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GOLD/GEMSTONE ! FREQUENTLY ASK QUESTIONS

1. WHAT IS GOLD?
2. IS JEWELRY AFRAID OF HEAT?
3. WHERE CAN WE FIND GOLD?
4. IS GOLD AFRAID OF ANYTHING, IS IT FOREVER?
5. WHAT IS KARAT AND 916?
6. GRAMS, KILO, OUNCE, BAHT, AND TAEL, WHAT ARE THEY?
7. IS GOLD A STOCK AND IS IT LISTED IN THE STOCK EXCHANGE?
8. HOW CAN I TELL WHETHER IT IS REAL OR NOT?
9. WHY DO SOME PEOPLE BUY OLD AND
DAMAGED IC, LSIC AND TRANSISTOR?

10. HOW TO CALCULATE THE PRICE OF A
GOLD JEWELRY?

11. WHY PORTION OF MY JEWELRY BECOME BLACK OR DARK BROWN?
12. HOW TO CLEAN MY JEWELRY?
13. WHAT IS 14 K GP AND 14 K GF?
14. WHAT ARE CORAL? WHICH IS GENUINE
AND WHICH IS NOT?

15. WHAT ARE DIAMOND? WHICH IS GENUINE AND WHICH IS FAKE?
16. IS JADE AND EMERALD THE SAME?
17. IS SOUTH SEA PEARL , CULTURE PEARL
AND MIKIMOTO PEARL THE SAME THING?
 

Charles' PCI Card


1. WHAT IS GOLD?

Webster dictionary defines gold as the most malleable and ductile metal, yellow metallic element that occurs chiefly free or in a few minerals and is used especially in coins, jewelry, and dentures.

Malleable in gold means it can be hammered by beating or by pressure of rollers extended or shaped down into a thin gold sheet or film. In fact it can be made thinner than the thinnest paper available. A weight of 31.1 grams can cover 68 square feet (0.0001 inch thin).

Ductile means it can be drawn out of a tungsten-carbide hole, just like making a copper wire. It can be make finer than our human hair, to a point that our eye almost can not see.

Gold is a relatively soft and corrosion-resistant element. Do not corrode in air, but is tarnished by sulfur. Gold is a good thermal and electrical conductor. Melting point is 1,063 degree Centigrade and boiling point is 2,800 degree Centigrade.

The above descriptions refer only to pure 24 Karat gold.

You can say that copper is soft evidently it is easily bend, but will crack and break when reach to certain thinnest and finest. Lead too.

2. IS JEWELRY AFRAID OF HEAT?

Yes and no. Yes, if it has pearls, jades and other precious stones mounted on them. Diamonds and almost all precious stones are not afraid of extreme heat; just don't subject them to sudden extreme changes of temperature. For example- when you heat a diamond, let it cool down by itself first, don't pour water to speed up the cooling process or the diamond will break.

No, if there is no stone attached on them, but jewelry (1K-20K gold) when heated to a high temperature will become brown or black colored. The reason for this tarnish is because there are higher concentrations of silver and copper on 1K-20K gold.
But you will not see any changes in color for 24K when heated; only the welded portion or spot will appear black. This is because goldsmith uses 14K or 18K gold as welding rod for 24K jewelry. Some goldsmith is able to make 24K jewelry without using welding rod.

3. WHERE CAN WE FIND GOLD?

Of course gold mine and here in the Philippines we have lots of them; some riverbeds have gold too. All the gold collected here are from 18 Karat to 22 Karat only. We seldom heard of 23-24 Karat gold coming out of gold mine because there are lots of impurities in them out of gold mines. And further more much old, used and broken jewelry are also melted (recycled) again into cake or bar, and later refine again to 24K to be use by goldsmith in making jewelry again.

