Whether you are looking to buy luxury gold necklaces, simple wedding bands or any other kind of jewelry made from gold, there are a few things to think about before you commit. Here is a brief rundown of the main considerations that every aspiring owner shouldn’t overlook.

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Manufacturing process matters

While gold jewelry was made by hand for centuries, the modern era of mechanization and automation has changed this to a degree. This means if you want to save some cash, you can steer clear of man-made pieces and instead buy products that have effectively been mass produced.

Of course there will be a difference in the quality and the uniqueness of jewelry depending on the manufacturing process; if you want bespoke pieces that stand out from the crowd, a hand crafted piece will always be the best option.

Hallmarks speak volumes

There are official gold hallmarks which should be applied to all genuine gold jewelry to identify things like the origin of the piece and the purity of the material it is made of.

There are differences in hallmarking practices in certain global regions, which is something you need to consider if you are ordering from an overseas source or are buying a vintage piece which may have been produced prior to the introduction of certain hallmarking standards. A reputable jeweler should be able to talk you through the ins and outs of gold hallmarking if you have any questions.

Karats are not that complicated

The purity of gold is indicated by its karatage, so to avoid being bamboozled when buying it makes sense to learn the most common distinctions made within this scale.

Top of the tree is 24 karat gold jewelry, which will be made with 100% pure gold featuring no additional alloys or additives. 18 karat comes next, representing 75% gold content, followed by 14 karat ant its 58.5% purity rating. 9 karat is at the lower end of the scale, which means just 37.5% of the total material is gold.

The popularity of certain karatages varies worldwide, but thankfully checking this is simple and will help you avoid overpaying.

Colored gold is still gold

When browsing gold jewelry you will inevitably encounter pieces which are made with ‘white gold’ or ‘rose gold’. These are not unique varieties of gold, or even entirely different metals, but are instead concoctions created by jewelers which involve altering the color of gold through the addition of other elements.

This obviously impacts the purity of the end product, although this does not always mean that white or rose gold items will be cheaper. Even so, the value of the materials should still be taken into account as you make your decision.

Prices fluctuate

Gold is a precious metal that is widely traded and speculated on as a commodity, which means that prices for jewelry made using it can shift surprisingly significantly with the ebb and flow of the wider market.

Be prepared to feel the effects of any changes to the price of gold when looking for gold jewelry, to avoid any nasty surprises or potentially bag a bargain.