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Gold

Art DictionaryAntiques World Dictionary
Since ancient times, gold has been prized for its beauty, and purity since it does not oxidize or tarnish like most other metals. It has also been used as a store of value to build wealth and shield against hard times. Gold used in jewelry is almost always alloyed with other metals since gold in its pure form is very soft and malleable, and would not wear well by itself. Much gold jewelry from the 19th century and before is not marked. Tests must be done to determine if it is solid gold and to determine purity.

The familiar Karat marking system used in the United States did not become popular until around 1890 or so. (Note that Karat with a "K" refers to gold purity, while Carat with a "C" refers to the weight of a gemstone, e.g. a one carat diamond set in a 14 karat gold ring.) The karat number refers to the parts of pure gold per 24 in the alloy. So a 14K alloy is 14/24 parts pure gold, or about 58% gold.

Other countries used a marking system well before the United States. For example, Britain has had a system of hallmarking in place for hundreds of years.

It is also common in many European and other countries to mark gold with a three digit number indicating the parts per thousand of gold. Thus gold jewelry is often marked "750" for 750/1000 gold. (Equivalent to US 18K).

In addition to many purities, alloyed gold also comes in many colors. Variations in the metals alloyed with the gold account for the ability to produce white, pink and even green gold, in addition to the familiar yellow gold. Pink gold was popular in late Victorian times, and again in the 1940s. White gold was very popular from 1900 through the 30's.

See also: T P O , R G , NE , Xylography , D

 

Art Dictionary INDEX:


List of Terms: Terms beginning with "A", Page 1

Starts With:  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 2 3
Page Number:  1 2 3

A: Page 1 of 3.

A PRESS
A.R.
A: PRIORITARE
AAA
AAMC
AAMS
AAPE
AAT
ABNC
ABNORMAL
ACCESSORIES
ACCUMULATION
ACID
ACID FREE PAPER
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ...
ACRYLIC WOOD
ACSC
AD COLLAR
ADD
ADD-ON CACHET
ADDITIONAL HALFP...
ADHESIVE
ADMIRALS
ADMIRALTY OFFICI...
ADSONS
ADVERTISED COVER...ADVERTISEMENT PA...
ADVERTISING COVE...ADVERTISING LABE...ADVERTISING POST...
ADVICE OF DELIVE...AE
AEF
AEROGRAMME
AEROPHILATELY
AFDCS
AGENCY
AGING
AIEP
AIJP
AIR LABEL
AIR MAIL BORDER
AIR MAIL FLIGHT ...AIR MAIL STAMP
AIR-DRIED
AIRGRAPH
AIRPORT DEDICATI...AIRWAY LETTER ST...
ALA
ALBINO
ALBUM
ALBUM WEEDS
ALKALINE RESERVE
ALL OVER CACHET
ALL PURPOSE CACH...ALTERATION
ALUM
AMBULANCE BAG
AMG
AMPERE
ANDREOTTI PRESS
ANILINE INK
ANNUAL GROWTH RI...
ANNULE
ANSI
ANT
AP
APEX
APO
APPROVALS
APS
AR
ARC ROULETTE
ARC TUBE
ARCHIVAL PAPER
ARMS TYPES
ARMY FRANK
ARROW BLOCK
ARROWS
ARTIST DIE PROOF
ARTISTAMPS
AS IS
ASCAT
ASDA
ASHRAE
ASSO
ATA
ATLANTA TRIAL CO...ATLC
ATM
ATTACHED CACHET
AUCTION
AUCTION ABBREVIA...
AUCTIONEER
AUGUST ISSUES
AUTOMATIC STAMPS
AUTOPEN
AUXILIARY MARKIN...AVG.

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