Musings of an Obsessed Jeweler and Former Mermaid

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Metals-Help! What does it all mean?!?

Have you ever gone online and saw the term Alpaca silver used? What the heck does that mean? Was silver carried on the back of an Alpaca? How about Sterling plated? What in blazing tar-nations does gold filled mean and how is it different from gold plated? It can be quite confusing! If you buy online these phases are being used all the time. People use these catch phrases to pull you in, when in fact there are no such words. It is embellished. Sterling plated sounds more expensive than silver plated! In the next posts I will be explaining different metals starting with gold. So you can become a savvy shopper!
Gold is, of course, the most expensive of all the metals I will write about in these posts. It does go a long way though. An ounce of gold, or the size of a sugar cube, can be hammered into 108 square feet of gold leaf or pulled into a thread fifty miles long.
Gold is measured in karats. That indicates its purity. So, 24 karat or fine gold is 100% gold, 22 karat is 91.7% gold and so on down to 10 karat which is 41.7% gold.
Gold is almost always stamped unless you have gold that is an antique, then it may not be stamped.

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