A common element of many pieces of jewelry is gold. Used since before the 4th millennium BC, it also has great historical significance.

Gold is has been found on every continent in the world, and is also present in the oceans. However, it is most economical to mine it in large deposits.
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The durability of gold makes it valuable for use in jewelry and as a medium of exchange. Its decorative use in jewelry began as early as the bronze age in the 2nd millennium BC. Today, it is commonly used in men’s and women’s wedding bands, and almost any other piece of jewelry imaginable. Interest in using gold as a backing for paper monetary systems began in the 19th century, and continued until the 1970s. It is still accepted as a form of international payment in all nations.

In jewelry, gold is used in varying degrees of purity. Items range from being simply plated with gold on the outside to being 24 karat, or 100% pure, and everything in between. The most common degrees of purity are 10 karat, 14 karat, and 18 karat gold.

Gold also comes in different colors. Yellow is the most well known, but white and rose gold are also common colors.

For more information about gold and the other precious metals, see the precious metals page of

What do you think about gold? What color of gold is your favorite? What types of gold jewelry do you wear?

Wedding Invitation Ideas

Wedding Invitation Ideas

Summer is finally here, and there is no better time for planning a wedding! One of the first steps is deciding a date and getting your invitations sent out. We have some great ideas for creating beautiful invitations that will make an impression on your guests and will set the tone for the beautiful ceremony to come.

Design invitations inspired by her engagement band or your wedding rings.

Show everyone how much you love your new engagement ring by designing your invitations to match! If your ring is modern, create invitations to emulate that style by using bold lines and neutral colors. Classic band? Use a letterpress to create a traditional feel to the invitation. White Gold rings? Choose silver and white colors. Yellow gold rings? Use gold in your invitations.

These one-of-a-kind wedding invitations feature first names created by hand by our in-house calligrapher on a Translucent overlay. 5 1/2" x 7 3/4"

Courtesy of Monogrammed Invitations

Monograms are a timeless way to showcase and demonstrate the upcoming nuptials. If you choose monograms for your invitations, think about using monograms in parts of your ceremony as well. From place cards to programs, monograms can be included in limitless ways.

Match the invitations to your wedding colors

Why not give your guests a sneak peak of what they can expect at your wedding by giving them a taste of the color palate before they arrive? We love the idea of having everything coordinate.

Most of all, be creative! Invitations should be indicative of both you as a couple and what the wedding will be like. Pick an invitation that you both love.

What other ideas do you have for your invitations? What do you think of these ideas?

Great Wedding Rings Under $400.00USD

Great Wedding Rings Under $400.00USD

With gold prices going crazy, many people think it’s hard to find a great wedding ring in gold or white gold under $400.00.  People begin to look at alternative metals like cobalt, titanium or tungsten as another option for their wedding ring.  Well, I’m here to tell you, there are rings out there for under $400.00. You do not have to buy an alternative metal wedding ring to fit your budget.  And if you just like the style of alternative metals, well then go right ahead and buy them. But you can find bands that are plain or with diamonds under $400.00. It’s possible. Here are 5 categories that all have wedding rings under $400.00:

1.)    Plain bands-almost all plain gold or white gold bands are under $400.00 between the widths of 2 mm to 10 mm.  Some may think plain bands are not exciting, but plain bands are the classics.  It is the original wedding ring that creates a full circle to symbolize the eternal love and unity between a married couple.  The ongoing love the married couple has for each.  Also, for all you ladies out there with an engagement ring, a plain band is a great accent to almost all types of engagement ring.  Great choice to add with your engagement ring!

2.)    Classic bands-add some design to a ring may make people think the price will begin to increase, but once again there are classic ring styles out there for less.  You just need to look in the right spot.  Rings that have a slightly higher dome with grooves or a ring with one line or two lines adds some design but maintains the classic styles.  And remember, with gold, you can get two-tone, yellow gold, or white gold that are the exact same and similar prices.  It does not have to be one color or the other.

3.)    Contemporary bands-we are going a little further down the design line and yes, it’s possible. Shocker! I don’t think so. There is a bigger shocker down the list. Contemporary rings are great for those who want something different and unique.  They usually entail styles that are unusual and unique. These rings also can include styles that may look classic but have an extra design.

4.)    Handcrafted rings-we are getting really fancy! Those beautiful bands include a mix of machine and hand crafted workmanship. When you bring in the hand made factor, people really begin to think the price doubles, but trust me there are styles out there that are hand crafted and reasonable in price. These styles are great for those who appreciate and love the beauty of braids and ropes in rings.

5.)    Diamond wedding rings– Now this is a shocker!! Keep in mind; I’m talking about bands with higher quality diamonds, like diamonds with a clarity of VS1-2 and color of G-H.  The choices are few, but there are still some out there. Diamond wedding rings are great for those who like a little sparkle on their hand and for the men who do not mind having some diamonds in their rings.

There you have it folks.  There are rings under $400.00 and you can find some beautiful styles with plain and classic bands.  So, next time you are shopping for a ring and you do not want to break your bank; remember there are rings in precious metals (gold or white gold) you can buy. You are not stuck with buying titanium, tungsten or cobalt rings, unless you like that style.  Until next time, please remember learn about the jewelry you are buying, it will make the whole experience better!

Buying Colored Gold

Buying Colored Gold

When people read or hear about gold, they immediately think yellow gold.  Or these days white and rose gold.  Most jewelers or manufacturers make rings using yellow, white, or rose gold. But did you know gold comes in other colors?  You can find gold in green, purple, blue, brown, and black.  These other types of gold are not as common for a few reasons, but some jewelry can be made using these types of gold.

