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With its bright yellow colour and attractive lustre, gold has been worn as adornment and traded as currency by humans for thousands of years. Dispersed widely across the whole of the inhabited world, the discovery of gold occurred in many different civilisations and cultures throughout history –all were impressed by its brilliance and gave value to it. Gold artefacts discovered in the Balkans date from 4000 years B.C.
Gold is the most malleable and therefore the easiest of the metals to work. Occurring in a virtually pure state which neither corrodes nor tarnishes, Gold's early uses were ornamental, and its brilliance and permanence made it the stuff of deities and kings.
Almost intuitively, we place a high value on gold, referred to by Incas as ‘tears of the sun’, gold symbolises wealth, power and beauty across the globe.
Gold endures as a principal choice for fine jewellery, engagement rings and wedding bands, continuing to reference human beauty, longevity and high esteem keeps demand for gold and its value and price high. Despite this, gold production is in worldwide decline, causing a trend in high gold prices in every market.
Pure gold, 24 carats, is more popular in Arabian and the Indian sub-continent for it's bright colour and malleability in producing finely detailed items. 24 carat gold is is generally considered too soft to make durable jewellery by most western jewellers. In order to harden the gold it is mixed with various other metals reducing the carats until a suitable result is achieved. The optimum combination of purity and strength is generally considered to be 18 carats or 75% gold. The metal with which the gold is alloyed will influence the appearance and nature of the finished product.
Yellow Gold is made by mixing pure gold with copper or zinc. It will not tarnish but may acquire scratches through a lifetime of use. White Gold is produced by mixing palladium, titanium or platinum with gold. Rose Gold is an alloy of gold and copper, giving it a rose hue.
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