Gold is the oldest precious metal known to humankind. Because of the metal's luster and remarkable properties, gold has been crafted into the world's most coveted and exquisite jewelry.
Gold is the world's most malleable (able to be pounded thin ) and ductile (able to be drawn to a fine wire) of all metals. In its pure state, gold is too soft to be worn as jewelry, so it is usually mixed with other metals, such as silver, copper, nickel and zinc, to make it harder. A mixture of metals is called an alloy. The quantity of gold in an alloy is expressed in karats (abbreviated as k or kt). The following chart shows the proportion of pure gold in the most common karat counts:
Gold Purity by Karat Count
Here are the most common colors of gold alloys and the metals used in making them:
Colors of Gold Alloys
Black Hills Gold
Black Hills Gold is an unusual style of gold jewelry manufactured in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is produced from 10 karat yellow gold with 12 karat rose gold and green gold accents. Most Black Hills Gold jewelry is styled with a grape and grape-leaf motif.
Wal-Mart gold jewelry is stamped with its karat content (usually 10 karat, 14 karat or 18 karat), so you can be certain of the quality and value.