GOLD IS THE OLDEST PRECIOUS METAL KNOWN TO HUMANKIND. BECAUSE OF THE METAL’S LUSTER AND REMARKABLE PROPERTIES, GOLD HAS BEEN CRAFTED INTO THE WORLD’S MOST COVETED AND EXQUISITE JEWELRY.
Gold is the world’s most malleable (able to be pounded thin ) and ductile (able to be drawn to a fine wire) of all metals. In its pure state, gold is too soft to be worn as jewelry, so it is usually mixed with other metals, such as silver, copper, nickel and zinc, to make it harder. A mixture of metals is called an alloy. The quantity of gold in an alloy is expressed in karats (abbreviated as k or kt).
Gold’s softness and malleability makes it the perfect metal to create jewelry. It is also nontoxic, resists tarnishing, doesn’t corrode, is hypoallergenic, and retains its value making it very popular to wear. The natural color or shade of gold is yellow, which also happens to be the most commonly used shade of gold when making jewelry. Yellow gold is alloyed usually with copper or silver to add strength because of how soft pure gold really is. Another popular shade of gold is white gold made by mixing yellow gold with zinc, nickel, palladium, or copper.