From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 6

We have previously discussed the ways which gold is valuable on terra firma. Today we will discuss the ways in which gold makes it so that we can communicate with the stars. Gold is vital for aerospace purposes. Check out our previous articles on the usage of gold in electronics and computers for a primer on today’s blog.

Space helmet, gold
via https://www.itmtrading.com/

With billions of dollars at stake when it comes to space travel, materials need to be dependable. Fixing a component in space is different than changing a tire on the side of the road. It’s not just more costly, it can be deadly. Maintenance and repair costs – but human and dollar – need to be as close to zero as possible. This is why gold has been turned to in the construction of every space vehicle launched by NASA and now independent companies such as SpaceX.

We have previously discussed golds usages in circuits, and check that article out. Now imagine those circuits being used in the void of space. Gold stays dependable, keeping it’s corrosive lacking properties even under the highest stress conditions. It is the most reliable conductor available for usage still. Most every part of every space vehicle are mounted with gold-coated film as well. This prevents the ambient radiation of space from leaking into the material – possibly harming the internal components of the humans inside of them.

Just as gold is vital for life on the ground, gold is vital for life above it. Gold prevents the internal components of space vehicles, objects, satellites, and more from overheating. The intrinsic properties of gold, previously discussed in this series, continue to apply even when off of this planet. Without the coating of gold, space travel and communication would be impossible.

Gold is also used to lubricate the joints between mechanical parts in space flight. Regular, earth bound lubricants do not stand up to the trials of space. They are broken down easily by the intense radiation of Earth’s atmosphere and beyond. Gold lacks these earth bound problems. It’s low, exceptionally low, shear strength means it can easily be used to coat the moving parts normally covered in lubricant. Instead, gold molecules slip past each other. Molding and unmolding under the forces of friction in a manner that acts as a lubricant. Gold makes space travel possible.

What do you think about the uses of gold in space travel and space communications? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 5

We have previously discussed why gold is valuable. It’s luster, and color make it a prized possession throughout the world. Cultures throughout the history of the world have long prized gold, uniting them against language divides and time. It conducts electricity, doesn’t tarnish, is easily drawn into wires hammered into sheets, can be melted, fused with other minerals, and can be made into heavily detailed shapes.
Today we are going to examine the medial usages of gold. As with electronics, and jewelry (both of which we have previously written about, and you can read if you are interested) gold’s intrinsic properties are what makes it so valuable.

While gold is not the most economically valuable metal, per se, when it comes to dentistry it is valued for different reasons. First, the cost to prepare gold for dental use is much less than other metals. While iron would be cheaper theoretically, it does not stand up under use the way that gold does. Iron fillings would need a blacksmith just to fix your mouth, and to be removed after rusting within days. Gold doesn’t rust, and it barely corrodes. It doesn’t change the taste your mouth either, and is aesthetically pleasing. Not only does gold look better than other options, but it performs at a much higher rate than others.

Dental
via https://www.sharpdental.com.au

Every article has touched upon another reason why gold is so vital in dentistry, and it will be touched upon here again. Gold is easily alloyed to other metals to improve its already substantial qualities. Gold alloys are thus found in fillings, crowns, bridges, and even orthodontic appliances. It is nonallergenic, and is very easy manipulated by dentists.

Gold is used, and valued, in traditional medical applications as well. It’s usage as a drug is vital in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Gold isotopes are also used in the guidance of cancer treatments as well. Gold is used to remedy conditions which cause a patient not to be able to close their eyes completely. Here, gold is implanted into a patient’s eyelids to give them added weight to close. Gold is picked because of it being chemically inert, and it’s nonallergenic properties. The usage of gold in diagnosing multiple conditions is vital to the medical field. It is used as a beta emitter in the body, helping to guide doctors on the correct path of treatment.

Finally, gold is incredibly valuable as the tools in which doctors perform surgical procedures. As we previously discussed gold is found in computers, electronics, and almost every device on Earth. The operating room is no different. Surgical instruments contain gold parts, and so do the life-support devices that assist in surgery. Gold is vital to the health of the world in this way.

What do you think about the uses of gold in medical devices and dentistry? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 4

Cultures throughout the history of the world have long prized gold, uniting them against language divides and time. It conducts electricity, doesn’t tarnish, is easily drawn into wires hammered into sheets, can be melted, fused with other minerals, and can be made into heavily detailed shapes.