4. IS GOLD AFRAID OF ANYTHING, IS IT FOREVER?

The only gold is afraid of is mercury. Mercury or Quicksilver is the silvery-white liquid we all amaze about and played with when we were young. Applied mercury to a copper colored coin and it will stick to it and become silvered. Apply it to gold and the effect is the same.

It can be bought at drugstore or collected by breaking a thermometer; the silver liquid will come out. Or by visiting a dentist, they use Amalgams, a tooth cement, by mixing it with a small amount of mercury filled our healed tooth.

Mercury is poisonous to a certain degree even in small quantity. It is very dense, in fact it is a little denser than gold. When we say dense here it means heavy, comparing the two metals with the same volume. Let say we put silver in a bottle and fill it full. Then we put gold inside the same sized bottle and we fill it full too. Comparing the two, silver will be a little bit heavier than gold when weigh. This is just for the sake of comparing because you can not put gold in a bottle without leaving some empty space inside it. So why not melt the gold first and pour it into the glass. Well, the glass would break of course!

When the mercury stick to the gold and leaving it there unattended for a long period of time. About a month or so, the mercury will ate the gold in some way. And will leave some permanent tiny holes on the affected area.

How to get rid of mercury? It's easy. By heating (burning) them to a certain temperature they will evaporate, just like water, into the air. But do not do this yourself, most jewelry will become blacked when heated and pearl, jade and some stone are afraid of heat. Freezing point for mercury is -38.85 degree Centigrade. Boiling point is 356.6 degree Centigrade; this is the temperature when they will evaporate. Be careful when burning the jewelry; too much heat and you will melt the jewelry item. The art of making jewelry is how good you will be able to control the intensity of fire of your blow torch and see to it not to melt anything you heat up.

Gold is afraid of acid too, but only a mixture of two types of acids (Nitric 3 parts and Muriatic 4 parts) will transform or dissolve thin 24K gold papers into a liquid. However it can be recovered back to its original metal form by heating the liquid in a beaker till it gets dried up and the gold will turn into dust.

Except for the above chemicals, gold will last forever just like diamond. Diamond is the hardest element we know, right? However, I saw many diamonds break into pieces when handle by careless jeweler makers. This is mainly due to mounting the diamonds onto the ring, or other jewelry, wherein they use hammer to tighten the usually four teeth to hold tightly the diamond into place. When they strike the diamond instead of the gold tooth, it will break. Every diamond has a fingerprint of their own, when strikes at the right precise point it will break.

5. WHAT IS KARAT AND 916?

Karat is define as a unit of fineness for gold equal to 1/24 part of pure gold in an alloy. It means how pure the gold is. Alloy means the degree of mixture with base metal, gold being the base metal. A 24 Karat gold is equal to 100% pure gold. But we never say 100%, because no one has ever refined them to that point. The highest purity achieved is 99.99%, so a 24 Karat gold is 99.99% pure. Most of Hong Kong jewelry has a 9999 mark on them, as well as all branded gold bar.

A 22 K gold from gold mine will have 91.6% pure gold while the remaining 8.4% will consist of any metal- silver, copper, iron, aluminum, etc. You just divide 22 K by 24 K to get an answer of 91.6%. Singapore jewelry always has a mark of 916 on it; it meant 22K. If I ask you how much pure gold content is in a 10 K gold. The answer is 10 divided by 24=41.6% pure. In jewelry the alloy added to make them into lower karat are always a mixture of silver and copper. No other metal can be mix with gold because it will later become blacked or rusted depending on what you put into it. 585 is 14 K.

We have 1 K, 2 K, 8 K, 23 K or 23.5 K of jewelry. Any karat is possible, it only depend on the jeweler maker who mix and melt them.

White gold here in the Philippines is not Platinum, it is only a mixture of gold and nickel (a malleable, silvery metal). We do have Platinum here in the Philippines but seldom seen it make into jewelry because of their hardness. The price for 24K Platinum is always higher than the 24K yellow gold.

