We are building a ‘world jewelry’ site here at Ganoksin, all our
comments build our content in the archives. We have a kind of
’group mind’ that can be used to address various problems. We do
this frequently with technical issues, and sometimes with other
subjects. We are a kind of ‘community of conversation’. Although
there are many messages on this list, most are succinct,
intelligent, useful and to the point. I think it is remarkable
that so many people ‘lurk’, listen, and that the number of
messages is not worse (Yes I apologize for a recent email without
a “YAK” warning on it).
At some time the value of our opinions (almost 2000 on this
list, a significant statistical number) will matter. We can use
our voice at some point for political ends. Primarily of the
’improving the life of goldsmiths’ sort of politics of course.
I would like to start a thread on relative gold value around the
world. I would like to hear your opinions. Gold is valued
economically and culturally. The only legal gold value in Italy
is 18k. They do however make tons of 14k and other gold alloys
for export. Lets hear your thoughts on the ‘value’ of gold.
It can be, for instance, worth more in India because of their
strict import rules, the practice of remaking jewelry now and
then to keep up with fashion and the way that such gold
incorporates some value from the re-working, that is the same
weight is worth more after reworking. I knew someone from
Vietnam, who in the last moments of retreat of US citizens passed
up lots of 18k gold in the market because it had no value in
their mind, compared with 22 and 24k gold. The value of a
material is often cultural.
In North America many trade jewelers advise against 22 and 24k
gold because ‘it won’t last’ yet tests have shown that a 14 or
18k gold ring has a finite lifespan before it is worn off through
abrasion but 24k gold rings last (ok you wont get to keep any
surface detail) because instead of being abraded the surface is
merely mushed around-and the material stays put. In Asia it is
the norm to use very high karat golds and the new hardenable 24k
gold alloys (“Pure Gold”-okay its a rotten trade name) make
catch builidng and mechanical construction possible in high carat
When I was a student in Germany the gold price shot up to
$800.00 US or so. The refiners experimented with 3 and 4 Karat
golds. It worked, they got them to flow and finish well, but the
gold content was so low that skin reactions attacked the gold.
They gave it up. 333 was a standard low karat gold we worked
with. There was basically only one solder for this stuff and we
did a lot of garnet and gold 'Bauernschmuck" (Farmers/folk
jewelry) with hundreds of set garnets. During setting there would
frequently be a number of prongs that would snap off, and then I
would have to reprong 10-20 prongs on the set jewelry, using one
grade of solder. I noted that about one garnet in 50 turned to a
black magnetic lump upon heating.
So, Lets hear people’s thoughts on gold, the economic value of
it and the social or cultural value.
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada