What is Colored Gold?
I have touched on how colored gold is made, and how it is used is up to the imagination of the designer and consumer. Different colors tend to have their own advantages or disadvantages metallurgically, but they can be used successfully to compliment the wearer.
I am basically talking about four colors. White, yellow, pink, and green are the colors that are used. We commonly two-tone our creations with the yellow/white combination still being the most popular. The best contrast between the colors is when 18k royal yellow is used and 14k or 18k white is used.
You have probably seen pink and green most often used as leaves in Black Hills Gold jewelry, but they can also be used as an effective décor to accent gems. However when these colors are used and have no patina or satin, the colors are less noticeable. For example if you have pink gold and you set pink gems into them such as pink diamonds or pink tourmaline the effect can be dramatic.
But plain polished pink gold might not look so pink until you put a patina on it or contrast it next to another color. The colors are actually more like shades, and are not dramatic, so need visual assistance to bring out the hue.
Which Karat is Best?
Deciding which karat would best fit your circumstances should be based on several different aspects.
First, what are you planning to buy or have us make? Second, how often do you plan to wear this item? Third, do you tend to be allergy sensitive? Fourth, what, if any, gemstones do you plan on having set?
If you plan to have a pendant or earrings made for example, wear and metal fatigue are not as probable as with rings or bracelets or a watch etc… You can have these made using higher karats, which are more malleable. If you are planning to have a ring made, is it going to be worn daily or only for special occasions? An every day ring will need to be made as durable as possible.
While no gold watch should be worn while playing baseball, a 14k watch will be more durable for everyday office wear than an 18k watch. While no one can be allergic directly to gold, they can be allergic to the alloys that oxidize. So the higher the content of gold the less problem you will face of reaction. A common allergic karat is 10k, which has a less than half content of gold so the alloy reaction can be high.
If you have a nickel allergy, then you might have a problem with lower karat white gold. You might consider 18k, or moving to platinum. Another solution to the allergy problem might be to use rhodium plating on areas that may come in contact with you skin.
If you have any questions about this you can ask us for more details. If you plan to purchase gems, or have gems that you plan on having mounted, the karat of the gold should be considered as well. Some gems that are fragile may fare better in more malleable, higher karat gold. That, as well as these other aspects, you may need us, as the experts, to help you to make a decision.
What is the Faini Advantage?
If you are a current patron, you don't need to read about the Faini advantage, you already have it. If you're not currently a patron then read on.
The fact that we are a studio not a store allows you to take advantage of expertise that was only available to stores in the recent past. We have over 50 years experience in creating, designing and mastering the craft and all its nuances.
We do not consider what we do so much as selling, rather, as participating, and doing what we love to do best. We also love involving our patrons in the creation process, so that they can experience the craftsmanship that we put into our creations.
We live for the enjoyment that our patrons express over something that means so much to them.
Jewelry has always had such an emotional tie, that it seems only right to have it made by a place that invests a lot of love and emotion into it. If you're looking for something special, or for someone special, then you need to go to a place that is special. You need look no farther!
What are Alloys?
Alloys are usually metals or minerals that are added to the gold that are non ferrous, (not affected by magnet fields.) They are used to color, harden or reduce gold content for value manipulation.
Some of the most common alloys augmented with gold are copper, silver, zinc, nickel, palladium and silicon. These alloys can be used in many different combinations to achieve specific results. Raising or lowering the percentage of one alloy over another can change the malleability, color or hardness of the gold.
For example, nickel and palladium are metals that are used to whiten the gold to make 'white gold'. In yellow gold the alloys of copper and zinc can be changed to make pink or green gold. More copper than zinc will make the gold pink, whereas more zinc than copper will make the gold tint green. Silicon is added as a deoxidizer to increase flow during the melt and eliminate porosity. This alloy can be useful for very detailed castings. Nickel is a bleaching agent used to whiten the gold, but it is hard and not very ductile. Palladium is also used as a bleaching agent and is more ductile and recommended for prongs.
One of the most common comments I receive is, "I thought that they combined gold and brass." Well, technically that could be said because brass is made by combining zinc and copper.
What is Karat?
Karat identifies the percentage of gold purity. Not to be confused with Carrot, which is edible, or Carat used to measure the weight of gems. The abbreviations that you commonly see for Karat are: kt or k. You are probably familiar with the terms 10kt 14kt 18kt 22kt and 24kt.
24kt is considered to be pure gold, or as a percentage, 100% gold.
To determine the percentage of gold content use this simple formula: (kt / 24) = % So for example; 14kt / 24 = .5833%. The conclusion is that 14k is just over 50% pure gold. 10-kt gold is .4167% pure gold. 18kt is .7500% pure gold. 22kt is .9167% pure gold.
The Karat purity measurement is unique to the U.S. The world standard is just to use the percentage system. Jewelry made in the U. S. will more than likely be stamped k or kt. The world standard stamp will show the percentage. So you will likely find a stamp like .750 for 18k gold if the jewelry is made overseas However that is a guideline not a rule.
Also as a side note; gold weight is measured in the world standard of TROY ounces. This is not to be confused with our ounces, which are not in the troy system. Our ounces are in the avoirdupois or avoir. A troy ounce is made up of 20 pennyweights (dwts). One troy ounce is equal to 1.0971oz. avoir. So a troy ounce is a little lighter than our ounces.
Your Chain Caught You Sleeping
Many neck chains, such as herringbone, snake, serpentine, omega etc. can be easily damaged by natural tossing and turning during a blissful slumber. Removing your neckchain before you plan to catch some 'shut eye' can save you from costly repairs.
Here at Faini Designs we receive chain needing repair from around the country. By seeing hundreds of chains each year we have a good idea what does and does not hold up under normal conditions.
Based on chain performance, we do not sell chain or some chain styles that have a poor track record. You might find large (but hollow) link rope chain at an attractive price, but it may not handle the environment you plan for it to withstand.
Hollow link rope and other hollow chains don't seem to hold up. They wear fast at hinged junctions and only occassionaly can they be properly repaired back to new. There are many flat style chains out in the market that cause customer problems as well. Flat chains, like herringbone, are attractive, however flat chain generally will kink. If you prefer a flat chain, we will get you the best available for you and help you to take good care of it.
There are many styles of chains, bracelets and links that may confuse you. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. We can give you the experienced professional advice you may need.