From ancient Egyptians to the Incas, gold has been revered as nothing short of miraculous. So it comes as no surprise that nearly every culture has cherished this beautiful substance. It was reserved for the exclusive use of the pharaohs. The Etruscans created fine objects of gold granules and thread; a practice still in use today. In fact, gold has served as currency for more than 5,000 years, providing further testament to its lasting value. Gold has also been revered for its perceived health value. Some cultures use gold to treat a variety of ailments, such as arthritis and ulcers.
In view of the recent economic crisis, the value of gold has once again been affirmed as a source of permanent wealth, versus paper currency. The price of gold and gold jewelry is soaring today as people seek to invest their money in a source that will hold, and exceed, its value. Its rarity makes it so valuable. Nearly three-quarters of all the world's gold mined annually is used for the creation of jewelry. But amazingly, experts estimate that all the gold ever mined would fit beneath Paris' Eiffel Tower. Just to produce one ounce of gold takes several tons of ore.
The Triple Play
The value and beauty of gold has made it one of the most sought-out substances when it comes to jewelry. These elements, in addition to gold's permanence, have created the perfect triple play. In cultures such as China and India gold is considered the symbol of good luck and happiness for brides. Families expend great resources to don young women in 24-karat gold on their wedding day. It is also the preferred choice for couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
Gold's warm gold color holds a strong appeal for both jewelers and consumers alike. Because it alloys well with other metals, gold is often a preferred metal to create a variety of finishes and styles. Mix gold with copper and you have rose gold. Gold alloyed with palladium produces white gold, and so on. The ability to alloy gold to other metals helps to make it one of the most indestructible metals around. Its purity makes it resistant to tarnish. Like the Etruscans discovered, gold can be drawn out into thin, unbroken strands, or shaped and melted into any design.
Care of Gold Jewelry
As durable as gold jewelry is, it's important to care for your gold jewelry to sustain its beauty and brilliance. Treated carefully, it can last a lifetime and even be handed down to future generations.
Chemicals are not a friend to gold jewelry, especially chlorine, gold's worst enemy. When entering a pool or Jacuzzi, it's imperative to remove all gold jewelry. And prolonged exposure to other types of chemicals, such as cleaning solutions, can weaken the structure and beauty of the metal. Contact between gold jewelry and abrasive cleaners are also not a good idea. It's better to remove your gold pieces altogether when cleaning.
Gold can also be dented or scratched if it is treated roughly. Wearers should be especially careful when it comes to mixing gold rings and bracelets with strenuous activities such as gardening or sports. Repeated knocks and scrapes could leave your gold jewelry looking less than stellar.
Gold jewelry should receive regular cleaning to help protect it against exposure to moisture, dust and makeup. Lukewarm, sudsy water is an ideal gold cleaner. After rinsing, dry jewelry with a chamois or other soft cloth to bring out the shine. Avoid using paper towel, which can scratch the surface. It's also a good idea to have jewelry cleaned professionally from time to time.
Over your lifetime, favorite gold jewelry can begin to weaken in the clasps, prongs and links. These connections can thin out and eventually break, so it's important to inspect gold jewelry for any damage. A reputable jeweler can repair these types of issues and restore your gold jewelry to its original beauty. To prevent further scratches to pieces, make sure to store gold jewelry separately from other pieces in a jewelry box or a chamois bag when not being worn. Storing pieces separately keep them from scratching against one another and getting tangled.
Lewis Jewelers is proud to carry the full line of Pandora Jewelry. Pandora charms, Pandora bracelets and Pandora beads are only a part of the collection. For more information, Lewis Jewelers, 2000 West Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48103, 877-88-LEWIS or visit the website.