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What you need to know about gold

Ce qu'il faut savoir sur l'or

Symbol of the sun, of the celestial world, of eternal life, gold has represented what is most sacred since Antiquity. All the great civilizations have gone in search of this precious metal to shape their most precious treasures: ornaments, crowns, jewelry, medals, tombs, coins... Gold objects continue through the centuries to amaze and evoke the purity and rarity.

But where does this great fascination with gold come from? Concretely, what is 18 carat and 24 carat gold? How to recognize the gold grading of a piece of jewelry? Why choose recycled gold? In this article, we have tried to answer all your questions about gold so that you can better understand the value of your gold jewelry. Good reading !

Why has gold fascinated people for millennia?

Irresistible color and shine

It’s certain, its beauty and its very special shine give it a major asset! Pure gold has a natural golden and shiny color like the sun and the stars, which makes it particularly attractive.

Exceptional physical and chemical properties

Beyond this dazzling beauty, gold is particularly prized for its physical and chemical properties. Resistant to oxidation and corrosion, gold does not deteriorate, but remains intact over time. It is indestructible, it is eternal! Gold is also an excellent conductor, making it particularly sought after in electronics. As surprising as it is, we find it today in all of our electronic components (or almost): processors, motherboards, etc.

A mysterious origin

But if gold fascinates so much, it is also because of its mysterious origin... The origin of these nuggets is said to be cosmic. A true “stardust”, gold was not formed on earth but in the galaxy. Scientists clash over two theories – the theory of the collision of two neutron stars, and the theory of the explosion of supernova stars – but both confirm the extra-terrestrial origin of gold. A “shower of stars” would have spread across the immensity of the galaxy until settling on our earth and slipping into its bowels.

A rare commodity that is running out...

A product of chance and of cosmic origin, gold is therefore not unlimited on earth. On the contrary, its exceptional rarity makes gold a highly sought-after luxury commodity. According to the World Gold Council, humanity has already extracted nearly 80% of the gold present underground...

How has the price of gold evolved over the years?

The price of gold only fluctuates over time, which makes the task of jewelers very complex when it comes to setting sales prices! This perpetual variation can be explained by several factors. First of all, the law of supply and demand: supply becomes scarcer, while demand fluctuates enormously. Who are the buyers? The technology industry, the jewelry sector, but above all investors and central banks who constitute the biggest buyers. Extremely rare and impossible to duplicate, unlike our money generated by central banks, gold is a safe haven par excellence. Its demand increases dramatically in times of crisis. The economic situation is therefore a key factor in the fluctuation of the gold price, in the same way as geopolitical events.

Over the past 20 years, the price of gold has generally only increased. In 2005, we were around €10,000 per gold bar, while it passed the €59,000 mark in March 2022!

What is 18k gold? 24 carats?

18 carat gold is composed of 75% pure gold + 25% other metals (silver, copper, palladium, etc.). It is the noblest and most precious alloy used in jewelry. At ODACE, we exclusively use 18 carat gold for all our bracelets , necklaces , rings and earrings .

Unlike 9-karat gold (37.5% pure gold) or 14-karat gold (58.3% pure gold), 18-karat gold jewelry lasts a lifetime, resists corrosion and does not fade. never oxidize, even in contact with water.

But why not use 24 carat gold in jewelry? 24-karat gold is 99.9% pure gold, but it is far too soft to be used in jewelry. It would deform too quickly at the slightest shock or false movement. In jewelry, we ideally use the most precious alloy: 18 carat gold (75% pure gold + 25% other more solid metals). It makes gold more solid and resistant, without ever compromising its stainless and non-allergenic properties.

Can gold come in different colors?

Gold can appear in different colors, thanks to alloys with other precious metals (silver, copper, palladium). These are present in varying quantities depending on the color of the gold desired. For example, rose gold will have a higher proportion of copper, while white gold will have a higher proportion of silver. On the other hand, the quantity of pure gold does not vary from one color to another. If it is 18k gold, it will still be 75% pure gold!

At ODACE, we let you choose the gold color you prefer when ordering. All of our jewelry is made from 18-karat gold and is customizable in yellow gold, white gold or rose gold.

How to recognize the fineness (purity) of the gold in a piece of jewelry?

Hallmarks are the small symbols engraved on the jewelry (sometimes only visible with a magnifying glass). The title mark allows you to know what precious metal the jewel is made of and in what proportion of this metal is present. There are several for gold, silver, platinum.

18 carat gold is represented by the eagle's head. This means that out of 24 g of alloy, there is 18 g or 75.01% pure gold. Each precious metal and alloy has its own symbol. This is the title mark.

Be careful not to confuse the title mark with the maker's mark which allows you to identify the origin of the jewelry's manufacture . It is the signature of the craftsman.

If the jewelry was made in France, the maker's mark will be diamond-shaped. If this hallmark is oval, the object has been imported. This hallmark must contain 2 letters generally corresponding to the initials of the craftsman; And between these 2 letters a “dispute” (symbol) specific to each craftsman. To have a maker's mark, you must make a request to French customs who will carry out an existence investigation before giving their approval.

Why choose recycled gold for your jewelry?

We would have drawn more than 80% of the earth's gold stock. There would therefore currently be more gold in circulation on the surface of the earth than gold present underground. Furthermore, gold mining causes irreparable damage to the planet and populations. The use of highly toxic cyanide and mercury contaminates soil and groundwater forever. Gold mining requires colossal quantities of water. On an ethical level, working conditions in mines, exposure to toxic vapors, smuggling, are all alarming and disturbing faults but unfortunately very real.

But because we are great optimists and we prefer to see the glass half full rather than half empty, we are happy about one thing: gold is indestructible and has the capacity to be recycled infinitely. At ODACE, we therefore choose to recycle rather than extract. Our COC certified recycled gold comes from old jewelry and electronic components. Thus, we give new life to this unearthed, melted and transformed gold, through our 18-carat gold jewelry that is as desirable as it is ethical and responsible.

Gold has not finished making us dream. Our gold jewelry is precious and rare. Don't forget to cherish them. They will accompany you for a lifetime and will even be passed down from generation to generation…