A Brief History of Gold Jewelry

Gold goes back almost as far as civilization itself. It has been held as a symbol of luxury for thousands of years, transformed into jewelry, armor, coins, and countless other objects. Its enduring place in history is what ensures that gold jewelry never goes out of style and remains a fairly consistent investment that can be resold for some amount of value no matter how old it is or what form it’s been made into. If you’re looking to sell jewelry in Orange County, Watch & Wares offers some of the best value in the area for your gold jewelry pieces. However, before getting your jewelry appraised by anyone, it’s always best to know its true value for yourself.

The Origin of Gold Jewelry

Throughout history, gold jewelry has been revered for its rarity and beauty. The first signs of gold jewelry emerged more than 6,000 years ago among ancient cultures such as Meso-America, Mesopotamia, Ancient China, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, and Ancient Greece and Rome. In all of these cultures, gold jewelry was worn by the noble, the royal, or the rich. It was a nearly-universal status of importance and wealth, making it coveted and beloved for millennia. 

The Modern Gold Jewelry Industry

This symbol of luxury has endured until today, even after gold jewelry has become much more widely accessible to the public. Today, the vast majority of people own at least one piece of gold jewelry. One of the reasons that modern gold jewelry has become less rarified is because it is now mixed with other elements. While ancient civilizations utilized gold in its pure form, resulting in exclusively yellow gold jewelry, today’s jewelers mix gold with other metals and alloys to create more diverse and unique results. White gold, for example, is gold with the absence of copper. Rose gold, by contrast, is created by increasing the amount of copper present. Modern gold jewelry has varying amounts of true gold in it, resulting in the creation of the Karat.

The Meaning of Karat

If you take your estate jewelry to a jewelry & pawn shop to sell it, one of the first things they’ll do is assess the Karat. Karat is the measurement of the purity of gold, with 24 Karat being 100 percent pure gold. Very little jewelry is now made with 24 Karat gold since pure gold is too soft to hold its shape, so you’re more likely to find 18, 14, or 10 Karat gold. Each Karat represents 1/24 of the whole, so if your gold estate jewelry is 18/24 metal, then it is 18 Karat gold. Generally, the higher the Karat, the more valuable the jewelry. 

If you’re looking to sell jewelry near you but don’t know where to start, the friendly team at Watch & Wares is here to help. We offer convenient and transparent appraisals, during which we’ll also assess the market value of your item. Our offers are consistently some of the highest in Orange County, but we never pressure you to sell. If you are looking for the best place to sell gold jewelry in Orange County, contact Watch & Wares today. We are one of the top-rated gold and jewelry buyers in the area, and we have been for decades.