Throughout the history, a number of elements have been discovered ultimately becoming the integral part of people’s lives, cultures and traditions. Of all the metals the one which has grown the strongest roots is gold.
Since the day of its introduction, gold has been value for its radiance and natural beauty. These qualities have led to the establishment of the belief in many customs that gold represents sun which is also radiant.
Types of gold jewelry
Yellow gold jewelry is indeed the most popular color! However, today, a diverse palette is available in gold. Although the main purpose of alloying gold with other metals is to reduce its malleability and to make it more ductile. However, this alloying also changes the color of gold jewelry.
White gold: It is obtained by mixing pure gold with white metals such as silver and palladium. Additionally, Rhodium plating is done to create a harder surface and to give it a brighter shine. Today, white gold is the overt choice for wedding bands in United States.
Rose gold: This is obtained by mixing pure gold with copper resulting in a soft pink complexion.
Blue/black gold: These unique forms are made by the inclusion of oxides or patinas on the surface of alloy. The oxide in case of black gold is cobalt oxide.
The history of gold has a long association with money. However, after the outbreak of Second World War, this financial role of gold declined. After the war, Bretton Wood Monetary system was created which was a regime of fixed exchange rates.
Qualities of gold like its malleability, ductility, its value and other aesthetic qualities led to its increasing popularity in jewelry in ancient cultures. Electrum is the natural alloy of gold and silver. Egyptians from 5000 BCE used Electrum in jewelry. Both men and women adorned their looks by wearing gold jewelry in the Summer Civilization around 300 BC. Gold chains also became very famous and were first produced in 2500 BC in the city of Ur. The Minoan civilization created the first cable chain jewelry in the early 2nd millennium BCE. They made a vast range of jewelry items by employing a number of different techniques.
Gold jewelry took the shape of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, pendants, diadems, pins and brooches. Techniques and shapes included:
In South America, Chavin Civilization of Peru also similarly worked on gold around 1200 BCE and gold casting was perfected by the Nazca society from 500 BCE.
The Romans worked with gold as a setting for precious and semi-precious gemstones. This fashion continued to be carried in the Byzantine era which also included the use of gems, pearls and enamels.
Gold is still a precious element of jewelry in many customs, especially in the weddings. It seems as if its demand will never decrease!