Tips For Buying Gold
1. Buy from someone you know or with a solid reputation.
2. If the piece has a trademark, like Nike or a sports team logo, it must have a license stamp on the back. If the jewelry maker is willing to steal a trademark, experts say, they may be willing to short you on gold.
3. Look at the workmanship. If the edges are frayed, or it just looks cheap, it probably is under-karated.
4. And if you really want to make sure you've got legitimate gold, you can have your pieces X-rayed at a quality- assurance lab.
Under-Karating Now Rife Among Discount Jewelry Offers...
In many countries (the US for example) anything less than 10 karats or about 42 percent real gold can't legally be sold as gold.
Yet the reality is that with gold sales rising rapidly under-karating is a very common problem even though it's not widely known.
The worst cheating occurs with the less expensive 10-karat and 14-karat pieces, and the problem isn't easy to resolve because by simply looking at a piece of gold there is really no way to tell the difference between 10-karat and 8-karat.
Recently 20/20 bought several discount gold jewelry articles in New York and had them tested by the American Assay and Gemological Office - the lab that does quality assurance checks on jewelry from Tiffany's.
Results: None of the 3 jewelry pieces they tested actually met the minimum 10-karat as advertised!
Here's A Quick Guide To Gold Purity
- 24K gold is pure gold.
- 18K gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 75% gold.
- 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 58.3% gold.
- 12K gold contains 12 parts gold and 12 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 50% gold.
- 10K gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 41.7% gold.
- 10K gold is the minimum karat that can be called gold in the United States.
European Markings European gold jewelry is marked with numbers that indicate their percentage of gold, such as:
- 18K gold is marked 750 to indicate 75% gold
- 14K gold is marked 585 for 58.5%
- 12K gold is marked 417 for 41.7%
Other guides relating to jewelry and gemstone buying which you may find helpful are as follows: