Pure gold is quite soft and will not withstand the stress of everyday wear. It will not tarnish, rust or corrode. By adding a mixture of alloys such as silver, zinc, nickel or copper it adds strength to the gold provides durability and depending on the mixture can change the color of the gold. Yellow Gold is alloyed with silver and copper. White Gold is alloyed with a large percentage of silver. Rose Gold gets its color from a large portion of copper being added to the gold. Gold's purity is measured in karats. Pure gold is 24 karats and too soft for jewelry. 22 karat is 91.7% gold and still soft and not recommended for jewelry. 18 karat is 75% gold and is good for jewelry. 14 karat is 58.3% gold and the most popular for jewelry. 10karat is 41.7% gold and is the legal karat limit considered gold within the United States. Always look for the karatage to be stamped on the piece of jewelry as required by law. In buying jewelry the karatage, gram weight of the product and the jewelry's design and intricacy of the construction affects the price. The higher the gold content the higher the cost. The same applies to the gram weight of the product.
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