Gold | Solid Gold Or Gold Plated?


I remember, just like it was yesterday, going to the mall to shop for my first gold chain. I was a teenager in the eighties, and the eighties was a time when wearing gold was very popular. When trying on a variety of chains, I started to feel a burning sensation on my neck, and the light colored blouse I was wearing had somehow picked up a dark greenish stain where the chains had made contact with it. When I asked the sales associate why the reaction was happening, she explained that she had been showing me 10k gold and gold plated chains, and that many people have reactions or allergies to the other metals that are combined with gold to make most jewelry. I responded; “I thought gold was just gold, I didn’t know it had other metals in it!”

Teachable moment: A karat is 1/24 part of pure gold by weight, so 24 karat gold is pure gold, 18 karat gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals, 14 karat gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals, 10 karat gold is 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metals. Pure gold (24k) is very soft and prone to scratches, so other metals such as copper, zinc, silver or nickel are added to it to make it more durable for wearing. In the case of 10k gold, there is actually more parts of the other metals, and it’s these metals that most people are having a reaction to.

I have learned that many things, particularly relationships, look like the real thing, because they feel good and they shine. However, if some research or investigation is performed, there are often other things going on under the surface. I prefer relationships that are solid gold and pure, not relationships that are gold plated and may turn on me.

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