6. GRAMS, KILO, OUNCE, BAHT, AND TAEL, WHAT ARE THEY?

Gram is a metric unit of mass equal to 1/1000 kilogram. Kilo or kilogram is 1,000 grams. A troy ounce is equal to 31.1 grams. A baht is 15.2 grams; this is Thailand weight for their jewelry. A Tael is 37.037 grams in the Philippines. A Hong Kong Tael is 37.5 grams. There is a slight difference in weight for the two countries. I think they do not consult each other first before they settle for the weight of Tael. A Tael in Chinese is . One Tael = 10 . A Tael in jewelry is different in weight from the Tael uses in Chinese drug store here in the Philippines. For precious stones, one gram equal 5 Carats. Carat is a unit of weight for precious stones like diamonds and rubies.

7. IS GOLD A STOCK AND IS IT LISTED IN THE STOCK EXCHANGE?

Yes, gold is listed in the stock exchange under metal, commodity stock around the world. They are quoted in US dollar per ounce.

8. HOW CAN I TELL WHETHER IT IS REAL OR NOT?

The easiest way to know is to wear your jewelry everyday for 2 to 6 months and see what happen. The problem with buying jewelry here in the Philippines is you do not know you've been rip off, only and until after a few months later when the jewelry turn into something else and it is too late. When after 2-6 months you didn't noticed any changes in the color of your bracelet and it remain gold colored, we can safely say that it is a 24 K. Almost all brand-new jewelry is plated with 24 K color, except certain imported one. The reason for wearing them is to let the plated surface of the gold to fade away or disappeared, thereby exposing the true color of the jewelry content. That way we can determine the Karat. But when wear it and it becomes a little light green-gold color. Then it is 22 K. But when the color is a little close to copper or silver, then it is 12K-18 K. When it becomes black-brown, it is 10 K below. When totally silver-white color then it is silver or nickel or stainless steel and not gold. When it become copper-yellow color stained with some green stuff, then it is copper or brass.

Weight tells a lot too on the purity of gold. Because gold is very dense, and silver and copper is very light. An experienced jeweler can tell whether it is gold or not just by holding the jewelry on their hand. They are able to calculate the volume of the jewelry. They will know too whether it is 24 K, 18 K, 10 K below or silver and copper, even when the said item is gold plated with 24 K color.

Of course the most accurate method is to test them. The best and accurate way still is to use a black stone. We have this stone locally, it is a smooth surface and come with many shape and size, and totally black all around. Imported one is still the best. You scratch the gold to be tested onto the stone together with 2 or 3 known sample karat of gold, then apply some Nitric C.P. acid. The purpose of putting Nitric C.P. acid onto the gold stick on to the stone is to remove all silver and copper content of the gold to be tested so that it will reveal only the gold content color. By comparing the 2-3 samples we scratched onto and see which one color the gold to be tested fall or match, we will be able to tell what Karat it is. This acid testing is effective only for 14 K gold to below to 1 K. Above 14K to 22K we use nitric C.P. acid, then apply some ashes from cigarette, this is to further burn the silver/copper of the gold to make it more accurate. Above 22K you do not need to apply acid, just use our eyes and compare the color of the known samples.

Another way is to heat the jewelry item to be tested and see what is the resulted color. Be careful not to melt them.

If you can bend portion of jewelry to be tested and see how soft it is. You can still bend with ease with a 22K gold, 18K a little bit harder, and 14K much much harder when it's thin.

And the other is to measure the density of the jewelry item to be tested using weighing scale, graduated cylinder and water.

9. WHY DO SOME PEOPLE BUY OLD AND DAMAGED IC, LSIC AND TRANSISTOR?

It is because IC (integrated circuit) chips, Large scale IC, Very large scale IC like our computer CPU and Transistors has fine gold wire inside them. Gold wire is use to connect or bond all the outside pins of an IC and transistor to their inside part, like gate, emitter, and base of a transistor. CPU LSIC consists of millions of transistors and related parts in about a 1 3/4 X 1 3/4 package. Without fine gold wire you can not soldered to the exact very micro contact points. They are sold in grams I guest and not a good thing to collect!

