Gold Charm Bracelet Buying Guide

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Gold Charm Bracelet Buying Guide

A charm bracelet is any bracelet with either attached 'charms', or one that is meant to be personalised by attaching beads, pendants, or other charms. Gold charm bracelets can have a variety of values, be a specific brand such as Tiffany's or Guess, or be made of cheap imitation gold. The style, charms, colour, and value all depend on the buyer, but do greatly affect the purchase price and the availability of the bracelet.

Buyers looking for a gold charm bracelet should decide if they prefer real or imitation gold charm bracelets, how many charms they want, if they want to add their own charms, and what size the bracelet has to be. There many considerations, but most buyers can easily decide what they want based on specifications, budget, and style or appearance. Buyers should check the value of the gold, the type and style of the charms, any personalisation options, as well as brand or maker if this is an important factor.

Gold Features

There are many types of gold classified based on various features, including purity of the gold, colour of the gold, and of course, whether the gold is imitation or genuine. Most buyers looking for a gold charm bracelet should likely look for a 12 to 14 carat gold bracelet as these standards offer the best cost of price versus value. However, budget buyers can purchase imitation gold, or very low purity gold such as 10 carats gold.

Carat (or karat) is the measuring standard issued in the mid to late 1800s and has been used to measure the purity of gold for most jewellers since late Victorian times. Most gold is measured between 10 and 24 carats, and anything with lesser purity than 10 carats is not generally considered to be valuable gold. Carats are measured according to a system of 24, where 24 parts of gold go into the whole and the carat number is the division of that. For example, 18 carats could be deciphered as 18 divided by 24, or 75 per cent, meaning that 18 carat gold is 74 per cent pure gold.

Gold Standard (carats)

Per Cent Purity

10

41

12

50

14

58

18

75

24

99-100

While many people automatically assume that purer gold is more desirable, it is often quite the opposite. The purer the gold, the softer the jewellery, meaning that it is more easily damaged by daily wear. Anyone who wants to wear a gold charm bracelet every day should most likely choose a 14 carat gold option, which has been mixed with alloys and is a great deal more durable than bracelets made of pure gold. For pieces that are not worn every day, higher purity gold is, of course, acceptable.

Gold Colours

There are multiple colours of gold including white, red, rose, and of course yellow. These colours are mostly formed in lower purities of gold by mixing a coloured alloy with the precious metal. For example, rose gold attains its beautiful pink colour from a mix of copper, while white gold is usually attained by mixing nickel. There are a variety of mixes that turn gold into different colours. All gold is naturally yellow in colour unless alloyed with another metal either naturally during formation or during jewellery making.

Gold Types

The exact types of gold are usually measured by the process of making the gold, the purity of the gold, and so on. The more actual gold used in the process, the more valuable the bracelet is. Generally, buyers can choose from one of the following types of gold based on budget, although some of the lesser forms are not be labelled.

Electroplated Gold or Gold Washed Charm Bracelets

Many bracelets labelled as electroplated gold or gold wash or even plated gold are in fact either very thin gold atom-washed base metals, or a base metal plated to appear as though it has been plated with gold. In either case, these are pure costume jewellery and have no real value. Most manufacturers do not use real gold for this process as it does not return on value, and the pieces are sold as nothing more than fashion accessories. Heavy plated gold bracelets have a slightly thicker gold plating than electroplated ones, although the pieces are still mostly considered 'junk' or 'costume' jewellery. There are a variety of names for both of these types of gold bracelets, but most are termed as 'plated' or 'washed'.

Gold Filled or Gold Rolled Charm Bracelets

Gold filled and gold rolled both generally mean the same thing, and, while slightly more valuable than electroplated gold, is still virtually worthless on a gold scale. These make excellent purchases for anyone who wants to buy costume jewellery that looks like gold. Laws abound to keep certain standards of gold filling and gold plating, although many international sellers such as those from east Asia do not make gold with these regulations. Filled and rolled gold standards range from 2.5 to 20 per cent gold, and are always based on the weight of the original item.

