patina on jewelry makes it look darker than newer jewelry, even if it is the same karat. The old piece of jewelry you found in your attic may be worth more than you think!

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