Previously we have discussed the usage of gold electronics and electronic devices. Today we are going to dive a little deeper into a concern brought forward in that article. Namely the use of gold in computers. We discussed how vital that gold is in the products that make this world run, and computers are the backbone of modern society. Thus it makes sense to spend a little more time talking about gold’s usage in these vital components.

via http://bestbabel.com/

A quick recap on why gold is found in electronics so that we are all up to speed. You can also read the article on gold in electronics for more. Gold is a reliable conductor of electricity and electronic signals. As most electronics rely on low voltages and currents, it needs a metal that conducts without a degradation in signal. Gold accomplishes this with high reliability. The reason gold is such a reliable conductor of electric signals is because gold does not tarnish easily, and is not prone to corrosion. The same properties that make gold popular in jewelry is what makes gold vitally important in electronics. Gold is important the world over in this way.

As stated last time, if you need to make a connection then it will be made through gold. Your connections to the world are thus golden!

For computers in specific, gold is found in every device that can be classified as a ‘computer’ today. The standard desktop, to the laptop, to even your tablets and phones. Computers rely on rapid transmission of digital information. These connections need to be reliable, and they need to be efficient. This is why computer engineers have turned to gold. It is easily manipulated into the connections, shapes, and designs needed. While other metals may be cheaper, gold meets the high requirements of computer technology at higher rates than any others.

Gold is found throughout every component in a computer. The connectors used to mount the CPU and the memory chips are made of gold. The socket connectors and cables all contain cables. Connections, as always, are made through gold. Computers would not be able to function the way they do, and the reliability required without gold.

Another component towards gold’s reliability previously spoken about is the ability of gold to be alloyed to other metals. Read the article on jewelry for a more in depth take on this if you are interested. The short version is that gold can easily become attached to another metal, and this means gold can be alloyed to metals like nickel and cobalt. In this way gold is able to use their durability, and in turn provide this durability to computer products. Saying that gold is the most useful metal on earth is not hyperbole. It simply is.

What do you think about the uses of gold in computers? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 3

Gold is the most useful mineral that is mined from the Earth, and it is found electronics the world over. Its luster, and color make it a prized possession throughout the world.

Previously, we discussed the usage of gold in jewelry and financial transactions. Today we are going to discuss a use for gold that impacts our everyday life, even if we do not realize it. Gold found in electronics is vitally important to the world. It is found in tons of devices that makes the world run. Yet, the vital nature of gold in our everyday life has long lasting impacts.

Gold is found in electronics for multiple reasons. The ability of gold to conduct both electricity, and electronic signals, is unparalleled among precious metals. Solid state electronics operate by using low voltages and currents that depend on a lack of interruption. Gold can transmit at these low voltage points, and do so more reliably than other easily available metals.

One of the reasons that gold is able to transmit signals so reliably is because it is not prone to corrosion tarnish. This property, previously discussed in this series on why gold is popular in jewellery, makes gold highly valuable in electronics. Not only does it make gold valuable, but it makes the devices it is placed in highly reliable. This in turn makes them as valuable as the gold used to make them. Gold is mainly used in connectors, switch and relay contacts, and anywhere joints, wires, and strips need to be connected.

If a connection needs to be made, gold is the method through which electronics would ideally depend.

This reliability, and value, is found in the devices that power the modern world. Cell phones, computers, PDAs, GPS units, and all the way down to televisions and calculators. If it is electronic, it more than likely includes gold components. Electronics which do not feature gold are generally found to not be as reliable as those that are. The value of gold ensures the value of electronics.

There has arisen a minor problem due to gold’s reliability and value. With so much gold being used in electronics, it is slowly chipping away at the scarce supply of global gold. Nearly a billion phones are produced every year with gold components, each using approximately fifty cents worth of gold. With very few phones being recycled, literal millions of dollars worth of gold is being lost yearly. This translates to the remaining gold on the market slowly being worth more, and devices which depend on gold potentially costing more in the future.

What do you think about the uses of gold in electronics? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 2

Previously, we discussed the usage of gold in jewelry. One of the other major uses of gold throughout history, and into the present day, is its usage as a method of monetary exchange — in other words, as money. Gold transactions date back over six millennia, and continue strong into this day. Its high value and limited supply make it a useful medium for exchanges. In addition, gold’s durability, combined with its portability, have also made it an attractive option.

