Vintage Gold Jewellery A Buyers Guide

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Vintage Gold Jewellery A Buyers Guide

Vintage gold jewellery remains popular despite its age, and these vintage gold pieces can significantly transform the look of an outfit or prove to be a good investment. It is recognised for its uniqueness of design and quality of material. Whether looking for a ring, watch, brooch, necklace, bracelet, or earrings, any vintage gold jewellery is sure to have heads turning.


Colour

Besides yellow, vintage gold jewellery comes in white, rose, or designer colours, such as brown, green, and blue, although these colours are often reserved for decorative accents. Coloured gold contains a mix of gold, silver, and copper in different ratios. The absence of copper creates green gold, while the absence of silver leads to the formation of pink and red gold. Moreover, the addition of rhodium, chromium, ruthenium, or cobalt can create black gold; however, it is highly susceptible to scratches and fades with time.

 

Karats

The karats reflect the purity and ultimately the value of the piece. Pure gold, which is 24 karat gold, is typically never used in the formation of jewellery, as its composition is too malleable. To improve durability, gold is mixed with other metal alloys.


Identification

Manufacturers are required to label gold jewellery with the correct karats or marks of indication. This engraving is generally located in a non-visible location of the piece. When searching for vintage gold jewellery, make sure to familiarise oneself with the various marks and their meanings.
 

Karats

Mark of Indication

Meaning

22

22K, 916, 917

91.6 per cent pure gold or 22 parts pure gold out of 24

18

18K, 750, 18KP

75 per cent pure gold or 18 parts pure gold out of 24

14

14K, 585, 14KP

53.8 per cent pure gold or 14 parts pure gold out of 24

10

10K, 417, 16, 10KP

41.6 per cent pure gold or 10 parts pure gold out of 24

 

Quality

As karat count decreases, the durability of the jewellery increases; 10 to 14 karat gold is recommended for everyday wear. From an investment perspective, however, vintage gold jewellery in higher karat counts is worth more due to the higher gold content.

 

Condition

Look for chips or cracks in the enamel, or other flaws, such as rust, discolouration, bumps, or holes, in the surface of the gold pieces. Unlike scratches, these imperfections are irreparable.

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