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What Are The Differences Between Types Of Gold Jewelry

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The three different types of gold jewelry describe the three different compositions for gold jewelry.

Gold Plated:

Gold plated jewelry has a core of base metals, such as stainless steel.

Its one of the most affordable types of gold jewelry, though its not considered real gold jewelry.

One of the drawbacks to gold plated jewelry is the potential for corrosion if the plating is worn away.

Gold Vermeil:

Gold vermeil is very similar to gold plated jewelry, save that the core is made of precious metals as opposed to base metals.

The most common core for vermeil is silver or sterling silver thats at least 95% pure silver.

There is a risk of tarnishing if the gold plating is worn away.

Gold vermeil is slightly more expensive than regular gold plated jewelry, but still more affordable than sold gold jewelry.

Gold vermeil is not considered real gold jewelry.

Solid Gold Jewelry:

What is classified as real gold jewelry, is solid gold from the core to the outer layers.

Its softer than gold plated or gold vermeil. Its also more expensive.

Solid gold jewelry comes in several different karats, used to describe the percentage of gold is used in the gold alloy.

What Kind Of Real Gold Jewelry Does Macys Sell

Macys sells four main categories of real gold jewelry, at least online.

  • Earrings studs, hoops, and drop earrings
  • Necklaces specifically gold chains of varying widths
  • Bracelets Bangles, mesh link, and chain link bracelets
  • Religious pendants gold and gold with enamel

Each of these comes in various widths, weights, and designs.

The necklaces are also found in varying lengths as well as varying widths of chain.

Macys also sells necklaces with gold lockets in different styles

Macys also sells collars and chokers in real gold.

Earrings in hoops come in different sizes as well.

Small and medium of various widths

Drop earrings also come in varied lengths and compositions, including tri-color.

What Are The Benefits Of Different Karats Of Gold

Different karats have different positives and negatives to purchasing them. It all depends on what youre looking for.

10 Karat Gold:

The least expensive type of real gold

The most durable type of real gold.

More likely to have metals which might cause an allergic reaction, such as nickel.

Has more potential for tarnish and corrosion, owing to the higher non-gold alloy content

Has the least amount of market value

18 Karat Gold:

Sturdier than pure gold, but softer than 10 karat.

Has a deeper color than some lower grades

Very little chance of corrosion or tarnishing

Unlikely to have metals that cause allergic reactions, such as nickel.

Substantially more expensive than the lower karat grades

14 Karat Gold:

Considered a good balance between 10 karat and 18 karat

Close in color to the 18 karat, but less expensive.

Almost as sturdy as 10 karat, less soft than 18 karat

High enough gold content to potentially avoid tarnishing and corrosion

Less chance of allergic reaction, but some chance due to 42 percent alloy

Read Also: What Is 10 Karat Gold Worth

Is Macys Gold Jewelry Considered High Quality

Macys gold jewelry covers a wide range of styles, types, and karats, as is typical of a store that does not specifically specialize in jewelry.

In terms of quality, judges cite the following factors in determining how Macys compares:

Macys is a well known retailer, with a reputation for high quality but affordable jewelry.

Macys has a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, as well as a 90 day return policy.

Prices are based on weight of the item as well as the karat value, which makes sense for authentic gold, which is priced by the ounce.

Why Are There Different Colors Of Gold


The alloy used to strengthen the gold can be composed of different metals. Metalsmiths create different colors in the gold by altering the composition of the alloy for a specific effect.

The most common alloys include copper, zinc, silver, palladium, and nickel.

Yellow Gold:

The most common color of gold. The alloy used for this metal is usually a combination of silver and copper to enhance the natural tone of the gold itself.

A higher copper content will result in a deeper color, whereas a higher silver content will result in a brighter shade.

Lower karat gold is also more likely to have zinc or nickel, which is one reason higher karat gold is recommended for those with nickel sensitivity.

White Gold:

White gold is most commonly produced using an alloy that is primarily silver.

The higher the silver content of the alloy, the whiter the gold appears.

This color can also be achieved with a nickel/zinc alloy, so its something youll want to keep in mind if looking for white gold jewelry.

Because of the higher possibility of nickel and zinc in the alloy, this color gold is not the most highly recommended for those with nickel sensitivity.

Rose Gold:

Rose gold is formed with an alloy that is mostly copper. The greater the copper content, the redder the gold appears.

The copper used in the rose gold makes this one of the more affordable colors unless the white gold is made with a zinc/nickel alloy.

Silver is sometimes added to brighten the alloy.

Read Also: How To Buy Gold For Investment

How Can I Tell The Difference Between Gold Plated And Gold Jewelry At Macys

One of the first indicators would be the price. Gold plated jewelry usually has a lower price tag than real gold jewelry of the same size and weight.

Labels should also give some indication. Most labels will tell you the main components of the jewelry.

You can also determine if its real gold by whether its referred to as fashion jewelry or fine jewelry.

Fashion jewelry is usually gold plated, sometimes lower karat gold vermeil.

Fine jewelry is usually either high quality gold vermeil or real solid gold.

What Do The Different Karats Of Gold Mean

Gold is a soft metal, which is usually metallurgically formed into an alloy for a more durable piece of jewelry.

A karat not to be confused with the carat used for diamonds describes the number of parts per 24 in the alloy that is pure gold.

10 Karat:

Is about 42 percent pure gold

14 Karat:

Is about 58 percent pure gold

18 Karat:

Is about 75 percent pure gold.

Read Also: What Is Gold Worth Per Gram

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