Paper money, until the past half century, was long backed by precious metals. Each bit of paper currency in circulation was carefully appraised based on the metal it represented. The strongest currencies were the ones backed by gold. Under this system, known as the “gold standard,” any person could exchange their paper money for its equal value in gold. Due to inflation, and the limited amount of gold, this system became untenable. It’s no longer used by any nation, despite calls from many to return to it.

The gold used for actual exchange, even as backing of currency, was typically held in bars. These bars are also known as “gold bullion.” Even with the dropping of the gold standard, bullion is still kept by many governments as a safe investment due to its continuing high value. Individuals and corporations also use gold as an investment. The bullion (and coins) allow for easy transportation, and a minimal amount of manufacturing.

Gold Coins
via http://www.coinweek.com

The first usage of gold coins is recorded as occurring in about 560 BC. King Croesus of Lydia — in what is a region of modern day Turkey — had coins of his likeness minted. This began a tradition of gold coinage that continued well into the 1900s — before paper currency became more common. The coins that were created typically represented either a unit of currency, or were a standard weight. Later, coins were also alloyed to other metals so that lower units of currency could be created.

Gold today plays a huge role in the world economy, despite the gold standard’s abandonment. Investors prize gold because it’s one of the few, very rare “safe investments” in the entire stock market.

What do you think about gold as currency? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 1

Gold is the most useful mineral we’ve ever mined from the Earth. It conducts electricity, resists tarnish, is easily drawn into wires or hammered into sheets, can be melted, fused with other minerals, and can be manipulated into complex shapes. Its luster, and color, make it a prized possession throughout the world. Cultures all throughout history have long prized gold, which united them in the face of language and cultural barriers.

In this multi-part series, we’ll be counting the ways our favorite metal has been put to use over the years. We’ll start with the most obvious — jewelry!

The most commonly known use for gold has been to make, and adorn, jewelry. About 78{5ef4f1494335cdf1c6713dc81e34bf8b01c1908fcb47b6adc339d702c3a163dc} of the gold consumed by customers each year is to adorn the body with. If you yourself do not own gold jewelry, there is a high likelihood that you know somebody that does.

The intrinsic qualities of gold are what made it perfect for manufacturing jewelry for hundreds of years. Its high luster, its resistance to tarnish, its ability to conform to various shapes and molds, and its rarity, are all qualities that place gold above the rest. Its many thousands of years spent as humanity’s favorite metal have ingrained in us the expectation that important items — objects, adornments, and anything we otherwise covet — should be made out of gold.

Gold
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Due to how soft and malleable gold is, it’s usually alloyed to other metals. The stress placed on pure gold under everyday usage conditions would cause it to break or degrade under normal wear, and normal usage conditions. Instead, craftsmen have learned to alloy gold to copper, silver, platinum, and other metals. This increases gold’s durability, and allows it to last longer.

However, gold alloys are worth less than pure gold. The standard of trade known as “karatage” was developed for the value per unit of gold. Pure gold is known as 24 karat gold, and is usually marked with a stamp that reads “24K.” 12 karat gold is gold that is 50{5ef4f1494335cdf1c6713dc81e34bf8b01c1908fcb47b6adc339d702c3a163dc} pure by weight, and marked with “12K.” The different karatage rates are derived the percentage out of 24 of a given weight. 75{5ef4f1494335cdf1c6713dc81e34bf8b01c1908fcb47b6adc339d702c3a163dc} gold would thus be 18 karat. High karat gold is softer, and more prone to tarnish and damage, while low-karat gold is stronger, and more likely to last. This makes 24 karat gold — ideal for bullion thanks to its purity — a bad choice for jewelry!

Gold alloys also change the color of the finished product, depending on the metal used for mixing. This all depends on the combination, with silver-copper alloys producing more yellow golds, and silver-copper-palladium mixtures produce a whiter gold. The mixture of your gold can be determined by a professional or by using equipment (or chemicals), but color-coding gives a good estimate, too.

Gold is important in jewelry not only for its value, but because of the luster it provides. Our long, storied history of using gold to adorn our bodies and fashion our most coveted items adds to the metal’s appeal. It’s tradition. The distinctive gold luster lets people know the worth, and value, of an object. Gold has value, because it’s intrinsically one of the most useful, rare metals in the universe.

