The Allure of Gold in Jewellery

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The allure of gold jewellery has held a special place in many cultures throughout the centuries. From the delicate filigree creations of Etruscan artisans in 6 BC Italy to the Shannongrove Gorget (800-700 BC) found in Ireland and the regal pieces of Elizabethan England, gold jewellery has symbolized power, wealth and beauty. Besides, it also serves as a window to the past and provides insights into social and cultural life in different historical periods.

However, gold is too soft to be used in jewellery in its pure form. Therefore, it is alloyed with metals such as silver, copper, nickel, iron, zinc, tin and manganese to enhance its strength. Alloying also alters the colour of gold, creating various shades from white to yellow.

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Alloying also helps make gold more affordable as it reduces the cost of making jewellery by a significant amount. The karat designation of a piece of gold jewellery refers to the percentage of pure gold present. The higher the karat rating, the more expensive the jewellery. However, a piece of gold jewellery can be hallmarked with a six-digit alphanumeric HUID code that allows consumers to check the purity of the article and verify its authenticity. The HUID system is available on the BIS website and on the BIS CARE app for Android and iOS.

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