Know your carats from your karats
"Carats" are the weight measurement used for diamonds and other gems. When it comes to gold it is the "karat" we are interested in. The karat weight is the percentage of pure gold in a piece of gold jewelry. The karat mark will tell you the piece is real gold and the percentage of pure gold it contains. Pure gold (24K) is rarely used because it is extremely malleable and easy to damage. Usually gold is alloyed with other metals like silver, nickel, copper and zinc, to give the jewelry added strength and increased durability. Different percentages of these alloys also give gold its white, rose, and green color characteristics. 18K gold is comprised of 75% pure gold; 14K is comprised of 58.5% pure gold; and 10K is comprised of 41.6% pure gold. Higher karat weight, means richer color and higher value.

Determining Gold Jewelry's Worth
The value of gold jewelry is determined by several additional factors besides karat weight. Total weight is, of course, a factor. The design itself is an important variable. The intricacy and complexity of the design directly reflect upon the pieces value and price. Special decorative and protective finishes can also enhance jewelry's value. Knox Jewelers specializes in custom designed jewelry. We are positioned to help you turn your own jewelry designs into your own heirlooms.

Examine Your Jewelry
When buying gold jewelry be sure to take time to inspect your potential purchase. Run your fingers over your selection and look for any abnormalities or rough spots (especially with chains and bracelets), examine the clasp to see if it is strong enough to support the chain. A well-made piece of jewelry should look and feel like the quality example it is. Don't be afraid to ask any question regarding your purchase. A professional jeweler will appreciate your curiosity.