14k White Gold
Gold is one of the prime metals produced by nature and ever since its discovery by mankind, its shine, color and unique properties have always made every one fall in love with it. Truly speaking, whenever we think or talk of gold the thing that first enters our mind is 'precious'. Being precious is certainly a legacy of 'Gold', that it will hold for generations to come.
Gold has was discovered quite early by people and since then it took its place where it always deserved i.e in jewellery making, ornaments and other precious stuff. It has an atomic number of 79 and is classified as a metal. Its symbol is Au, which comes from the Latin word Aurum.
Gold is considered to be the most malleable and ductile metal to have been discovered, it can get so malleable that we can even make out sheets so thin that we could see through them.
Some Properties Of Gold
A part from being extremely ductile and malleable, gold also has some other unique properties like it doesn't corrode and is very unreactive in nature. It is due to this property that it retains its shine and lustre for many years without forming any oxide with air.
Such properties of gold also make its extraction quite easy as mostly it is found in pure form or else mixed with some other metal. Since it doesn't react with even the most concentrated acids it can be separated from other metals like silver, or cleaned of any dirt using acids. Mostly nitric acid is used for this purpose which also serves as the standard chemical for testing of gold made things by goldsmiths.
The only substance that dissovles gold is mercury and the other being 'aqua regia' which is a mixture of acids. Mercury has been used by people in gold's extraction for a long time
Before plunging into the details of 14k white gold lets first see what white gold really is? You see gold is extremely soft in its pure form, commercially it is called 24k gold. It is so soft that you can bend even a thick wire with your hand. Practically jewellery made with 24k gold is useless. Therefore to make it harder certain metals are added to the pure gold.
Copper and Silver are the most common ones which not just increase gold's hardness but also change its color. There are different ratios of adding this impurity like if I add .250g of alloy in 1g of gold it is called 18k gold, thus this 1g of gold will have .750g of pure gold. These quantities come from the ratio 18/24 (75% gold and 25% alloy). Likewise there are 22k, 21k,18k and 14k of gold alloys, which are the most widely used ones.
The 22k of gold is the most popular one in the sub-continent whereas 18k is more popular among Western people.
Now white gold is usually 18k or 14k gold, but the important thing is that what alloy should be added to make pure gold into white gold. The most common alloys used for making white gold are nickel, palladium or some times silver. These metals change the yellowish appearance of gold into whitish.
Although this 18k gold is not completely white and after polishing the finished jewellery item, one has to plate it with rhodium to make it shiny white. Some people thing that palladium or platinum are white gold, however it is only a misconception as they are entirely different metals and palladium is used only as an alloy in white gold.
Silver and copper are added in white gold to make it soft as 18k gold is really hard and 14k is even harder. However if we use only copper in making 18k gold it will make it all red and extremely hard. The usual yellow colored 18k gold is made by adding mixture of silver and copper.
14k White Gold
In the recent years prices of oil and gold have reached new heights and even though oil prices are lower than before gold is still at its all time high. In the recent 4-5 years gold rates have become even more than double. Nextly the global recession has made things worse for the gold industry and the people wanting to buy it for making their investment secure.
Due to this, many people cannot afford the gold jewelry specially in the sub-continent where people make very heavy gold items in their weddings. Despite this fact the love of this precious metal will never leave people's heart specially in women, and gold is still being bought worldwide.
But people have changed trends, earlier yellowish shiny appearance of gold was the real thing about gold but now people prefer white gold, as it is more trendy and cheap to buy. 14k gold is even more cheaper and is getting popular among many.
14k gold is made by adding impurity to pure gold in the ratio 14/24. Since 14k gold is almost half gold half alloy, therefore it is cheaper to buy but from a goldsmith's perspective, 14k gold is extremely tough to work on, due to its hardness, so it requires great amount of skill to make precious items out of it. This extra work on it can increase the price value of a jewelry item made of 14k gold.
Gold of any karat will always have its stamp embossed on the item, so for 14k item a 14k will be embossed on it. However it is not always necessary to have a stamp on a gold item neither does it signifies any certification of the correct purity of a gold item. Specially if you are buying jewelry from the Middle East or the sub-continent, always make sure you are getting the right purity of gold and don't always believe on the embossed stamp.
Some Tidbits About 14k White Gold
Polishing and cleaning of white gold, 18k or 14k, is some what difficult specially old jewelry, where as 22k gold is easier to clean even with an acid bath provided there are no precious stones on it. The hardness of white gold makes it difficult to remove scratches on it and requires extensive filing by sandpaper to get it removed and only then can it go for a final polishing finish.
However mostly white gold is rhodium plated this is the most cheapest and the best option to give it a good finishing touch. So if you want to get your old white gold stuff polished, get it rhodium plated.
One final thing about white gold is that, if you want that a new item be made out of your old stuff then make sure you exchange pure gold out of the value of your old material and that is what jewelers usually do but of course after some deduction. This is because melting out older stuff may vaporize some alloy and with time the alloys also become a real impurity making gold brittle.
That is why this gold is refined first, after which alloy is added again to make it 18k or 14k.
For the pricing thing, if you are finding 14k gold price on the internet then, you will only find the international market rates on the internet. Usually alloy based gold price varies form country to country. So always ask the price from your local market.
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