Gold has been worked for centuries by Greeks, Romans and Egyptians; believed to bring power and strength, adorned kings and queens, used as currency and in more modern times used in industry. It has caused mania among men, destroyed some cultures and made others supreme.
Origins of Gold
Gold can be found being used as far back as 3600 BC in ancient Egypt for magnificent artefacts like jewellery, funeral masks, statues and other finery. The Egyptians didn’t use gold as economic wealth however; instead they used a barter system and did not trade gold.
The ancient Romans used gold for wealth, and trade was heavily dependent on it. Gold coins were used in the treasury and was controlled by the senate and Roman government.
After the fall of the Roman Empire however, gold production virtually disappeared until the Spanish discovered the vast gold deposits and treasures of Mexico and South America.
In more recent times we look at South Africa, which has produced large quantities of gold since the 1880. In 1970, South Africa was producing 79% of the world’s supply of gold, but in 2007 China replaced South Africa as the world’s largest gold producer. Other main players in gold sources in the world include the United States, Russia, Australia and Peru.
Facts about Gold
- Gold in its purest form is too soft to be used for jewellery and is mixed with other metals to made it stringer and more hard wearing. This is where the term “carat” (K) comes from. 24 carat gold is obviously the most pure and going down the scale we have 22, 18, 14 and 9 carat gold.
- Some of the other metals that are smelted together with gold will change the colour of it. Mixing gold with palladium or nickel will give you white gold, giving a very classic look and of course a cheaper option to platinum. Mixed with copper, you will get the very pretty and currently very popular rose gold. Gold mixed with silver will give off a green tint.
- Not only do we mix gold with other metals, we also coat or plate other cheaper metals in gold to produce more affordable jewellery.
Gold Buying Tips from TJC
- If solid gold (24 carats) stretches your budget too far, opt for gold filled or plated gold, which will be suitable for occasional wear. Daily wear and tear however will tend to wear the gold layer off, which will not only diminish the item’s lustre but can cause allergic reactions.
- If you tend towards allergies to nickel and other metals or your skin reacts with alloys to create a tarnish stain, it’s best to save your money until you can buy jewellery that has a high gold content, such as 22 or 18 carats.
- Unless your gold jewellery contains gemstones that are glued into the design, you can dip them in alcohol as this is an effective way to get rid of stubborn grease. Alternatively, the easiest method to clean gold is to boil it in hot water.
- Never use bleach or any kind of chlorine to clean your gold as these types of chemicals can leave it permanently discoloured.
- Be careful when storing your gold items not to place them near anything that will cause scratches.
Gold is a good investment in monetary terms, but also we will always love gold for its sheer beauty.
Happy Sunday and enjoy Gold Day!