10. HOW TO CALCULATE THE PRICE OF A GOLD JEWELRY?

This calculation will hold true to all jewelry that is not mounted or attached with precious stones, pearls, ornaments, etc.

Bloomberg TV quote (Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006): Gold is US$ 591.5/ounce. 591.50/31.1= US$19.20 per gram or 19.2x50.12(rate for $-P)= Philippine Pesos 962.30 per gram. These are the costs for 24K gold excluding profit, labor and overhead.

First you must know how much the price of gold for today. We can go to www.kitco.com/gold.live.html, Kitco Inc.-Gold & Precious Metal Price Update or www.cnnfn.com/markets/commodities.html, CNNfn- Commodities Stock. From Kitco (October 20, 1996), gold is quoted at US$ 379.95 per ounce. One US$ = 26.265 Philippines Pesos (October 20, 1996). We first convert the price of gold to Philippines Pesos. 379.95 X 26.265= P 9979.38 per ounce. Next convert them to gram, from above information, one ounce equal 31.1 grams. P 9979.38/31.1= Php 320.88 per gram.

P 320.88 is the cost of gold per gram minus profit, labor and overhead. So you ask how about 18K or 20K and so on. Well it is easy; first determine how must 24K gold is containing in 18K gold. 18/24 = .75. Next P 320.88 X .75 we get an answer of Php 240.66/gram for 18K. For the price above you must add about 5 to 10% for losses occur during the making of gold into jewelry (some gold become dust or minute particles that jeweler makers can not able to recover them) and add some more for the cost of silver and copper too. Silver and copper cost so little that we often ignore their price in computation. So that's it, P 336.92 (5%) to P 352.96 (10%) per gram for 24K gold, of course this does not include the jewelry store profit yet.

Let say one jewelry store sell for P 355 per gram for 24K and you choose a 24K bracelet that weigh 35.8 grams. How much will you pay for it? 35.8 grams X 355 = P 12,709. Some store add labor for the bracelet they sell, let say P 300, so P12,709 + 300, we get Php 13,009.00 for the price of the 24K bracelet. The one who sell it without labor added will quote a higher price per gram compare to those without labor. Labor goes to the pocket of goldsmith who makes them from gold bar to finished product. Which is cheaper? It's almost the same just don't exceed 50 or 100 grams and there is a big difference. Here the one with additional labor will be cheaper. For imported one that sold here in the Philippines, there is a lot of plus, plus. But if you go directly to the country you are interested, the above computation still applied but with slight variation.

14. WHAT ARE CORAL? WHICH IS GENUINE AND WHICH IS NOT?

Coral is a tree/rock-like deposit consisting of the calcareous skeletons secreted by various anthozoans. Coral deposits often accumulate to form reefs (coral reefs) on islands in warm sea. The red-orange, pinkish, or white deposits secreted by corals used to make jewelry and ornaments.

It is like a plant consisting of only trunks and stems, without leaves and flowers, which live and grow under the sea water. These are where small newly born fish hide against their hunter. The trunk is about one inch across (maximum) while the stem is about 2mm across (minimum). Diver picked the whole plant and sawed them to cylindrical pieces. Drill each piece of cylinder a hole in the center passing through the other end. Polished them and then use a plastic wire (fishing line) or dental floss or gold wire or any thread that is strong enough, to pass through each hole of cylinder to form a bracelet or necklace.

Every country has coral reefs under their seabed. So you don't know which country the corals came from. When we say they come from that country we usually meant they are cut, polished and drilled there. I think here in the Philippines no one knows how to cut and drilled hole on them.

To be continue on next upload!

 

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Page created on September 28, 1997 Last updated on May 23, 2007 

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