Besides jewelry, gold is used for a great many things. We’ll be continuing this series and diving into some of the other great uses humanity has found for gold.

What do you think about gold jewelry? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

From our sister site: Fun Facts About Gold

Some of the many interesting and unique properties of gold.

While gold is mostly bought for investment purposes these days, gold is also an incredibly fun precious metal. It’s not just something that can be used as economic protection, even though you will find it most government repositories the world over.

From conducting electricity to being the easiest method to transfer wealth, gold has many interesting uses, and a storied history. Here’s some interesting facts about everyone’s favorite metal.

Gold bars NYC
via https://www.911metallurgist.com

– More steel is produced per hour than the amount of gold dug up throughout human history. This makes it an incredibly valuable metal, due to its scarcity. Most of the gold produced today comes from South Africa, who produces ⅔ of the world’s supply.

– 25 tons of gold is found in every cubic mile of sea water. While this amounts to a staggering 10 billion tons of gold just floating in the ocean, there is no economical way to recover it.

– The weight of gold is heavily deceptive, with a single cubic foot of it weighing half a ton.

– The largest gold bar in the world weighs 250 kg (551 lb). The largest gold nugget found “in the wild” was in in the United States, which weighed 195 pounds.

– Not only is gold edible, but the human body contains about 0.2 milligrams of gold — mostly in the blood stream.

– Gold, when chemically liquified, is used in treating rheumatoid arthritis victims. Seven out of 10 cases of rheumatoid arthritis victims have reported success with gold treatment.

– A hotel opened the world’s first gold vending machine in May 2010. The vending machine, naturally, is covered in 24-carat gold.

– Fort Knox held 649.6 million ounces of gold in 1941 when the United States currency was backed by gold. With the United States no longer on the gold standard, today, Fort Knox only holds about 147.3 million ounces. Switzerland itself was the last country to switch away from the gold standard in 1999.

– Gold is incredibly malleable, with a single ounce of it being able to be hammered into a wire 60 miles long. A single ounce can also be hammered into a sheet that is 100 square feet.

– Gold is also used in astronaut helmets, being incredibly important for allowing astronauts to remain cool thanks to its ability to dissipate heat.

– Three Olympic swimming pools can hold all the gold ever mined in the world.

– All the gold humanity possesses can be compressed into an 18-yard cube — which is roughly 1/10 the size of the Monument in Washington, D.C.

– More gold is held by Indian housewives than the currency reserves of the United States, International Monetary Fund, Switzerland, and Germany put together. Mr. T, on the other hand, holds a gold collection worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mr. T
via http://cf.broadsheet.ie

The first gold coins were created by King Croesus of Lydia in 540 BC, but gold has been around since before recorded history. In that time, as you can tell, it has become a valuable commodity for humans. Even more importantly, gold has remained a fun, and useful metal.

Have your own fun facts about gold you’d like to share? Have at it!

How Do I Keep My Gold Plated Jewelry Clean?

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We’ve talked a little bit about the differences between gold jewelry and gold plated jewelry before. If you’re looking to dress to the nines and show off a little shine without paying the premiums associated with pure gold silver, buying gold plated or hollow jewelry is one way to save a few bucks.

It looks nearly as good as the pure stuff — after all, it’s not too distant a cousin, and plenty of folks actually prefer gold plated jewelry to going all-out on costs. Usually the jewelry just has a heavier, more durable metal than gold underneath a thin layer of the real stuff. It’s a bit easier to maintain, less costly, and you won’t have a heart attack when you inevitably scratch or tarnish it.

We’re going to take a look at some fast tips and methods used by people all over the world to take care of their gold plated jewelry. Before we do, listen up:

These tips are specifically for gold PLATED jewelry. There are separate maintenance procedures for pure gold. Don’t try any of this stuff on your real gold! If you’re unsure of what you have, bring your metal to us or a jeweler your area. We’ll tell you exactly what you’ve got, and how to take care of it!

First step:

Clean with dish detergent (for gold plated bands without stones)

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Normally, any kind of detergents or cleaning chemicals accelerate tarnishing. Moisture such as the oils on our fingers, the water in the air, and our hygiene products all speed up the rate in which our jewelry deteriorates. When it comes to gold plated jewelry, however, a little moderation makes normal water and dish soap a perfectly acceptable cleaning solution.

