News & Press: Jewelry and Industry

Go for the Gold!

Monday, June 17, 2019  
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"Reflections" ring made of 24k hammered gold set with diamonds, by Lika Behar Collection.

Throughout history, gold has been one of the most sought-after metals in the world. It’s been used as currency, to decorate objects as a thing of beauty, and is also used for industrial purposes.

In the jewelry industry, the word “gold,” when used by itself, means “all gold” or “pure” gold, meaning 24 karat (24K) gold. Because 24K gold is soft, it’s usually mixed with other metals called alloys to increase its hardness and durability. If a piece of jewelry is not 24 karat gold, the karat quality should accompany any claim that the item is gold.

The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with the other metals. Fourteen-karat (14K) jewelry contains 14/24 or 58.3% gold, with 10/24 parts of an alloy metal. The higher the karat rating, the higher the proportion of gold in the piece of jewelry.

Jewelry should be marked with its karat quality. Near the karat quality mark, you should also see the name or the U.S. registered trademark of the company that will stand behind the mark. The trademark may be in the form of a name, symbol or initials. If you don’t see a trademark accompanying a quality mark on a piece of jewelry, look for another piece.

Are you ready to go for the gold? Below are some designs from our American Gem Society members that feature yellow, white, or rose gold, which is a mixture of gold with copper to create the pinkish, soft glow.


Ed Levin gold bracelet
"Ablaze" bracelet in 14K gold with diamonds, by E.L. Designs.
Bergio Cestino ring
Cestino Flower ring with white diamonds set in 18K rose and white gold, by Bergio.
NEI Group
Circle Link statement necklace in 14K yellow gold, by NEI Group.
Gabriel & Co
Round twisted French pave diamond hoop earrings with 14K white and rose gold, by Gabriel & Co.
Gumuchian gold cuff
Honeybee "B" honeycomb diamond cuff in 18K gold, by Gumuchian.
Lord Jewelry
Mosaic ring in 18K yellow gold with diamond and enameling, by Lord Jewelry.
Divine Jewelry
Diamond engagement ring in 14K white and rose gold, by Divine.
Debra Navarro bracelet
Stepping Stone Hinged Bangle in 18K recycled yellow gold with natural colored diamonds, by Debra Navarro.
Ginkgo pink sapphire and diamond signature necklace in 14K gold, by Brevani.


When it comes to cleaning gold, visit your jeweler for a professional cleaning. To clean your jewelry at home, be sure to ask your jeweler what at-home products are best for cleaning gold, especially if there are gemstones in the piece.


Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society