OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you purchase a piece of jewelry and it is made of a specific gold karat, it is an alloy, or mixture of metals. Most gold sold in the USA is 14kt. European jewelry is usually 18kt and Middle Eastern is 22kt to 24kt.

The purity or fineness of gold in the jewelry is indicated by its karat number. 24 karat gold is pure and has no alloys. It is very soft and will scratch easily. 22K (92% pure gold), 18K (75%pure gold), 14K (58%pure gold), 10k (41%pure gold). , The most common alloying metals are silver, copper, and zinc. However, other metals may be added, especially to make colored gold.

Gold is harder than sterling silver but it can still scratch and tarnish if stored incorrectly. To keep your gold jewelry free of scratches when not being worn, store it in a box or ziplock plastic bag.

Cleaning gold is simple, use a small amount of sudsy ammonia and water and give it a scrub with a toothbrush. Follow it up with a polishing cloth. This will remove the oils that build up especially in rings. You can also purchase an over the counter cleaner recommended by the jeweler from whom you purchased your piece. I recommend Sunshine Jewelry Cleaner. It is safe for all stones.

Prong settings can inadvertently become bent or broken, loosening stones. You can check them at home by purchasing a magnifying glass. Every two years, have your gold jewelry checked by a professional. They will clean your piece and check the settings, clasps and pin backs.

Never sleep with your gold jewelry on, especially earrings and necklaces with stone settings; it will put undue stress on the settings and links.

We suggest you use a rubber stopper when wearing your pin or earrings. For a pin, simply slide the pin stem through the garment, slip the white rubber sleeve on and close the clasp. If the pin should open the piece will stay attached to your garment. Rubber sleeves on earrings are especially important during the winter months when we wear extra clothing. The rubber sleeve can slide onto the earwire until they are out of sight behind the earlobe.

We strongly recommend insuring your jewelry with your homeowner’s policy.

Remember: “Last On, First Off” when wearing your favorite jewelry. ENJOY!