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Gold

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Gold is so revered it is used as actual currency.  Wars have been fought for it, lives have been lived in pursuit of it - its fascination to us goes beyond reason.  I suppose I'm getting in to touchy territory talking about this precious metal, but I'll try it anyway. I am not a metalsmith, and up to this point I have not chosen to use gold, partly because of cost, and partly because it can be a little unpredicatable for reasons outlined below. Here is some of what I have learned:


Gold is an Alloy
Like silver, pure gold is too soft to wear as jewelry without a hardener being added to it. Usually the hardening elements used with gold include some combination of silver, zinc, nickel, copper, and palladium. Anything that is at least 10K gold can be classified as  "solid gold" in the U.S. As you see by the list below, most gold is alloyed with other metals, and since nickel is a reliable hardener, nickel is one of the possibilities. 
The breakdown is more or less like this…