The use of gold has been traced back to over 7000 years! The Romans used hydraulic mining methods to extract it and mined extensively in Britain, especially in Wales. Gold was so highly prized by the Egyptians that it was associated with the colour of the dazzling light of the sun and the solar deity Ra. Because it is a precious metal that does not tarnish it was also associated with eternal life so gold was used for royal coffins to help preserve the mortal remains for eternity.
All over the world gold is measured in parts or carats. Pure gold has 24 parts and in the UK gold is presented as 9ct, 18ct and 22ct, which are all made up of gold alloys; an alloy being a mixture of metal. 9ct gold has 9 parts gold and 15 parts of other metals. 18ct gold has 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy. 22ct gold has, yep you got it, 22 parts gold and 2 parts alloy. Pure gold is a very soft and very malleable metal and it has to have metal alloys added in order to make it wearable as jewellery.
For hallmarking purposes 9ct gold needs to contain 375 parts of gold out of 1000 parts of gold alloy and is hence hallmarked as 375. 18ct gold has 750 parts gold and is hallmarked as 750 and 22ct gold has 916 parts.
Now we all know that pure gold is very yellow so by adding various metal alloys to gold manufacturers can alter the colour of gold too. White gold contains silver or palladium in order to give it’s white colour, and red or rose gold has increased amounts of copper.
So save all your old jewellery and keep your gold, it’s precious and valuable. Turn it into something new and modern and wear your gold!