Colored gold can be classified in 3 categories: 1.) the malleable alloys, which are white, yellow, green, and red (rose or pink) gold. 2.) intermetallic compounds which are the blue and purple gold and finally 3.) oxide layer of gold, generally black or brown gold.  Before you buy that next ring or piece of jewelry, here is some information about the different types of gold, even the most common ones out there.

Yellow gold is the oldest and most common form of gold. Pure 24 karat gold is very soft and bendable. The color is yellow. When creating jewelry pieces, most jewelers use gold that is alloyed to strengthen the metal.  The gold is usually alloyed with nickel and other alloys to harden the metal. But keep in mind, just because there is less karat in the gold to make it harder, does not mean the ring or jewelry piece will last longer.  For example, many people believe 10 karat jewelry would be the best piece of gold jewelry to buy because there is not as much gold parts and it is a lot harder.  However, the jewelry piece does not last as long as say 14 karat or 18 karat.  The more pure gold in the jewelry or ring, the longer it lasts; even if it is softer.  The ring or jewelry will wear much better over time. A rule to keep in mind: it is better to buy jewelry, especially wedding rings or bridal jewelry, between 14 karat and 22 karat.  Your jewelry will wear a lot better than 10 kt jewelry.

Another common gold is white gold or rose gold.Royal Duet Collection White gold generally comes in 14kt or 18kt.  White gold is usually alloyed with manganese, palladium or nickel.  Each of the alloys are used for different purposes.  If gold is alloyed with nickel, then the white gold is generally hard and strong. If gold is alloyed with palladium, then the white gold is generally soft and pliable.  Each alloy used has a different purpose in jewelry.  One thing to remember is white gold does not naturally have the white color. Its true color is a pale yellow, dull gray or tint of brown.  Because the natural color of white gold does not look like platinum or palladium, the jewelry industry usually rhodium plates white gold to give it the platinum, silver, or palladium color.  Rhodium plating is a process that layers the gold with a white metal.  This does not harm or hurt the quality of the piece of jewelry.  The rhodium plating does wear off over time but it can be plated as many times as you need.  And for some people the rhodium can last a long time and for others it does not last as long.  The wear of the ring will vary from person to person.  One thing to keep in mind is rhodium plated jewelry should not interact with chlorinated water.  This will wear the plating quickly.

The other common gold is rose gold.  In the early 19th century, rose gold (or pink gold) used to be called Russian gold because it was very popular in Russia.  The highest karat for rose gold is 22 karat which is also known as crown gold. To get the rose color, gold is alloyed with cooper.  This type of gold has different shades from light pink to deep red, depending on the amount of cooper alloyed with the gold.  And when you combine white or yellow gold with rose gold, you can create beautiful pieces of jewelry.  The rose gold adds some accents to the ring.

Green gold is another colored gold that is listed under the category of malleable alloy along with yellow, white, and rose gold.  Green gold is gold created by leaving the cooper out of the mix of alloys.  Generally, green gold is made using gold and silver together.  Before 850 B.C., the Lydians use to call green gold, electrum. These days you won’t find as much jewelry with green gold; unless, the craftsperson uses it to accent parts of the jewelry piece.  Using green gold is just like using yellow, rose, or white gold in jewelry. The characteristics are the same.

Now, that you know the 3 most common types of gold and about green gold, let me explain the other interesting colors of gold.   These ones are generally categorized as intermetallic or oxidized layer of gold.

Purple and blue gold are listed as intermetallic. Purple gold is also called amethyst or violet gold.  The gold is alloyed with aluminum rich.  Purple gold is more brittle and generally used as a layer and not in a solid piece of jewelry.  It is used more to provide subtle design to the jewelry piece.  Along with purple gold, blue gold is also used for subtle design purposes because it has a poor resistance to corrosion. Blue gold is alloyed with indium.  Depending on the alloys, blue gold can be as light as a slight blue color to a deep rich royal blue color.  Also, blue gold can be created through oxidation, which is a form of changing the surface of the material being used. These are two types of colored gold that are great for designing or adding accent to the jewelry piece, but not always the best option for jewelry pieces bought to last a lifetime.

And finally, I bring you to the last of the colored gold.  Black gold or brown gold! Royal Duet Collection This type of colored gold is formed using various methods:

1.)    It can be made by electroplating the piece of jewelry.  This refers to using a black rhodium or ruthenium to plate the gold used.  It is very similar to the process of rhodium plating white gold.  Overtime the black rhodium will fade and the true color will reveal, which is generally white gold or yellow gold. This process can be redone, just like rhodium plating.

2.)    Patination, which adds sulfur and oxygen to the compound and changes the gold to black.

3.)    Chemical vapor deposition, which is a process to produce thin films of black gold on the jewelry. Generally, the chemical vapor deposition is used with amorphous carbon (an activated carbon).

4.)    Controlled oxidation, which is a process to oxidize the gold using chromium or cobalt.  Black gold has a combination of 75% gold and 25% cobalt.

5.)    Laser technique, which is a process to absorb all the lights to create a deep black color.

Creating black gold is formed by these different methods.  Looking at and their new line Royal Duet, they show a use of black gold or black rhodium.  They do not state how they create the black color on their wedding rings, but one thing is for sure, they have a beautiful line using the black color in their rings.

In the end, when you are looking to buy jewelry or a ring, remember how they are made.  This will be very helpful when purchasing your next big item in jewelry. I hope I have taught you some useful information. Until next time, please remember learn about the jewelry your buying, it will make the whole experience better!