Tag Archives: Gold

The difference between 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k gold.

Weekly Wednesday Jewelry Lesson

The karat weight of gold is simply a measure of how pure a piece of gold is or how pure the gold used to make a piece of jewelry is.  Jewelry is normally made in 10k, 14k or 18k gold, because 24k gold, which is pure gold, is too soft to hold the structural integrity of the piece of jewelry.  Jewelers make the 24k gold less soft and easier to make jewelry from by adding alloys such as silver, copper, zinc, nickel and others to the pure gold.

When you have 10k gold you have a metal that is 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloys.  This makes the product approximately 41% gold.  A product that is 14k gold has 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloys and is approximately 58% gold.  Finally a piece of jewelry that is made in 18k gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloys, which means it has 75% gold in it.

There are a few ways to tell the difference between 10k, 14k, and 18k.  The easiest way is to look for a stamp on the gold somewhere.  The stamp will say 18k or 18kt or it may even say 750 instead of 18k.  In Europe, most gold is stamped with the percentage of the product that is gold, so when you see a stamp that is 585 it is 14k and a stamp that is 750 it is 18k.  You can also tell by looking at the metal itself.  The deeper the yellow of the metal, then the more gold there is in it.  You have to be careful, because some jewelry is made of a base metal that is coated in gold and it has a deep yellow look, but it has basically no gold in it at all.


There is also white gold, which is coated with Rhodium after it is made.  White gold has a natural color which is a whitish yellow and the rhodium is used to make it bright white.  When making white gold most jewelry manufactures use nickel or palladium as the alloys to turn the yellow gold to a whiter metal.  They do that because nickel and palladium are naturally occurring white metals.   As the ring is worn the rhodium will wear off and need to be reapplied every 6-12 months.

This is our fun facts for the week, we hope you learned a little something about the karat weights of gold!


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The Dog Days Can Cause Damage


Sunblock and tanning lotion buildup can tarnish your jewelry over time

Summer is in full swing which means lots of fun outside. It also means you should take a little extra care for your jewelry. As I mentioned in an older post, it is important to keep your jewelry clean to preventing tarnish keeping it beautiful for years to come. One of the main culprits during summer months can be a buildup of sun block or sunscreen, so we suggest you remove your prized pieces before you apply.

A second concern was actually the catalyst for this post. As my Uncle Doug planned the opening of his pool earlier this month, we hooked up the filter, made sure the water level was correct and then he said our last step was shocking the pool with the chemicals and the pool would be swimmable. Now I don’t know how many readers have been around when shocking a pool, but that intense chlorine odor is as much a smell of summer as a charcoal grill. Dumping those chemicals triggered a question. If those chemicals are what make it safe for us to swim, what must it do to a piece of jewelry? I did a little digging and here’s what I found out.

above ground poolThe technical term for what chlorine does to jewelry is “stress induced corrosion”. Chlorine damage is mostly seen in white gold due to nickel added making the gold white. Most white gold contains nickel which is why some people have an allergy to white gold and can only wear a higher purity rating. This chlorine damage can occur in yellow gold but is much more common in white.

The stress points, when prongs are bent over a stone, are where the chlorine does its damage. Chlorine works on the nickel resulting in microscopic cracks in the metal. Stress in the metal is a primary culprit here as this can also happen with yellow gold pieces. With enough damage, the joining of the nickel (or other alloy metal) is degraded enough for the crack to actually separate and a prong can break off. The same thing can happen on the band of a ring when there is stress in the metal, perhaps from a jeweler hammering the band during sizing.

If you think your jewelry has had chlorine damage, stop by your local Kranich’s Jewelers location where one of our on location jewelers will be able to make your piece as good as new

For questions about caring for your jewelry during summer months or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

Kranich’s Acquire Amazing Simon G Kunzite Pendant

Simon G. And Kranich BrothersMichael and Charles Kranich purchased a very unique Simon G pendant at the JCK Trade Show in Las Vegas last week. The Simon G pendant features a very rare Kunzite gemstone. Michael Kranich says the Kunzite is a color he has never seen before. Simon G says it took him two years to find this stone. It is not a typical Kunzite. The oval shaped Kunzite is a dark, rich, bright pink color and weighs 32.64 carats. This stone has amazing clarity and brilliance. It is truly a one of a kind gemstone. Simon created an elegant mounting to frame the Kunzite. The stone rests in an 18 karat tri color white, yellow and rose gold mounting with 169 round white diamonds and 17 fancy yellow diamonds as accents. The Kranich’s are very pleased to have acquired such a stunning piece of jewelry to display in their stores. One lucky customer will make it their own!

For questions about this extraordinary piece by Simon G. or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

How Did Gold Get its Name?

goldArguably the most beautiful of the earth’s metals, gold has been valued by people all over the world since ancient times. Prized by the pharaohs of Egypt and Sumerian kings all the way through modern times, this lustrous, brilliant metal is equally prized by jewelcrafters for its soft, malleable properties. Dazzling, easy to shape, and an exquisite accessory to every look, gold remains the prized top metal used in fine jewelry today.

Though we may never know what the pharaohs called this marvelous metal by, we do know that the word “gold” as we know it today originated from the Old English counterpart, also ‘gold’, which itself was derived from the Proto-Germanic languages (as most words in English originally were), where it was called ‘gulth’. ‘Gulth-‘, to the best of our current knowledge, was a descriptive prefix that meant ‘yellow’, or ‘bright’. Certainly an apt name!

Since it’s introduction into the English language, the word ‘gold’ has come to share itself with a tradition of words that describe excellence, beauty, timelessness, and wealth. Whether you call it gold or gulth, Kranich’s Jewelers can offer you a fine selection of beautiful jewelry showcasing the richness and majesty of this radiant metal.