Gold (10k, 14k, 18k) is the Most Popular Choice of Metal for all types of Jewelry: Rings, Bracelets, Chains, Earrings, Pendants…
Gold Wears Down!
The thing that makes Gold so Awesome to work with is it’s Softness, or Malleability. Jewelers can create Wonderful Pieces of Jewelry Easily and Artistically.
Gold is so Malleable, it can be rolled into Very Thin Wires and Stretched for Miles. The Possibilities with Gold are Endless!
The Fact that it is so Malleable, is also the Very Thing that makes Gold so Vulnerable!
Any item that is more Durable (Stronger) than Gold, can Wear it Down, Scratch it, Dent it, Ding it, Bend it or Break it!
The reason for this is because Gold is only rated a 2.5-3 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness.
The Moh’s Scale
The Moh’s Scale rates Minerals, Materials and Metals on a Scale of 1 – 10. 1 being the Softest, 10 being the Strongest. See the Moh’s Scale below…
That is the Classic Top 10 Moh’s Scale. As you can see, Gold is NOT on the list. Nor is the other thousand items, Materials, Metals or Minerals. The real list is much, much larger.
So let’s take a look at a more common list…
The Mohs Scale of Hardness
So on a Scale of 1 – 10, with Gold being only a 2.5-3, you can see why Gold is considered Soft. Platinum (4-4.5) is almost twice as Strong as Gold. And Titanium and Tungsten are much Stronger than that.
Anything higher up the list of Gold, will wear Gold down.
Granted, it may leave only Slight Scratches, Dings or Dents in the Metal, but it could also leave Huge Chunks of Gold Missing, or even Bend or Break your Ring.
One thing you have to keep in mind is, when Gold warms up from being Worn on your hand, it Warms the Metal and makes it even more Malleable.
So if you wear your ring to work and are constantly Banging it around (like going in and out of Filing Cabinets), chances are good you’ll be Bumping your Ring, Diamonds and Prongs and causing them to Wear down.
You’ll know you’re doing this if your Gold is Scratched up, or if you’ve been having Problems with your Diamonds or Gemstones becoming Loose and Falling out.
The Truth is, we’re Pretty Rough on our Jewelry!
Jewelers know this about Gold, and that’s why Pure Gold (24k) is almost never, ever used in Jewelry today. Pure Gold (the 2.5-3 on the Moh’s Scale) is 24k Gold. The Jewelry most often found in stores is usually 14k, 10k and 18k Gold.
That means that the Gold Metal is not Pure. Alloys and other Minerals and Metals have been added to the Gold to make it Stronger and more Durable.
14k Gold Content
14k Gold (The Most Popular Choice), contains 58.5% Gold, 20% Copper, 14.5% Nickel, and 7.5% Zinc. Read more about Gold Content!
So in reality, Gold Jewelry isn’t really just 2.5-3 in Hardness. With the added Mixture, it probably puts it more like 3-3.5 on the Moh’s Scale. It’s still Fairly Soft though, and items like: Iron, Palladium, Platinum, Moonstones, Knife Blades, Titanium, Glass, Quartz, Steel, Tungsten, Corundum, Topaz, and Diamond will all Scratch Gold if it comes in contact with it.
Helpful Tips on Saving your Gold
So here’s some Tips on keeping your Gold Jewelry looking Great:
1) If your work is physical and demanding with lots of lifting, don’t wear your Diamond Rings (Engagement Rings) to work. Wear a Plain Gold Band instead, that can be Polished up and Buffed easily (Comfort Fit Bands are the Best).
2) Have your Ring Cleaned and Inspected often. Take your rings into a local Jewelry Store at least 3-4 times a year. Have them check the Metals for Weakness, Breaks, Scratches or Dents that could make your Ring or Prongs Vulnerable.
3) Keep your Gold away from Bleach!!!
Bleach will break down the Integrity of your Ring and Pit the Gold. Don’t do Laundry or Cleaning with your Rings on!
4) If you work in an office and do a lot of Filing, consider wearing just your Wedding Band. Filing cabinets will Ding or Pull on your Prongs and Metal and could also Damage or Chip your Diamonds as well!
Gold Will Wear Down!
You can’t Stop Gold from Wearing Down. But you can Slow the Process of Decay. Be Careful with your Jewelry. When your Prongs Wear Down (the first things to go), or the Shank (Bottom Portion of the Ring) gets Thin, have a Jeweler Beef them up. Rebuild them and make them Durable again.
Gold CAN last a lifetime, but only if you Maintain it.
This is one of the reasons why I push purchasing an Extended Service Plan (ESP) on your Rings when you Buy them. You’re gonna need it! Repairs get Costly. Our Jewelry takes a Beating, Abuse and Damage!
Gold is the Ultimate Metal though. The Luster and Shine of Gold can’t be Beat. It’s been Valued and Prized for Centuries. King Tut was Buried with it!
The Appeal of Gold is Universal and hard to pass up.
Just be a little bit more Careful and Protective of it, and your Gold will thank you! :)