Our societal obsession with gold has deep roots. For thousands of years, we have worn jewelry made of gold as well as to fashion idols for worship. It’s an ongoing infatuation that is as great in 2023 as it has ever been. 

Most of us, either presently or sometime in the past, have owned items made of or consisting of gold, and when it comes to giving gifts of jewelry or buying for ourselves, we will tend to favor the use of this precious transition metal. 

If you are considering purchasing an item of gold, then you’d do well to take on board some of the points below, where we discuss the measurements of quality, the different types of gold as well as knowing how to best wear such items to get the most out of them.

How Do We Measure the Quality of Gold?

Often when considering the purchase of an item of jewelry that is made from, or includes an aspect of, gold, we are introduced to the term karat (sometimes spelled carat), and this is an indicator of fineness, which in turn, basically means the purity and quality of the gold that’s being used.

If you’ve ever wondered what is the best karat of gold, then this is a fairly complex question to answer. 24 karat or 24k gold indicates 100% gold, the highest and purest form of gold. It means entirely gold with no trace of other metals. 

This gives the item a very distinctive yellow hue, and unsurprisingly this is the most expensive form of gold. The range then goes down in increments, including 22k, 18k, 14k, 12k, 10k, and so on. 

When you reach 10k, you are effectively hitting a mark of around 50% pure gold, at which stage you are tiptoeing the line between what is known as fine jewelry and costume jewelry. 

The Many Different Types of Gold

Gold is actually very versatile, more so than you might imagine, and that means you can get many types of gold, and this is usually best indicated by the color. So you’ll have typical yellow gold, which will usually be mixed with silver or copper for items of jewelry, giving it additional strength. 

White gold is made when yellow gold is alloyed (meaning mixing of metals) with nickel, zinc, or palladium. The color is derived from Rhodium plating. Rose gold, which is very popular at present, comes from gold alloyed with copper, giving it that distinctive pink glow.

These are the most common types of gold in terms of the coloring that they give off. 

Types of Gold Jewelry

Often you’ll see that an item is gold plated, which is the least expensive type of gold jewelry, and this is, as the name suggests, the act of gold plating on top of a base metal. This layer is likely to fade over time.

Gold-filled is a high-quality jewelry that uses a base that includes a solid layer of gold; this means it won’t rub off and includes significantly more gold than in gold-plating processes. 

Gold Vermeil is similar to gold filled but is different in terms of how this effect is achieved. 

Solid Gold is, pardon the pun, the gold standard for gold jewelry and is made pretty much entirely from gold, hence the expensive nature of such jewelry. 

What Shades Work With Gold

When pairing your gold jewelry, you should think about what outfits, ensembles, and clothing items will best match up with them. In terms of precious metals and stones, gold is one that is very adaptable and works with a number of shades and colors, but there are clearly some that are more effective than others.

There are four colors that work best with gold accessories. 


The color really helps to give gold room to breathe. The starkness of the two colors together is what makes this work so well. Black clothing is often very striking and works well in all seasons and for both formal and informal occasions.


Some hues of green are absolutely ideal for wearing with gold, with emerald being among the most potent. The matching of gold and green is almost intoxicating. It really is a combination that works well, and the darker the green, the better.


A vibrant red, especially again in darker hues, helps to give gold items room to really stand out and capture attention. Keeping it simple with subtle gold jewelry items really works well. Consider going the way up to burgundy to achieve the maximum effect.


Crisp white gives gold a base to work its magic. Gold items, even gold-colored items, help to break up a white outfit; think, for instance, of a simple gold belt or necklace. The simplicity that white offers you is a nice payoff when paired with gold. 

Less Is More

Though there is always a hankering to bling up your gold jewelry, often it’s subtle hints that really help to elevate an overall look. You can be playful with just the right amount of gold, and while it’s good to match gold items, such as earrings and a bracelet, you should always err on the side of subtlety. 

The Cost of Gold

The enduring appeal of gold is unquestionable. When discussing the value of things, the price of gold is often quoted as the most stable currency, and that means that, on the whole, the cost of gold items isn’t inexpensive.

However, the increase and expansion of the online jewelry market mean that the cost of gold jewelry is actually, on the whole, getting less expensive. So next time you want to treat yourself, or a loved one, to an item of gold jewelry, we strongly suggest you buy it online. 

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Last Update: February 21, 2024