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Technical Data for Gold

Ever wondered what the difference was between gold plating and gold filling? Or how about 23 karats of gold and 10 karats? Read on.

  • Gold is a yellow, noble metal.
  • Its chemical symbol is Au, from Aurora or dawn.
  • The weight of gold or gold articles is usually expressed in troy ounces. (1 troy ounce = 1.097 ordinary ounces)
  • The purity of gold articles is generally described in three ways: percent (parts of gold per 100), fineness (parts of gold per 1000) and karats (parts of gold per 24).


The weight of gold or gold articles is usually expressed in troy ounces. the table below provides a convenient way to translate between troy ounces and other units of weight.

Weight Equivalents
1 troy ounce =
20 pennyweight
1 troy ounce =
1.097 ordinary ounces
1 troy ounce =
480 grains
1 troy ounce =
31.1 grams
1000 troy ounces =
31.1 kilograms
1 gram =
.03215 troy ounces
1 kilogram =
32.15 troy ounces
1 tonne =
32,151 troy ounces
1 avoirdupois (ordinary) ounce =
.911 troy ounces
1 avoirdupois (ordinary) pound =
14.58 troy ounces

Caring for Your Jewelry

Some simple guidelines to keep your jewelry looking great for years:

  • Donít wear your jewelry while doing rough work. Even though a most jewelry is durable, a hard blow can chip a stone.
  • Bring your jewelry to a qualified jeweler if you notice a loose stone setting, stones moving or any other noticeable damage to your jewelry. Itís a good idea to have a jeweler check the setting in your diamond ring (while you watch) once a year.
  • Always remove your jewelry before bathing and grooming. Think of your jewelry as the final touch and put it on right before you get on with your day. Hairspray, gel, body lotion, moisturizer, perfume, mousse, make-up, shaving cream and soap are chemicals that can leave a residue on jewelry, creating a dull film that is very difficult to remove.
  • To be safe, always remove your jewelry before working with chlorine bleach. When silver is exposed to chlorine bleach, the chemical has an oxidizing effect on the metal, causing it to turn an unsightly black. Chlorine is detrimental to gold as well.
  • Keep it dry. Using water to clean and rinse some of your jewelry is permissible; however, make sure itís dried thoroughly when youíre done. Moisture will cause tarnish on silver and will weaken the springs and clasps. Certain jewelry, such as pearl and gemstone jewelry, should never be soaked in water or worn when bathing. The stones in such jewelry may be glued into the settings and the moisture will cause the glue to loosen, causing the stones to fall out and get lost. Always make sure your jewelry items are thoroughly dry before placing them in an enclosed area, or your jewelry will get water spots.
  • When youíre not wearing your jewelry, be sure to store it in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments--jewelry pieces can scratch each other.

Cleaning Your Jewelry

Your jewelry can get smudged, soiled and dusty over a short period of time. Lotions, powders, soaps--even the natural oils from your skin--can create a film on gemstones, reducing their brilliance. In addition, chemicals in the air can oxidize or discolor the mountings. Keeping your jewelry clean will maximize its beauty. Here are four ways Diamond.com suggests you clean your jewelry:

Detergent Bath:
Prepare a small bowl of warm suds using any mild household liquid detergent. Brush the jewelry with a soft brush until you have created a lather around it. With the jewelry on a plastic or metal strainer, rinse off with warm water (be sure not to clean your jewelry over the drain!) Pat your jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Cold Water Soak:
Make a solution of 4 parts cold-water and 1 part very mild dishwashing detergent. Soak the pieces for several minutes. Lift out and tap gently around all sides of the mounting with a soft brush. Rinse the pieces in the solution once more and drain on tissue paper.

Quick-Dip Method:
Buy one of the brand name liquid jewelry cleaners, choosing the one that is best for the kind of stones and metals in your jewelry. Read the label carefully and follow the instructions. Do not touch your clean diamonds with your fingers, as the oils from your hands will leave a film on the stone.

The Ultrasonic Cleaner:
There are many types of these small machines available to the public today. They will clean any piece of jewelry that can be soaked in a liquid within a matter of minutes. These machines often have a metal cup, which is filled with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, a high-frequency turbulence is created. Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners on emeralds.

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