Here’s what you do. Fill a bowl with warm water. Not hot water, but something warm from the tap. The reason warm water works best is because rapid temperature changes can damage your jewelry. If you want to get extra cleanliness points, you can use filtered water or club soba. Seltzer water works well, too.

Mix the soap in with the water until it’s one solution, and soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. About a half hour should do the trick — soapy water will work its way into the cracks and crevices in your jewelry, loosening up any grit or grime that’s been lodged there.

It’s for that reason we also recommend skipping this step if your jewelry has glued-in stones of any kind. Those pieces should never be left underwater, because the solution may loosen the glue used to keep your stones in place. If you have stones in your jewelry, you’re cleaning more than one material, so you’ll have to take extra care to research the best cleaning methods for your particular piece. We’ll touch more on how to clean jewelry with stones in it down below.

A warm water rinse after the fact will remove said dirt. Now, your jewelry is ready for a manual cleaning.

Polishing

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If you’re going to manually clean the jewelry, use the appropriate method. Very old, worn jewelry with tons of grit on it may be a candidate for something as heavy-duty as a toothbrush. Normally, we don’t recommend something that coarse. A toothbrush can actually pull the gold plating straight off your jewelry, giving it a sandpapery, dull look.

You definitely don’t want that, so go with a light, soft cloth (something you might clean your eyeglasses with), and gently polish your jewelry after soaking it in dishwasher. Special brushes exist for this purpose as well — the bristles are about as soft as a shave gel brush.

After a thorough rinse, dry your jewelry. Don’t press on it too hard with the cloth, because you may tarnish it by doing so. Many simply leave the jewelry sitting on a towel after a brief drying. It’s important to let the jewelry fully dry before wearing it, because any moisture trapped between it and your skin will only put you back at square one, with tarnish. Even worse — this is when jewelry is most susceptible to leaving those nasty green rings on your finger that stay there after removal.

Storage

(via Amazon.com)

After you’ve given your gold plated jewelry a wash, it’s time to store it. This is where a lot of folks go wrong — they leave their jewelry sitting out in the open air. It’s an easy mistake to make, but all told, it only serves to harm your jewelry.

We recommend taking your metals and storing them in an airtight ziplock bag, a jewelry box, or inside soft bits of cloth. The reason is simple — keeping moisture out is the number one thing you can do to help keep your jewelry tarnish-free. By keeping moisture away from it, you’ll extend the lifetime of the jewelry, especially its appearance, by a great deal.

You can buy chalk, silica gel pellets (those tiny bags that feel like they’re full of small pebbles that come with new shoes), or no-tarnish strips to store alongside your jewelry. These items all serve the same function — they attract and absorb any moisture that gets near your jewelry.

What about jewelry with gemstones?

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These pieces can still be cleaned using some of the same materials, but you have to be extra careful to never submerge this jewelry in water. Corrosive solutions such as ammonia and alcohol will damage your stones.

You can follow the above steps, only wet a cloth with a small amount of water and clean the jewelry as gently as you can. A jewelry brush or a similar soft-haired brush is ideal for cleaning the area around the gemstone. Just be sure to use something that won’t scratch or tarnish the piece, otherwise it’s defeating the purpose.

Dishwater didn’t do the trick…

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It won’t always. Sometimes jewelry is so dirty, perhaps because of its age, that it requires a cleaning much more intense than the one you’re giving it with just water and dish soap.

We don’t recommend using these methods for all jewelry, and definitely not often — but there are some “deep clean” techniques you can use for jewelry that’s more in need of life support than a trip to the makeup table.

Baking soda, toothpaste, or boiling water. Again, all three aren’t ideal for jewelry with glued or set gemstones. If you’re dealing with just banded jewelry though, you can liberally apply baking soda or toothpaste to a brush and start scrubbing away. Don’t do this with new jewelry — you’ll scratch the metal! If your jewelry is more grit and grime on the surface than it is gold plating, this is an okay way to go.

Submerging your jewelry in boiling water allows very fast-moving particles (that’s what heat is!) to get inside the cracks and knock loose all the dirt and grime lodged there.

General tips

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So, that’s the cleaning process. There’s more handy information you can put to use — here are some fast tips for all-around proper care of your gold plated jewelry.

