What Do They Put in Silver and Gold Jewelry Besidese Silver and Gold

And what does carat mean when they say 14 karat gold. What does this have to do with carat jewelry, which is weight?
If something is 10, 14, 18, etc. karat or carat gold, what is the rest of it made out of? Also with silver, what is sterling silver mean? Does this mean it is not just plated over mystery metal, but is pure silver with something melted in with it to make it harder? And why is silver so cheap compared to gold when in the ancient world I think it was much closer in price to gold? I looked in the encyclopedia under gold jewelry and it never says what else is in there besides gold in your ring, etc. I’m sure the whole matter has been deliberately complicated in order to fool a naieve and ignorant public

The karat (diferent than carat, a unit of weight for gemstones) is a measure of purity of gold. Twenty-four karat is 100.0% pure. Fourteen karat is 14/24 = 58.33% pure. etc.

Gold is soft so it is mixed with other stuff to make it more durable. White gold is gold with nickel. Not sure about others.

I don’t know much, but I do know this: For metals, it’s not a measurement of weight, but rather it’s a measure of purity! - Jinx

I learned while looking up palladium or finding it in browsing, both for fun and recreation, that palladium is added to gold to make white gold. I didn’t kow about nickel. Maybe both are added.

I’ve analyzed a lot of cheap jewelry just for the hell of it and found that it tends to be cut with a lot of nickel, tin, silver and copper, among other things.

Weekend jeweler checking in.

You can find some information at http://www.rings-things.com . On the menu at upper left, click “Jewelry Info,” then “About Metals.”

A little more poking around suggests that palladium is used in some white gold, probably higher quality stuff (note that the “palladium” thread started out by observing that palladium was roughly comparable to gold in price - a bit more, actually). The cheap stuff is made with nickel, as others have suggested:


Some people are allergic to nickel, and there is a market for “nickel free” jewelry.

And nickle is German for imp, because nickle is tough to remove from more valuable metals.

:eek: Nickel is also tough to spell, because it’s German and therefore phoenetic!