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Why I personally love 10K gold jewelry

I was exposed to jewelry from a very early age. When I was a toddler, I donned Saudi gold necklaces. As a grade schooler, I had sensitive skin, so I wore gold earring hoops. Whenever I ended up with honors at school, my dad would buy me a gold jewelry piece as a reward.

Like any person with basic knowledge of gold jewelry, I learned that the number of karats on a gold piece corresponded to its value. The higher number of karats, the more valuable it is, technically speaking. So it follows that 18k is more valuable than 14k; however, it is also softer and more prone to damage from everyday wear.

When I started buying my own gold pieces, I treated them as investments. I was attracted to the 18k gold pieces I saw behind the intimidating glass displays of jewelry stores. I also bought functional 14k pieces with the intention of wearing them everyday.

Then, a foray into gemstone jewelry changed my mind.

It started with dainty rings — inexpensive pieces which showcased the beauty of the gemstones they held. At first, I made these rings in silver. I didn’t have the budget to get them done in gold.

My now-husband got me a pink sapphire ring in silver plated with white gold, which lasted a good seven months. After that, however, I started to think about whether getting silver jewelry was still a good investment (especially as I wanted to keep my gemstone jewelry for a long time).

So I looked into getting my own jewelry done in solid gold.

First, a review of how gold pricing works.

Gold, as a raw material, is priced per gram. Its price also fluctuates depending on the state of the current market. The theory behind investing in gold is based on the fact that gold prices have rather steadily gone up over the years.

If you’re getting gold pieces as an investment, it makes sense to get heavy items (read: large) with higher karat numbers. The one disadvantage: you probably won’t be able to wear them everyday. Not only are they too expensive, gold items also get softer as you go higher up the karat tier.

When you get a custom piece, another factor is added to the equation. You have to account for design complexity as well (aside from the weight of raw gold used).

When I started out with gemstone jewelry, I went for custom pieces I could wear on a daily basis. This appealed to me mainly because I wanted to support local jewelers and their craft.

Because these items are handmade, jewelers also charge labor fees for every piece they create. Think of them as artists who sculpt with metal, and want to earn from the time and effort they spent on their creations.

The more complex a setting is, the greater the labor fee will be.

So aside from the price of raw gold, labor fees also affect the final price of an item.

The first thing I loved about 10k gold was that it allowed me to experiment with larger gems and more extravagant designs (read: high labor fees!) without breaking the bank.

Initially, I was reluctant to try 10k gold because I thought it might tarnish easily. Someone once told me that 14k items turned red in time (whereas 18k items kept their color, being 75% pure gold), so I was wary about going even lower.

In my experience, this is not necessarily true.

My first 10k gold ring was a lab blue sapphire flanked by two Signity stones. This was followed by a pinky ring in 10k rose gold. Shortly after, I got a white sapphire dainty ring set in 10k gold which I wear in the place of my engagement ring.

Some things you can do to keep your 10K gold jewelry looking new:

  1. Last on, first off. Put your gold jewelry on last when you’re getting dressed, after you’ve spritzed on your perfume. That way you lessen its exposure to strong chemicals. Take it off first thing when you get back home, and keep it in a box reserved especially for jewelry.
  2. Avoid exposure to strong chemicals. Rubbing alcohol on your hands with your precious 10K jewelry still on? A big NO!
  3. Wear your jewelry regularly. This may seem like a funny piece of advice to state after I’ve gone on a tirade on how sensitive gold jewelry is. Then again, 10K gold loves to be worn. Trust me, they tarnish more quickly in storage (as opposed to if you wear them regularly).

More reasons I love 10K gold

  • It’s sturdy! Remember how gold gets softer as the number of karats go up (and gold purity increases)? With 10K gold, you get a sturdier piece thanks to the other metals alloyed with it.
  • 10K is the lowest number of carats that can legally be declared “gold.” Technically speaking, its purity is at only 40%, but it’s still gold by the book (and looks/feels like gold — because it is).

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