Luxury Jewelry - Gold - Diamond - Carat or Karat?

by John Brana February 21, 2009

Luxury Jewelry - Gold - Diamond - Carat or Karat?

14K Gold Wire Sculpted Large Faceted Gemstone Collection - Pacific HeightsGo back in time, up until about the late 1860s, and you'll find that men adorned their bodies much as women did, with ornate and sumptuous bracelets, necklaces and rings. It's only been for the last hundred years that the standard for men changed to wearing very staid ornamentation, if any, and going about in grey business suits, like regimented soldiers of commerce.

But now the tide has clearly turned in a new direction, with men reclaiming their right to jewelry. (Not to mention the new trend of body piercings which does not seem to have played itself out yet.)

So when it comes to jewelry gold diamond...well, let me rephrase that.... when it comes to gold and diamond jewelry, there are many designers these days who are producing really excellent work, and there are many clients who are reaping the benefits of that work!

Precious metals and precious stones have always formed the basis of jewelry, since time immemorial. Jewelry gold diamond... sapphires, rubies....silver..... those words even look beautiful, don't they? Let alone....gazing at the real thing.

Gold is actually a pretty soft would not want a ring made out of pure gold because it would bend very easily. Therefore, 24 karat gold (pure gold) is used for collectible gold bullion, which sits in a vault and rarely gets handled.  Gold destined for jewelry has another metal mixed into it, typically brass (copper and zinc),  in certain percentages, so that such jewelry is usually 22k, 18k, 14k, or 10k.

Diamonds are another interesting substance.  Just like gold, diamonds are measured in carats.  The word "carat" is derived from the word "carob," a Mediterranean seed that played an important role in trade centuries ago, since they had a very uniform size and weight.  The seeds were used to balance a scale when weighing precious gemstones, so as a matter of fact, all gemstones are measured in carats.

When first excavated from the ground, they look just like rocks. It's only when they are "cut" in certain designs that they glitter and look like the diamonds we've come to know.

The old cuts are:

Point cut
Table cut
Old Single cut
Mazarin cut
Peruzzi cut
Old European cut

Today, the cut most often used is just called the "brilliant."  Understanding the history of carat /karat weights and how they apply to jewelry can help you select the perfect accessory within your budget and style preferences without being fooled by numerical values.


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John Brana
John Brana


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