When you think of types of jewelry, oftentimes, the first style you’ll think of is gold. That’s because gold jewelry has long been one of the most revered and popular materials used in jewelry, dating as far back as 4,000 B.C in Eastern Europe. If you’re a collector of gold jewelry or are looking to add to your existing collection, but need help knowing where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve provided a guide to buying gold jewelry. Let’s get started. 


Types of Gold


Before you start your collection, it’s important to know how many types of gold are out there, and furthermore, what unique qualities each of these styles hold. There are four main categories of gold: 


  • Yellow Gold: This is the most common and traditional form of gold on the market. However, buyers should know that the large majority of gold jewelry on the market is gold-plated, or made with non-gold metals that are dipped into gold. This means that it isn’t fully gold (or 24-karat) to keep its bright, yellow color. In fact, most yellow gold jewelry on the market isn’t made of full gold (and you’ll find out why below).
  • Rose Gold: Rose gold has increased in popularity over recent years and it’s more than likely that you already have something this color in your collection. Rose gold is a blush color and is made with 75% gold and 25% copper to give it it’s unique coloring. 
  • Green Gold: Chances are, you probably never seen green gold, or if you have, it’s been in a film or red carpet debut. This is because green gold is extremely rare and often produced inside a lab, rather than in nature. Green gold isn’t gold that is colored green, rather it is a type of gold that’s mixed with silver to create this unique green/yellow hue. 
  • White Gold: Even though they’re two different metals, white gold jewelry is often mistaken for silver because it has a similar color. White gold is alloyed (or melted together) with another metal element such as platinum or nickel, which is what gives this type of jewelry its distinct look. 

guide to gold jewelry

Gold Purity Levels


Just like there are many types of gold, there are many purity levels that come with each. The most common type of gold purity is 24-karat gold, sometimes abbreviated to 24K. 24-karat gold is pure gold, however, this material is often too soft to use successfully in jewelry. This is because, since it’s pure, it hasn’t been mixed with any other types of metals such as copper or nickel that can reinforce its strength. Jewelry that is made with 24K gold has difficulty maintaining its shape, so if you are told that a ring you’re holding is made from 24K gold, chances are it isn’t. 


As such, the more common type of gold purity level is 14K gold, which contains 58.3% of pure gold, and 41.7% of alloy. Jewelry made from 14K gold is significantly more durable than those made from 24 or even 18K gold. This is why they’re one of the most popular metals used in jewelry, including wedding bands and engagement rings across the globe, and not 18K gold, which have a higher risk of scuff marks and other types of damage than other types of gold.


10K gold is pretty much the inverse of 14K gold. Whereas 14K gold has 41.7% alloy, jewelry made from 10K gold has 41.7% of gold and 58.3% of alloy, resulting in jewelry that has the lowest amount of pure gold in it. However, this material is durable and much more affordable than other types of gold mentioned on this list. 



How to Purchase Gold Jewelry (And Tips to Know Before You Go)


When you’re ready to buy gold jewelry for yourself, there are a few important tips you should keep in mind. First, you should know that gold jewelry is one of the most in-demand metals in the world, so prices tend to fluctuate based on different factors such as inflation. In fact, the price of gold tends to vary during times of economic uncertainty. Knowing this can better prepare for you when you go to purchase jewelry. Furthermore, it may protect you from sticker shock. 


Before you buy, you should also know what type of gold is best for you. Since certain types of gold are mixed with other elements, you should know if you or someone you’re purchasing for has an allergy. For example, anyone allergic to nickel should stay away from white gold, since this is a common metal that’s used to create this type of gold. 


Before you purchase your ring, ask the jeweler what type of metal the ring is made from so you can make an informed decision if it’s the right type of metal for you. And speaking of jewelry vendors, you should take your time to do your research beforehand. By going to a genuine, reputable jeweler, you can trust that you’re getting the product you’re paying for, as well as speaking to someone who is an expert in their field should you have any questions. 


Next, you should always lookout for the hallmark of a piece of gold jewelry before you buy it. This is usually a little marking on the inside of the ring band or on the back of earrings. These markings will either indicate the gold’s purity level or karats. These markings just help confirm the product you’re buying. 


Are You Ready to Expand Your Gold Collection? 


Gold jewelry is never going to go out of style. With so many designs and colors to choose from, gold has remained one of the most versatile types of jewelry on the market. When you’re ready to buy some new gold jewelry for your collection, turn to Irish Claddagh Rings. We have a large inventory of gold Celtic jewelry, including male and female designs, as well as necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets. All of the jewelry we sell is either white gold or 10K, 14K yellow gold, so you can trust that what you’re getting from us is authentic. 

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, birthday, engagement, or a random Tuesday, express your love with a piece of gold jewelry from Claddaghrings.com.