The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter
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The Dorado Company
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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
Jewelry Precious Metal
This month we present the second installment in a short series entitled Jewelry
The primary jewelry precious metals
are platinum, gold, and silver. This month we'll talk about gold.
Last month I described platinum as a hard, white metal that wears well in
jewelry, but I certainly don't need to describe gold. We all know what gold looks
like... or do we?
We know that gold is one of nature's basic
chemical elements (atomic symbol AU, from the Latin word aurum) We also know
that in its pure state gold is a bright, gleaming yellow color, and
that it's a little too soft to wear well in jewelry.
Did you know that most of the world's gold production goes
So how is gold transformed to be suitable for use in jewelry? By mixing harder
metals with the gold. The result is called gold alloy.
We commonly refer
to the various gold alloys by the amount of gold contained in the mix. The
reference can be stated in percentage, fineness, or karat content. The most
common, and best understood reference term is by karat.
Pure gold is arbitrarily assigned a value of 24 karat. By
alloying a piece of pure gold with other metals the karat (or percentage, or
fineness) of the piece is reduced as shown in the table below..
Alloys of 18, 14, 12, and 10 karat gold are considered
jewelry precious metal in the USA, and have wear characteristics suitable for use in
can change more than the wear characteristics of gold. By varying the other
metals alloyed with natural yellow gold the color can be altered to
produce white, green, and pink (rose) gold.
||Elements Alloyed with Gold
||Gold-Au, Copper-Cu, Silver-Ag
||Gold-Au, Nickel-Ni, Palladium-Pd, Platinum-Pt,
||Gold-Au, Silver-Ag, Copper-Cu, Zinc-Zn
is the most popular jewelry precious metal used in fine jewelry today.
is not attacked by most chemicals... but chlorine and fluorine can harm your
gold jewelry, especially light weight neck chains. There is some chlorine in tap
water... and a lot more in most swimming pool water.
Most of the world's gold supply is extracted from huge open
pit mines and deep underground mines in Africa, Australia, South America and Canada.
The United States is also a leading producer. There is a
huge gold mine in Nevada. In Arizona and a few other large gold producing states, gold and other
precious jewelry metals are recovered in the process of mining copper.
Some gold-colored jewelry is actually made of silver or
another metal and then covered by a thin coating of gold. These should not be
confused with true karat gold jewelry.
||Gold filled, or gold overlay - A layer of 10K
gold (or better) can be mechanically bonded to all significant surfaces. The
layer of gold must be at least 1/20th of the total metal weight or it cannot
be described as gold filled (typical mark 1/20th 12K GF or 12 Karat Gold
||Gold plate, rolled gold plate -
as gold filled except the quantity of karat gold may be less than 1/20th of
the total metal weight (typical mark 1/40th 12K RGP).
||Gold electroplate - An electrolytic process
where a coating of gold of not less than 10K fineness, with a minimum
thickness equivalent to 7 millionths of an inch.
||Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) - Gold with a
minimum fineness of 10K mechanically bonded or electroplated over a base of
sterling silver, with a thickness of gold at least 120 millionths of an
The world market price of gold is usually a little less
than that of platinum, and significantly more than the price of silver.
The commodity price of gold was $463 per troy ounce when
this article was written. Gold prices are higher right now than they've
been in years.
If you're wondering, a troy ounce is about 10% heavier
than your garden variety ounce.
A Google search for the key word phrase precious jewelry
metal + gold returns a number of interesting resources.
Next month we'll talk about that other popular jewelry
precious metal... silver!
Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman
Marcus is in the process of being acquired by a group of private equity firms.
Company stockholders will receive $100 per share in cash,
without interest, following completion of the merger.
The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. operations include the
Specialty Retail Stores segment and the Direct Marketing segment.
The Specialty Retail Stores segment consists primarily of Neiman
Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores.
The Direct Marketing segment conducts both print catalog
and online operations under the Neiman Marcus, Horchow and Bergdorf Goodman
Two recent surveys indicate that higher gasoline prices
will hold down growth in holiday sales.
This presents an opportunity for independent jewelry
dealers to serve their existing customers and recruit new customers this season.
Most home-based jewelry dealers rely heavily on
recommendations from existing customers for new customers and sales.
Your customer base and sales can be increased
significantly by a little innovative marketing. For instance, organize a
couple of guys-only jewelry parties at friends houses.
Have the host invite his friends. They will become
your customers because you offer good deals (low overhead means low prices on
Your cost for the snacks and drinks should be paid for
with a single sale. Offer the host an incentive... $$ off a piece of
jewelry for him (sell it to him at your cost).
All the other sales will fatten your bank account.
Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?
Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?
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