Precious Metal Education
Gold has an extraordinary heritage with unique qualities. As an enduring element found naturally in a distinct yellow color, gold is resistant to rust, tarnish, and corrosion. Although gold is very strong, it's also the most malleable of all precious metals. Pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength and durability. Karatage, denoted by a number followed by "k" indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewelry is gold. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k gold, 100% gold. We craft our jewelry using 18k. 18k gold is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough for everyday wear.
The silver jewelry and accessories available at Carat Sparkle are made of beautiful sterling silver. Sterling silver is the standard for beautiful high-quality silver jewelry. It's over 90% pure silver, mixed with alloys to add strength and durability. And it won't wear down, as silver plating can. Pure silver, also called fine silver, is relatively soft, very malleable, and easily damaged so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Although any metal can make up the 7.5 percent non-silver portion of sterling, centuries of experimentation have shown copper to be its best companion, improving the metal's hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful color. The small amount of copper added to sterling has very little effect on the metal's value. Instead, the price of the silver item is affected by the labor involved in making the item, the skill of the craftsperson, and the intricacy of the design.