Is it all the same?
Gold is not the same in all jewelry. It comes in three main colors: yellow, white, and rose (sometimes called pink). Sometimes pieces even include multiple colors, such as two-tone or tri/three-tone!
What do you mean?
Two-tone means there are two colors of gold in one piece, or sometimes that a piece includes silver as well. Likewise, three-tone gold typically includes all three of the aforementioned options, but can also mean that it includes different metals instead. Make sure you know what you’re getting!
I keep hearing the phrase “Gold Content.” Why Should I Care?
High gold content is more valuable while the lower gold content is sturdier, due to the presence of other elements mixed into it. If you’ve ever looked at a gold piece and seen a number stamped into it – be it a karat weight (i.e. 14KT) or a percentage (such as “585” or “750”), then congratulations! You’ve identified the gold weight of that piece of jewelry! The higher that number, the higher the value.
Here’s a cheat sheet for identifying the karat weights and percentages stamped into jewelry:
My ring is stamped “925.” That’s not in the table.
Some other materials (platinum and sterling silver for example) also use percentage stamps, so take care to not mix them up! Sterling silver is always stamped “.925” and platinum will sometimes have “PLAT” stamped near the number. It never hurts to have the piece tested by a professional to be sure. We do it for free, but other shops may not. It’s also possible for the stamps to become unreadable over time as they wear out. Sometimes the jeweler never stamped the piece at all! Lastly, remember that earring post backs are often stamped with a karat weight but they’re very easy to lose and replace with backs made of a different metal or karat weight by accident.