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Why is Gold So Popular?

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Authored by Sylvia Cochran in Jewelry
Published on 01-12-2010

Even just a casual observer will notice that in the midst of a recession, jewelry sales are not slowing as much as might be anticipated. Indeed, gold jewelry in particular is virtually flying off store shelves. The same holds true for gold investments. Why is gold so popular? Should you invest in some of your own?

Gold and the American Landscape

Gold is the quintessential precious metal and throughout the years marking the turn of the century, the cry of “gold” ensured sudden rushes to even the most remote locations. Whether to the far recesses of Alaska or the mountainous regions of California, gold sent men panning and digging, while families and businesses followed.

In simplest terms, gold – the raw material — is a bona fide means of keeping inflation at bay and having a recession proof currency on hand. This of course is now being proven one more time; investors who got badly burned by the dipping stock market are putting their equity into gold, hoping that there they are fairly inoculated against any further market ups and downs.

Why is Gold so Popular … Even As Jewelry Won’t Hold the Same Value?

Gold by itself is too brittle for jewelry making. Unless used in thick strands or balls, fine gold jewelry almost always requires the use of inferior metals during the processing, which in turn hardens the gold. Yet since gold is so easy to work with and requires very little effort when it comes to shaping, jewelry makers delight in using the material for their more intricate pieces that require a pliable setting for maximum artistic value.

When Gold Disappoints and How to Avoid the Heartache

Consumers desirous of investing their funds in gold should stay away from jewelry and instead opt either for coins or bars. If jewelry is the preferred route, buy – but do not routinely wear – 24 karat gold; although purer than 14 karat pieces, the higher karat count also makes the pieces more brittle. Additionally, stay away from intricate workings and instead go for the gold quantity in the form of solid rings or earring hoops.

When it comes time to turn the investment into cash, the weight and value of the gold trumps any workmanship, which is incidentally the main reason why a lot of gold jewelry is so expensive. Be sure to question a very lightweight bit of gold jewelry, since there is a good chance that it is actually hollow. While this cuts down on the price, it also makes the gold jewelry easier to break, harder to fix and less valuable during resale.

Beyond the Money: Why is Gold so Popular with Teens?

Teens are likely not overly concerned with the resale value of gold jewelry; that being said, gold is immensely popular with this age group. The answer as to why gold is so trendy with the teenaged set is simply found in its chemical makeup: purer than a lot of other jewelry materials, it does not irritate already acne-prone skin and thus makes wearing the gold pieces simply more comfortable.

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