There is no civilization, which has not mentioned about gold. Several mentions about gold have been made in all the holy books from Mahabharatha to Old Testament. During the 19th century many discoveries of gold deposits were made and gold rushes occurred in California, Colorado, Otego, Australia, Black Hills,etc. From ancient times, gold has been connected with religion and spiritually. It was always associated with the Sun. There are so many temples and statues made from gold. Kings and Queens longed to wear the golden crown.The sincerity and sanctity of pure gold created a tradition for wedding rings since it is long lasting and unaffected by the assage of time.
Gold, for many centuries, has been used as money, a store of value and in jewelry. Its value is indispensable in the modern society.In India gold plays an important role in the financial security of women. She can always use her gold against personal misfortune. So the practice of giving gold to an Indian bride is not seen as evil and it is very much prevalent throughout the country.
Today, people gift gold for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, religious ceremonies and many more. Gold is considered to be the best possible protection against upheaval, both political and economic.The jewelry purchase is for saving. Gold also offers protection against weak currency or high domestic inflammation levels.
Increasingly, jewellery manufacturers and retailers are implementing quality assurance systems to meet the need in the market. Since poof of Caratage conformance is of prime concern to the consumers, jewelers are now compelled to have Carat Checking Machines at every store.
Gold is a chemical element in the periodic table with the symbol Au (from the Latin Aurum) and atomic number is 79. Gold is a metallic element with a characteristic yellow colour. It is the most malleable and ductile metal known; a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of one square metre. Gold readily forms alloys with many other metals. These alloys can be produced to increase the hardness or to create exotic colours.
Pure gold is too soft for ordinary use and is hardened by alloying with silver, copper and other metals. When selling it in the form of jewelry gold is measure in Karats (K) with pure gold being 24K. But it is commonly sold in lower purity of 22K, 18K and 14K.
The most commonly used alloys for jewelry in Europe are 18K & 14K, although 9K is popular in Britain. In the United States 14K predominates. In the Middle East, India and South East Asia, jewelry is traditionally 22K, sometimes even 23K. In China, Hong Kong and in some parts of Asia pure gold jewelry of 990 fineness (Almost 24K) is popular.
There is a fashion towards white jewelry metals, like silver, white gold, platinum, titanium, etc. Alloying gold with other metals, like palladium, zinc and/or nickel, creates White Gold. It is usually in 18 Karats and since Platinum being very expensive, the demand for the white gold is increasing.
Price of Gold
Like other precious metals, gold is measured by troy weight and by grams. The price of gold is determined on the open market but a procedure known as the ‘Gold Fixing’ in London, originating in 1919, provides a twice-daily benchmark figure to the industry. Since 1968, the price of gold in the open market has ranged widely, with a record high of US$ 850/oz. on 21st January 1980, to a low of US$ 252.90/oz. on 21st June 1999 (London fixing). On 11th May 2006, the London Gold Fixing was US$ 715.50/oz.
The earliest known gold jewelry was believed to date from the Sumerian Civilization that is now in Iraq, around 3000 B.C. The goldsmithing, however, is believed to have started first next to BlackSea which is today Bulgaria. Every time treasures are discovered, various jewelries are found. Can anyone believe that the Etruscans in Italy had developed granulation by the 7th century B.C. The early Italians, like they encouraged painters and sculptors, developed goldsmiths also. Today, Italy is way ahead in jewelry manufacturing and is know as the ‘Jewelry Manufacturer of the World’. In 1990’s Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have emerged as the new centres for manufacturing.