Whether you’re new to our world or you’ve already built up a treasured collection of designs, there’s one thing you’ve probably noticed about Goldstories: we adore gold. The look of it, the feel of it, the quality of it, the stories behind it – what’s not to love? In fact, we believe so much in the power and history of gold, we even put it in our name.
And for good reason. Not all metals are created equally. We firmly believe that when it comes to jewelry, solid gold isn’t just the best choice, it’s the only one. That’s why it’s used to handcraft every Goldstories piece.
But there’s more to gold than just meets the eye. Keep reading to learn more about all things gold.
The Rich History of Gold
There’s nothing like gold. Long associated with status and wealth, this shining metal has likely captivated humankind for as long as humans have existed.
Small amounts of natural gold have been found in Spanish caves that date back to 40,000 BC , but the oldest gold artifacts are from Bulgaria and date back to 4,600 BC to 4,200 BC.
And for as long as humans have loved gold, they’ve used it for jewelry. Gold jewelry actually came before gold coins or currency. From Egyptian Pharaohs to Victorian queens and all of their subjects, everyone has always loved adorning themselves in gold.
What Are Karats?
You’ve probably noticed that gold is classified with what seems like a code – a number followed by a ‘K.’ The K stands for karat, which tells us the percentage of pure gold that a piece of jewelry contains. The number denotes how many parts out of 24 are pure gold.
24K gold is pure gold, meaning it has not been mixed with anything else. 10K gold is the lowest karatage, and is composed of around 41% gold.
What Is 14K Gold?
At Goldstories, we’re proud to make most of our heirloom quality pieces using consciously-sourced 14K gold. But what exactly is 14K gold, and what makes it so great? We’re so glad you asked.
14K gold is actually a gold alloy, or a substance that combines gold with other elements. Since gold is a soft metal, it must be mixed to make it more durable. 14K gold includes around 58% pure gold and a mixture of zinc, nickel, and copper.
The 14 means that this karatage is made with 14 parts gold and ten parts other alloys.
The addition of metals makes 14K gold stronger and more durable. In other words, it will last for years and generations – exactly what you want in a future heirloom.
Is 14K Gold Real?
Oh, yes! 14K gold is the real deal. It’s actually the most popular gold used in jewelry.
Despite being an alloy, 14K gold is still considered solid gold because it is not plated, vermeil, or filled.
The Difference Between Solid Gold, Gold Plated, Gold Filled, and Gold Vermeil
14K gold is considered solid gold. Although it contains metals like zinc, nickel, and copper, they have only been added to strengthen the metal and make your jewelry last longer.
Gold plated jewelry is jewelry that is made with an affordable metal, like silver or copper, and covered in a very thin layer of gold. This layer, or plating, gives it a sparkling appearance and luster, but this type of jewelry usually contains less than 1% gold.
Gold plating is not very durable, either. Normal wear and tear – washing, rinsing, or even just rubbing against your clothes or skin – will diminish the color (and with it, the actual gold!).
Think of gold filling as gold plating’s older, slightly more sophisticated cousin. It has a little more gold and, therefore, a little more durability. But similar to gold plating, it is made from a different base metal.
With gold filled jewelry, the gold is bonded to the base metal through a mechanical process. This means it has slightly more gold – around 5%, usually – but it doesn’t have the same strength as solid gold. The thicker outer layer of gold will last longer than gold plated jewelry but will eventually tarnish in the same way.
Gold vermeil (pronounced “ver-may”) is very similar to gold plating, with the key difference being the base metal. Gold vermeil is always made with sterling silver.
One of the benefits of vermeil is that is has a thicker gold coating than plated jewelry. However, just like plating and filling, this can eventually wear off over time.
All of our designs at Goldstories are made with solid gold because we want to create pieces that will last forever. You won’t find any plating, filling, or vermeil here.
The Benefits of 14K Gold
We like to think of 14K gold as the perfect gold for long-lasting, elevated, everyday jewelry. Thanks to the added metals, 14K gold has a wonderful durability. It’s not prone to scratching, denting, or tarnishing.
This durability makes 14K gold ideal for any type of jewelry you have in mind. It’s beautiful in all-gold pieces, like chain necklaces and simple earrings, and it creates strong settings that are the perfect foundation for gemstones and other fun additions.
From rings to necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more, we have a full collection of 14K gold pieces to choose from. Have something special and specific in mind? Let us design the bespoke gold jewelry of your dreams.
14K gold is an excellent value when it comes to solid gold. Because of the unique composition of pure gold and other metals, it is more affordable than higher karatage golds while also being stronger and more durable. And, good news: 14K gold often increases in value as the years go on. How’s that for an heirloom?
Because of 14K gold’s unique mixture of pure gold and other metals, it has a classic gold appearance that is just the right color – not too yellow, and not too pale. This makes it ideal for timeless jewelry that will outlast trends. Wear it today, tomorrow, and forever.
We like to think of our jewelry as future heirlooms. These pieces are meant to be worn everyday and for years and generations to come. Because gold is so durable, it is also sustainable. The strength means it will last, reducing the chances of your jewelry ending up in a landfill. We also take care to consciously source all of our materials, including our gold. We know our artisans by name and we know exactly where they get their gold – a fact we feel very good about, and we hope you do, too.
Can I Wear 14K Gold Every Day?
Definitely. Not only can you, you should! Because 14K gold is so durable, it’s incredibly appropriate for everyday wear. When you take care of your jewelry the right way, you don’t have to worry about necklaces rubbing off on your skin, rings tarnishing while you wash your hands, or any of the other worries associated with gold plated, filled, or vermeil jewelry. Solid gold will continue to be illustrious.
But always remember, jewelry needs care. Store your jewelry, especially delicate pieces or pieces with stones, in a clean, dry place, and gently clean it from time to time to maintain its beauty.