Welcome to Quest Fine Jewelers
Gold has the longest history of all precious metals. It is the foundation of the world’s currency system – money represents a value in gold. Pure gold will not corrode, rust, or tarnish. It is very strong but also the most malleable of all metals. Though it was gold’s softness and natural beauty that made it appealing for jewelry, it is so soft that pure gold is rarely used in jewelry. In order to withstand the stresses of everyday wear, pure gold is mixed (or alloyed) with other metals to increase its strength, durability, and color range.
Yellow Gold The most common color and is usually alloyed with silver and copper. The saturation of color varies according to gold content. The quantity (or purity) of gold in a given alloy is expressed in karats (k or kt.) Pure gold is 24kt (100% gold) - too soft for use in jewelry. Following are some common gold alloys: 18kt (75% gold and 25% other metals) - used in fine jewelry. 14kt (58.3% gold) - recommended and most commonly used in jewelry where strength is most important. 10kt (41.7% gold) - the legal limit karat considered to be real gold in the United States. When buying gold jewelry be sure to look for the karat mark or "k" that appears on the back of the piece.
In addition (and by U.S. law) you should also see the manufacturer's trademark and country of origin to assure you are buying genuine karat gold jewelry.
White Gold Fast becoming more popular in color than yellow gold. It is requested more often in 14kt jewelry because it looks similar to platinum, but does not come with the platinum price tag.
White gold has the same properties as yellow gold, but is mixed with different metals such as nickel, zinc, silver, and palladium to give it a white color. White gold is highly reflective and not subject to tarnish. Because 18kt white gold is 75% gold and 14kt white gold is 58.3% gold, jewelry made from these metals can have a slight yellow color. To enhance the whiteness, almost all white gold is plated with rhodium - a shiny, white metal that is extremely hard and a member of the platinum family. Over time and with normal wear, this rhodium plating may wear off. Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore your jewelry's whiteness and shine if needed. White gold is an excellent setting for very white diamonds, colors D - I, as it greatly enhances their brilliance and sparkle. Another option in gold jewelry is "two-tone" jewelry, using both white and yellow gold side-by-side. It creates a striking effect and is very popular in ring settings and bracelets.
Pricing The pricing of gold jewelry is based on the purity of gold used or karat weight, as well as the design and craftsmanship of the piece. With greater karat weight comes a higher purity of gold, a heavier piece of jewelry, and greater cost.
Care Gold is durable and dependable. However, to keep your jewelry shining and scratch-free, store them in their original boxes, soft cloth bags, or a fabric-lined jewelry box. To prolong gold's luster, keep your gold jewelry away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, and cleaning fluids. To clean gold jewelry, use a solution of mild soap and warm water and wash gently with a soft-bristled, non-metallic brush (like a dull toothbrush.) To dry and buff your jewelry once it's cleaned, use a soft cloth that won't leave threads or fuzz behind. Do not use paper towels.