Throughout history, gold has been used to create jewelry and as currency. Gold usage dates to 3000 B.C., when people began creating jewelry out of the shiny, malleable metal.Continue Reading
Gold has been used in making jewelry to show the status of the wearer for thousands of years. As early as 2500 B.C., gold was buried with kings in Egyptian tombs. In the centuries that followed, gold became a standard currency used to purchase items throughout a network of civilizations near the Mediterranean. Around 1200 B.C., Egyptians began to extend the usage and amount of gold they had by making gold leaf and creating alloys with other metals.
Gold has continued to be used as a currency, although the shape and amount of the currency has changed greatly. North Carolina had the first gold rush in 1803, and a series of North American gold rushes throughout the ensuing century reinforced its status as a popular commodity among people seeking riches.
Gold is also used in many technology applications. Gold is found in computers, space technology and communications equipment. In 1960, gold was added to intravenous fluid to treat rheumatoid arthritis in Europe. As recently as 1996, a gold-plated parabolic telescope was used on the Mars Global Surveyor.Learn more about Precious Metals & Gems
The number 925 stamped on a gold piece of jewelry usually means that the jewelry is not entirely gold; it is sterling silver that has been gold plated. The number normally indicates the purity of the silver used, not the quality of the gold.Full Answer >
A stamp reading 18KGP means that the jewelry is gold plated, so an 18KGP white gold item would be plated with 18 karat white gold. The metal underneath the gold is usually copper or silver, but these can diffuse into the gold and tarnish the color.Full Answer >
In addition to standard gold purity markings such as 10K, 14K and so on, real gold jewelry is often stamped with a three-digit code. These codes correlate to the purity of the gold within the piece. Gold marked with the numbers 825 has a purity rating of about 19K.Full Answer >
One can clean gold jewelry at home with everyday materials, including a toothbrush, dish detergent and water. The overall process is simple and only takes 15 minutes.Full Answer >