1. Store the jewelry in a dry, secure place. Cloth is preferable.
2. Alcohol will remove grit and dirt, but avoid using it on pieces with gemstones.
3. Do not use bleach! Or anything you’d put into a pool, either.
4. Gemstones are very delicate and should never come into contact with chemicals that aren’t specifically approved for that specific type of stone.
5. Perfumes, shampoos, soaps — they’re great for us, but not for our jewelry. If you put this stuff on, and it gets onto your jewelry, you should clean the metals immediately. This stuff all harms a piece of jewelry’s coating.
6. Don’t wear your jewelry while swimming or exercising. Some jewelry can handle the swim, others can’t. A good rule of thumb would be to take your jewelry off before jumping in the pool. Before exercising, it’s very important to take your jewelry off. The sweat from your body is a very effective agent when it comes to tarnishing and corroding your jewelry.
7. Avoid coarse, rough brushes unless the piece you’re using is in desperate need of it, and “pristine” condition is no longer possible.
8. Last but not least — bring your metals to a jeweler if you’re not sure. They’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

So, those are some handy tips on how to clean, wear, maintain, and store your gold plated jewelry. Got your own? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Find the Perfect Cuban Link Chain

How to Find the Perfect Cuban Link Chain

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Finding the perfect can be difficult. another piece, we discussed some of the tricky business hurdles jewelers have to leap over to get started in the chain business. Long story short, it’s not easy — that’s why so many jewelers don’t stock these chains in their stores. That means it’s (often) a little difficult to get your hands on one.

We also have a breakdown on 5 of our favorite Cuban link chains in the hip hop industry, and we’re working with more artists to get the exclusive rundown on their world-class jewelry. As you can see from the pictures, these chains aren’t your everyday, entry-level items. They’re some of the flashiest pieces anywhere, and “expensive” and “custom” are two words that fit very well in a conversation on . That’s another reason jewelers typically have so many problems offering them to you.

There’s a hundred more reasons these chains are a little difficult to shop around for, but those two reasons, coupled with the amount of sheer misinformation out there in the world, make it tough to shop around for the perfect Cuban link chain.

The good news — it doesn’t have to be. We’ve compiled a list of things you need to be aware of if you’re itching to strap a Cuban around your neck in the near future.

First, consider:

Gold or silver?

(via thedailysheeple.com)

It seems like such a simple question, but “gold or silver?” can have a million different answers. If you’re asking us about gold and silver, we’ll tell you it depends on a number of things. Are you investing? Collecting? Buying coins or jewelry? Playing the market? Physical ownership or stocks? What’s your budget? You get the point.

When it comes to Cuban link jewelry, there’s a little less to consider. That makes things easier on the buyer. Of course, all jewelry should be treated well, and treated as an investment you wear on your neck. We, for example, buy back our jewelry from users all the time. Make sure it’s in good condition, and you’ll be able to market your Cuban link chains just like you would any other precious metal. In that regard, the normal silver vs. gold arguments apply, and the reasons for owning one over the other are the same you’ve been hearing since day one.

With Cuban link chains or rope chains (like what Run DMC made popular), there’s a culture element to the question. Style plays a big role, and how flashy or expensive the jewelry is may very well be a part of its appeal. For many, this means being as much of a showoff as possible, and opting solely for gold.

But gold is one of the most expensive metals in the world, and not everybody’s budget allows for their jewelry collection to include big, flashy gold jewelry. If that describes you, silver is a perfect alternative to gold. We’re not saying anything you don’t already know here, but silver’s attractive, valuable, rare, and one of the world’s leading materials for making jewelry.

You shouldn’t be put off by its value compared to gold, either. Another reason (besides budget) for choosing silver instead of gold: contrast. There’s a good chance you’ll be pairing this jewelry with a stunning medallion or centerpiece. If that’s the case, a silver chain may be more subtle than a gold one, which will allow your medallion to steal the show and draw everyone’s eyes to it. Don’t think of silver as a “next best thing” — sometimes, it is the best. Style your jewelry accordingly.

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Of course, some folks simply want and desire gold. We can’t fault them! Still, though, gold’s too expensive for some to get their hands on. That doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy gold jewelry though. They can look at gold plated jewelry instead.

Gold plated jewelry is exactly as it sounds — jewelry, usually a common, durable metal, plated in a thin layer of actual gold. This is much friendlier to the budget, and it won’t be obvious to many people. To the untrained eye, it’s the same stuff, and looks and feels nearly identical to full gold. This is only a feasible route to go down if you know and trust your dealer, mind you. It’s up to the retailer to be honest with you about the content of the metal. We’ve seen plenty of gold plated chains on the market selling for the same price the pure jewelry should, so there’s definitely some things to be on the lookout for here.