Gold Standard

Per Cent Gold Based on Weight

1/40

2.5

1/20

5

1/10

10

1/5

20

The standards can actually be calculated by determining the weight of the object before the gold plating. For example, a 250 grams base metal bracelet with 1/20 standards would have 13 grams of gold plating applied. This would make the total 5 per cent gold. Generally, very low standard costume gold charm bracelets are not worth the investment except as costume jewellery, and are normally only seen in antiques. Charm bracelets made of 1/5 gold can actually be valuable, especially if they are made of larger pieces.

Solid Gold Charm Bracelets

Any gold ranging from 10 to 24 carats purity with a minimum of 41 per cent real gold is classified as solid gold. Due to natural imperfections, the need to strengthen the gold and the need to shape the gold, very little gold is more than 99 per cent pure, although many jewellers advertise at 99.99 per cent gold, which is allowable within 1 per cent. Charm bracelets made of almost pure gold are the most valuable type and can easily be purchased on eBay at a range of prices and styles.

Choosing a Gold Charm Bracelet Style

There are a variety of types of charm bracelets and buyers can choose what they like based on theme, age, style, design, and more. For example, some gold charm bracelets come with charms pre-attached to the band, can be strung on the band, can be clipped onto the band, or can simply be a series of interlocking links that are put together to form a charm bracelet. Styles include the charm bracelet, Italian charm bracelet, European charm bracelet, and many more, although in most cases, the exact definitions are not strict. Most charm bracelets feature interchangeable links, or the ability to switch out the charms. Some charm bracelets also have themes such as nautical or animal, but many allow the owner to construct their own charm bracelet with either clip-on charms, or Italian-style charms, which are strung on the band.

Where to Purchase a Gold Charm Bracelet

Gold charm bracelets should be purchased in jewellery stores, online stores, or multi-purpose online sites such as eBay. Bracelets can also be purchased in clothing stores, although unless stamped with a carat rating, they are most likely costume jewellery, even if sold from a top designer or brand. Without the carat rating, the gold bracelet is rolled or washed gold, meaning it is not valuable except for the designer name. Used gold charm bracelets can be purchased at auction, second hand stores, eBay, and estate auctions. These can often be found in used jewellery stores and pawn shops as well, although both of the latter options are more expensive.

Buying a Gold Charm Bracelet on eBay

eBay is a convenient place to shop for gold charm bracelets because buyers can search for whatever quality and style of gold bracelet they like without leaving home. Whether for a personal investment or a present, charms bracelets are available on eBay in a wide selection, so you can easily find a suitable bracelet. Considerations include that if you are purchasing a bracelet without charms, you can also look on eBay for gold charms such as beads or pendants. You could also choose to purchase a premade gold charm bracelet or purchase a used one that someone else has already made.

Search on eBay based on your personal criteria that can include the carat standard, any specific brand you are looking for, and a specific style. You could also include whether you are looking for a new or used bracelet in your search. Finally, make sure that you check the shipping time if the bracelet is intended as a gift. Local sellers do ship more quickly if you need the jewellery piece by a certain date.

Conclusion

A gold charm bracelet is any type of bracelet that is either gold in appearance or made of real gold. Usually anywhere from 0 to 99 per cent real gold, charm bracelets can include both fine and costume jewellery and should be purchased according to the needs and wants of the buyer. Types of gold used in bracelets ranges from washed, which is essentially faux, to 24 carats, which is a minimum of 91 per cent real gold. Of course, the standards do vary per country, so buyers should pay attention to the metals' country of origin if this is a purchase factor.

Charm bracelets are available in a variety of styles, including chains with clip-on charms, chains with built-in charms, bands that are strung with charms, and a variety of other options, some of which can be personalised and some of which can not. Buyers should take into account the quality of the gold, the purpose of the bracelet, the preferences of the person wearing the bracelet, and of course, the shipping cost and price of purchase.

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