Gold is a highly coveted precious metal. In its pure state, it is yellow in color and comes in nugget form.
Gold: a precious metal
The purity of gold is measured in carats. If a piece of jewelry is made of 24-carat gold, it is 100% pure gold. However, 24-carat gold is rarely used in jewelry and Jewellery because of its malleability. In fact, pure gold is soft and deforms too much; it is not strong enough to be used.
To increase gold's rigidity, it is alloyed with other metals such as silver, copper, palladium or zinc. Thus, 18-carat gold, the most commonly used in jewelry and Jewellery, is composed of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. For example,Pink Gold 18 carats is a blend of 75% gold and around 20% copper and 5% silver. 18-carat white gold, on the other hand, is made up of 75% gold and 25% a complex alloy of various white metals. 18-carat yellow gold is a mixture of 75% gold, 25% silver and copper alloy.
Two hallmarks distinguish jewelry made of precious metals:
-The first, known as the "State hallmark", is represented by an eagle's head for 18-carat gold, or a seahorse for 24-carat gold.
-The other hallmark is the "State hallmark", represented by an eagle's head for 18-carat gold, or a seahorse for 24-carat gold.The other hallmark is the manufacturer's hallmark, known as the "Master or Responsibility Hallmark", which is diamond-shaped and features the Master Jeweller's name and initials, as well as a symbol of his or her own.
Caring for gold jewelry
Gold marks very quickly and is easily scratched by repeated rubbing. To preserve your jewelry, start by removing it in situations where it could be damaged. For example, when playing sports. Avoid wearing jewelry in environments exposed to chemicals, household products or cosmetics. What's more, when you're not wearing them, it's best to store your gold jewelry in fabric pouches to preserve it.
Our care instructions only apply to jewelry made entirely of gold. Your jewelry should not be adorned with precious stones. To clean your gold jewelry at home, you can let it stand in an alkaline solution and then rinse it well. Soapy water is another option: gently scrub your jewel with a brush soaked in soapy water, then rinse with clear water.
The best thing to do is visit a specialist at Jewellery to check that your jewel is in good condition. La Maison Tournaire offers maintenance services for your gold jewelry. Your jewel will be checked, cleaned and polished by our workshop. Contact our customer service department for more information.
If you'd like to know more about precious metals, take a look at our guides to silver and platinum.