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Gold, Karat and Carat

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Gold is a precious metal; the chemical element number 79 with symbol Au,  from gold's Latin name Aurum.
In Nature, pure gold is bright, dense, soft, malleable, ductile, and red-yellow colored.



Relatively rare, gold has been used in jewelry making, in currency, in gold medals, and in various arts. Many winners' medals, trophies, and awards are also made in gold or plated with gold, like the Nobel Prize, the Gold medal for sports events, the Academy Awards, Golden Globe, Emmy, etc.

In jewelry-making, pure gold is usually combined with other metals (silver, copper, palladium) to create a harder alloy that, crafted, will become the jewelry piece. Pure gold is usually too soft, and it would bend too easily if used in jewelry.

The percentage of pure Gold in the alloy determines how pure, precious and expensive the jewelry is. To measure the pure gold's quantity in jewelry, goldsmiths use units like karats and 1000/1000 percentage.

The pure Gold in Nature is 24 karat (24K), or 1000/1000 (it means it is just gold, without any other metals).

The jewelry produced in Italy, like VIA OREFICI JEWELRY, is made of 18 karat gold or 750/1000 (it means that it is mainly pure gold, with a small part made of other metals -silver and copper-).
The goldsmiths hallmark their pieces accordingly. 18karat jewelry made in Italy has two identification marks: the number 750, indicating the 750/1000 percentage of pure gold, and the goldsmith/factory registered number, made of two letters for the producer's city, and a number.

Our goldsmith workshop number in Genova was GE212. A well-known jewelry factory in Arezzo is called UnoAErre(1AR) from its registered number AR (the city of Arezzo) and its number 1 (since it was the first jewelry factory opened in Arezzo!).

In the United States, 14karat and 10karat jewelry are also available; the percentage of pure gold in this jewelry is 580/1000 and 410/1000.
Since pure gold is an expensive metal, jewelry made with less gold has a lower value, and it is price less.

Carat (not karat) is the unit measuring a precious stone's weight. It's written Carat with the c; not karat with the k, although the twos are sometimes confused and misused.
The Carat is also one of the 4Cs in the diamonds' classification; this will be the subject for a next post!...Stay Tuned!