Shop around and get a feel for the difference in pricing between the various types of jewelry, and you should be alright.

You can get your hands on the same stuff your favorite artists have without spending three years’ salary on it. Imagine how much you’d save by shooting for gold plated hollow link jewelry. In appearance, it’s pretty much the same.

If you opt for silver, check out our guide on keeping it clean.

How heavy? Solid or hollow links?

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You may want to think about the weight of your jewelry before you buy it. This sort of chain can be very heavy, especially if you opt for solid gold or silver, and want a large chain.

If you’re on a budget, consider hollow link chains. They’re similar to solid link chains, only there’s a hollow interior to each of the links. That means less metal, which translates to less weight. The jewelry, on the other hand, looks just as good as solid link pieces do.

We have a few words of warning, though. You have to mind the price of gold, and make sure you’re paying an appropriate price. It’s crucial to trust your dealer if you’re buying hollow links, as it’s up to them to tell you how much gold content is actually in a piece. Not everyone is honest. Be extra careful when shopping around for gold chains.

You also should know that repairs are more difficult, and sometimes costly, with hollow link jewelry. They require a bit of labor to manufacture and maintain, so that could equal some additional costs down the line. It could also impact the price you get for your piece should you decide to sell it later on down the line.

Dimensions

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This is one of the main reasons behind the industry’s unwillingness to stock Cuban link chains. When you think of Cuban link chains, what comes to mind? It’s probably not a small, chincy piece of once-a-year jewelry. You probably think of big, flashy, expensive jewelry not unlike something straight from a music video. You’re totally right to think that way.

This makes sizing Cuban link chains something of a difficult task. Imagine you’re a jeweler and you want to get into the business of selling hip hop jewelry. How do you go about stocking your wares? Do you stock the insanely large pieces, like something you’ve seen Jay-Z or Kevin Hart wear? Do you only stock smaller, more realistic sizes?

General rule of thumb: the larger the jewelry, the more expensive it is. When it comes to flashy jewelry, that’s part of the game. Usually larger jewelry is heavier, too, but as we’ve seen, styles like hollow link jewelry can help make this manageable.

With Cuban link jewelry, sizing and stocking is difficult (which is why you don’t see these chains in too many display cases) because everybody has different tastes when it comes to the size of their jewelry.

We stock all sizes and dimensions of hip hop jewelry. From the sensible to the surreal, we’ve got what you’re looking for.

How many karats?

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This is another common question buyers have. It applies not only to hip hop jewelry, but all jewelry. Our advice to buyers on how many karats they should go for in their jewelry is usually the same, and that’s due to gold’s properties as a metal.

Without diving too deep into it, know that gold is one of the heaviest metals on Earth. In the universe, actually. Gold has many interesting properties, and one of those is called malleability. That’s the scientific term for how “bendy” something is. Interestingly, this ultra heavy metal isn’t rock solid, like you might think. It’s very soft, and can bend. The more pure the gold is, the less suitable it is for jewelry, because it’s not durable, and becomes damaged easily.

That seems ironic — jewelry is about pizzazz and flash. It seems weird that the more valuable the metal is, the less usable it is for showing off.

24k gold is the purest gold there is. Normally, bars and other very large pieces of gold are presented with this level of purity. That’s because people rarely touch those items. Gold coins are actually made mostly from other metals, and may have simple gold plating, or X amount of gold present in the metal.

This is done to increase durability — by blending gold with a much harder metal, items like coins can be circulated without worrying about destroying them. The same applies to your jewelry. You can’t have pure 24k gold for jewelry. Well, technically, you can, but not for links or pieces that will move around. Trust us, it’ll become damaged.

What you probably want is something more along the lines of 18k jewelry — still mostly gold, but contains enough harder metals to make the piece wearable, durable, and strong.

It’s really up to you how many karats you’d like to have. The less you go for, the cheaper the jewelry will usually be. The lower the karat number, the more durable the jewelry is. The higher, the more pure, but less ideal for jewelry, the gold is.

Got your own tips?

That should steer you in the right direction when you’re hunting for the perfect hip hop jewelry. We’ve got more guides on the way, and as always, we want to hear from you below.