Everyone knows that gold is one of the most popular precious metals – no need to explain that. The same applies to the fact that people have been using gold to adorn their bodies for more than 6000 years – nor do we wonder at the fact that this noble metal was one of the first currencies and that for a long period of time, the value of money rested on gold.
Gold is ideal for jewellery-making not only because it does not oxidise and is hypoallergenic, but because it does not lose its shine with time and because it is highly malleable.
We mix other metals with gold to increase its strength or to change its colour. The fineness of gold, the ratio of gold parts to other metals in the alloy, is quantified in units of parts per 1000 or karats.
The quality of gold in your jewelry can be identified by a hallmark, which is stamped onto every product. Hallmarks are commonly found on less visible parts of the jewelry.
Quality of Gold by Percentage, Fineness and Karats
Percentage of Gold
|100 %||1000 fine||24 karats|
|91,7 %||917 fine||22 karats|
|75,0 %||750 fine||18 karats|
|58,5 %||585 fine||14 karats|
|41,6 %||416 fine||10 karats|
Gold is excavated on all continents of the world. West Africa, Australia and the Dominican Republic have the largest gold deposits.
The total quantity of gold mined so far is approximately 160,000 tons – the amount that could fill more than three Olympic swimming pools.
Housewives in India own 11% of global gold reserves, which is more than the US, Switzerland and Germany own combined. More than 200 billion euros worth of gold lies under the streets of London; that is about a fifth of the gold reserves of the world's governments.