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  ABOUT WEDDING BANDS

 Wedding bands have a long history which is lost in the mists of time. Seems like the oldest archeological discoveries date from around 4000 BC in the Egyptian Empire, when the first wedding bands were made from woven plants. The circle had for ancient Egyptians a very deep  significance: it was the life itself, it was the "forever" ,the meaning of all living, it was the end and the beginning ,it was RA, the god of the sun , the god of life !
No wonder that the beauty and shiny luster of the gold was very fast associated with the wedding bands. The bond between two persons was symbolized by the metal of Ra, who's blessing was eternal and unbreakable! Later on, during the Roman Empire, the significance of the wedding bands changed slightly. Initially a wedding band was worn only by women, as a mark of possession : she's taken ! But soon men started to wear wedding bands as well  to show that they are also committed. During the roman empire era, the first wedding bands were made from iron but soon  the gold replaced it for it's amazing properties and for the convenience of trading it in dare times. It was also an investment tool for the long run. The expansion of the roman empire over the Europe brought also, among other influences, the tradition of wearing the wedding bands. Before the  wedding  the ring was worn on the right hand as a symbol of the commitment , then, right after the religious ceremony, the wedding band was moved to the left hand on the fourth finger , where romans believed that there was a blood vessel called "vena amoris" which led directly to the hearth. At this moment the seal was unbreakable. Over the history the designs and and styles of the wedding bands changed slightly, however, this unique symbol stated the same thing: the two became one ,in a lifelong commitment .

 WHAT IS 14 KARAT GOLD  OR 18 KARAT  GOLD? 

           In the jewelry industry, one of the most common metals used is the 14k(karat )gold. So what exactly does 14k gold mean? The pure gold is considered to be the 24 karat gold. That means that it contains no other metals in it's composition, so therefore it is 100% pure(in reality is 99.99% pure, a perfect refining is almost impossible).This pure gold however, is too soft and will make a piece of jewelry very easy to bend. The solution for this problem is to alloy the pure gold with other different metals , the result being an alloyed metal, with similar(but not identical) characteristics like the pure gold, but stronger, harder to bend or scratch and a longer durability over time.

 

So if 24 k gold is 100% pure, that means that each karat will contain 100 : 24 = 4.166666 parts of pure gold. If each part of gold is replaced with other metals we will obtain different alloys and different gold karat purities. For example if we want to obtain 18k gold we will use 18 parts of pure gold and the difference  of 6 parts( 24 - 18 = 6 ) , a combination of other metals like silver and copper .We now obtained an alloy which contains 18 x 4.166666 = 74.9999 % gold and 6 x 4.166666 = 24.99999 % alloy, or a 75% gold alloy which is the 18 karat gold. Similarly, for 14 k gold we have 58.3% pure gold and 41.6 % alloy.

18K yellow gold band
That is why sometimes the 18 karat gold is marked or stamped with the number 750 (meaning is 75% pure or that contains 750 parts/ thousand pure gold) and 14 karat is also marked (stamped) with the number  585. Why not 583? Because of the industry standards. By convenience,  the 14 k gold alloys are stamped 585 or 14k .(some European countries stamp their 14 k gold with the number 583 )

 

WHAT IS WHITE , ROSE OR GREEN GOLD? 

     As we mentioned before, pure gold is mixed (alloyed) with other metals to give strength and durability to the jewelry pieces created by the goldsmiths. These metals are usually copper, silver, zinc and nickel.rose gold wedding band By changing the proportion in which these metals are added to the gold alloy, we can obtain different colors of the gold. A higher proportion of the copper by comparison with the other metals in the alloy, will yield an accentuated copper color which is in fact the rose or pink gold. More silver and zinc than copper and nickel will make a slightly green gold alloy. Also, if  nickel is used in the largest proportion we will obtain the famous white gold. If the total weight of the metals used in the process of alloying the pure gold is kept, for example to 41.66% we will obtain a 14 k rose, or green, or white gold mixture. For 18 k gold, these metals are added only in 25% of the total quantity ,we will obtain 18 k gold alloys which will have the color of the metal used most . A very fine and controlled balance of  these metals will result in a wide variety of gold colored shades, that range from rich yellow to deep red or extremely white . Usually, specialized gold refiners have a large offer of already alloyed metals, in different karats and  colors, in form of grains ( for casting), bars , wires , sheets or other shapes, ready for the goldsmiths for  casting, hand fabrication or repairs.

 

WHAT IS 950  OR 900 PLATINUM ?      

Similar to the process of alloying gold, platinum is also mixed with other metals for the same purpose : to give more strength to the jewelry piece, to make it more durable , easier to polish  and to last longer. Using a 5% metal alloy will make the 95% platinum (or PT950) while 10 % makes the 900 Platinum ( 90% pure).However,  Platinum  is a different animal . It cannot be easy alloyed with other metals and still keep the same look and/or other properties like the pure platinum. Platinum also has a much higher melting point than most other metals . That is why platinum alloys used in the jewelry industry are made with metals from the same family of metals. Iridium , ruthenium  palladium and rhodium are some of the metals platinum likes to mix with .These metals are quite rare and expensive, and make the platinum alloys even more expensive. However, the beauty of platinum jewelry is well worth it. Other less expensive metals, like cobalt, are used in platinum alloys but they make the platinum jewelry more brittle and much more difficult for a goldsmith (even a very experienced one) to size or repair them. You can recognize the cobalt-platinum alloy by using a small  magnet. Cobalt-based alloys are usually magnetic, so they will be attracted by the magnet , telling you that the metal used for alloying could be the cobalt. For your peace of mind, our platinum wedding bands are made with iridium or ruthenium alloys, excellent choices for platinum.

 

SHORT NOTES 

        Karat is a measure of the purity of a gold alloy, while carat (with C ) is a measure of the weight for a precious stone.

          1 carat = 0.2 grams

        14K , 14 Kt or 585 is usually a stamp for 14 karat gold

        18 K , 18 Kt or 750 is usually a stamp for 18 karat gold

        14 k GF or 14k GP is usually a stamp on a piece of jewelry that is gold filled (or  plated ) with 14 karat gold.

        925 is usually the stamp for pieces made from silver ( 92.5 % pure).

        Pt, Plat,  PT900, PT950 are stamps used in marking platinum jewelry.

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