Gold Charms Buying Guide

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Gold Charms Buying Guide

A tiny 22ct golden apple charm is the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys teaching. A tri-coloured golden seahorse charm stands out on a bracelet surround by silver jewellery. A tiny white gold heart charm is a present that represents true love. No matter the charm or the occasion, gold always adds a touch of class to anything it touches. Golden charms are more expensive than their bracelet counterparts, but they also last forever with the proper care. Collectors can even find antique golden charms from the Victorian era that still look nearly brand new. Jewellery shops typically sell high-end golden charms, while a buyer can get lucky and run across a vintage gold charm or two in an antique store. However, no single store sells both modern and antique golden charms quite like eBay. When purchasing a golden charm, the buyer should focus on the design, the carat weight, and how appealing it is as well as pricing.

Understanding Gold Charms

Gold belongs to a class of exceptionally valuable minerals called 'precious metals'. While other jewellery metals like silver, bronze, and copper are almost as beautiful as gold, none of these even come close to its overall value. Only platinum, another precious metal, even approaches gold in terms of value. Furthermore, gold comes in several different shades depending on its alloy mixture. Therefore, it is entirely possible to have a multi-coloured charm bracelet completely made out of gold.

Carat Weight

The value of gold charms is determined by how much gold is used to produce the item, and this largely depends on the carat weight. Pure gold is labelled as 24ct, and while these charms are extremely valuable, they may also impractical. The problem is that pure gold is surprisingly soft, and is therefore susceptible to  damage. For this reason, metal workers mix gold with other metal alloys, producing a stronger gold that does not get easily scratched. The carat weight measures the amount of pure gold in each charm.

Gold Carat

Percentage of Pure Gold

British Mark













Low carat charms, such as 9ct or 14ct, may not be as valuable, but they are far more durable. They make good choices for anyone who wears their charm bracelet often, and this is especially true if the bracelet is covered in metal charms. The high carat charms can easily be scratched by other metals, so it is best to wear them occasionally on a bracelet without a multitude of charms.

Coloured Gold

Gold's natural colour is a deep yellow. Many metal smiths try to retain this natural yellow colour as much as possible when mixing gold with other alloys. However, this is almost impossible, and it is common for buyers to find 9ct and 14 ct yellow gold charms in slightly different shades. This simply means that the alloy content for one charm differs from the other since many manufacturers use their own processes. Only the high carat golds are uniform in colour because they use fewer alloys. These pieces have a rich depth to their gold tones.

White Gold

Gold does not naturally occur in white shades. It has to be made into this colour by mixing gold with a white metal, so it is impossible to find 24ct white gold charms. While white gold was used occasionally in the past, it was not a popular choice because it lacked the sheen and lustre of yellow gold. This changed in the 20th century with the invention of rhodium plating, giving white gold a brilliant, sparkling coat. Rhodium-plated white gold is perhaps the only metal that can match the pure, vibrant glow of platinum.

Rose Gold

Like white gold, rose gold does not occur in nature. It is created by mixing gold with copper, which gives rose gold is unique colour. When a charm is described as rose gold, this often means it is 18ct and created from 75 per cent gold and 25 per cent copper. Red gold is simply another form of rose gold with a higher copper content. Many red gold pieces are 50 per cent gold and 50 per cent copper.

Tri-Coloured Gold

Charm buyers sometimes see a charm marketed as tri-colour gold. This simply means the piece includes three gold colours, typically yellow, white and rose gold. Tri-coloured charms are valued for their craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail.

Buying Charms for Charm Bracelets

Few customers purchase charms ad hoc, or without any reason. For most people, a charm is carefully selected to compliment the overall theme of a charm bracelet.  Owners choose whatever theme they wish, and this is what makes charm bracelets so personal. For example, a nature lover can create a bracelet full of flower charms. A woman in love may desire a romantic bracelet lined with heart charms. A mother might appreciate the sentimental mementos of all her children on her charms.

Heart Charms

Heart charms are a perennial favourite among collectors. In fact, even as long ago as the Victorian era women were buying heart charms for their bracelets. These Victorian charms are known as "puffy hearts" due to their enhanced shape. Most of the originals use gold filigree lines, and are typically extremely valuable. Customers who don't want to spend a small fortune on a Victorian original, can always purchase a reproduction charm instead.

Personal Charms

Buyers who want a charm bracelet that emphasises their personality usually go for the personal charms. These can include golden charms in their initials, or ones with their birthstone. For example, a mother who has a new baby can buy a tiny golden baby bootie charm as a memento. There are even golden charms specifically made for mothers that make a great Mother's Day gift for anyone who owns a personal charm bracelet.

Nature Charms

Many people choose to follow a natural theme with their charm bracelet. Golden flowers are always popular, especially for a springtime charm bracelet. Someone who loves the seashore can choose to collect ocean-inspired charms such as golden seahorses, seashells, and dolphins. An animal lover can collect gold animal charms from all around the world.

Caring for Golden Charms

The good news about gold is that it does not tarnish like other metals such as silver. However, its surface can still get dirty, eventually dulling its shine or lustre. Cleaning golden charms is relatively simple since the owner only needs to mix one part of dishwashing soap to five parts of lukewarm water. Scrub the charm clean using a small brush, and then carefully dry it with a soft towel. Never submerge the entire charm in water, especially if it has gemstone settings. Submerging a charm bracelet in water leaves the it vulnerable to a buildup of rust inside the metal.

Buying Gold Charms on eBay

eBay has a vast selection of charms that can suit the needs of anybody looking to buy an additional piece for their collection. No matter the theme, the age, or the carat weight, eBay has plenty of golden charms to keep customers coming back for more. Individual sellers from all over the world sell their charms on eBay, so it is also a wonderful place to get unique designs. Many sellers also offer used or vintage charms for exceptional deals.

Searching for Gold Charms

Knowing how to search for golden charms on eBay is essential for finding the right item you are looking for. A simple search for 'fine golden charms', or 'vintage golden charms', easily returns hundreds of results. To make these results more manageable, one should narrow down the search terms even further. If you are only interested in white gold charms, you should search for 'fine white gold charms' to limit the results to only white gold. This can still lead to an overwhelming number of results, so you may need to narrow the search further. If you are interested in purchasing a white gold heart charm, then type 'heart white gold charm' to generate those specific results.

Buying Used Gold Charms

The selection of used jewellery on eBay allows many buyers to get a great bargain at below retail prices. Keep in mind that if a piece of gold looks dirty, it can be cleaned with hardly any effort at all. However, a charm that is scratched is beyond repair, is probably not one you would want to own in the first place. Always keep the overall condition of the metal in mind when searching through the selection of used charms.


Gold is a highly valuable precious metal that has been used for centuries in the jewellery world. It is no wonder that with their beautiful colour and high value, that golden charms are seemingly desirable in any market. Customers who seek golden charms are looking to purchase pieces that provide lasting beauty and high resale value. However, when purchasing gold there are several things to watch out for, starting with the carat weights. The different carats affect both the value and the durability of the gold, so buyers need to consider carefully what type they want for their bracelet. Colour is also a key consideration, especially since gold traditionally comes in three main shades. Finally, the design of the charm is yet another  important consideration since buyers should purchase a piece that fits with their collection or personal preference. By following all of these suggestions, customers can use eBay to find the perfect golden charm that is right for them.

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