Shopping for Gold in Cartagena

Note: All gold sold or crafted in Cartagena Jewelry Stores is 18kt or purer. It´s the Law.

You should be aware of the various qualities of gold jewelry. The manufacture of gold jewelry consists of three basic methods:

CASTING- is the replication of a single piece, using a mold of the same design. This mass production results in the lowest cost per item of manufacture and therefore the cost is less.

DIE STRIKING- is the use of a ring casting mold that is about 20 percent larger than the intended finished ring. Metal is placed within the mold and repeatedly machine struck compressing the metal down to the actual desired size. The result is a ring that is more dense. It is stronger and will wear longer.

HAND CRAFTING- begins with the basic metal in various forms: bars, tubes, rods, plates, rings, etc. The gold is hand crafted into the desired shape using various specialized tools and years of skill on the part of the artisan. This type of work is the most demanding of experience, time and artistry.

Ask your Cartagena Jeweler how the gold piece you are interested in was made. When you look at the work through a jewelers loupe, the quality will be apparent. The price of course, is relative to the quality of workmanship and design.

All of the above methods of manufacture can produce pieces that will make fine additions to your wardrobe. Just remember that the finer the workmanship, the higher the price.

The HALLMARK STAMP appears on the piece and shows the name of the manufacturer. The CONTENT STAMP shows the gold content of the item. In Cartagena the Content Stamp will show 18kt or higher. In some countries such as the United States, it is very common to see pieces made of 14kt gold. Jewelers there have been telling their customers for years, that pieces made with less gold content wear longer. This is not true. An 18kt. piece will out wear a 14kt piece. Buyers in such countries as Italy, consider anything less than 18kt jewelry as costume jewelry!

Yes, it is possible to buff off the "0" in 10kt, the "4" in 14kt and add an "8". However, in Colombia, the national government has decreed that all gold jewelry manufactured or sold within Colombia must be fabricated from a purity of 18kt gold-or more. Severe penalties awate those craftsmen or companies who do not respected this law.

GOLD CHAIN. When you examine gold workmanship with a loupe, it will be apparent as to how the chain was constructed. Handmade prices cost about 20% more than chain of the same weight, made by machines. When hand made chain is viewed under the 10X loupe, each link will be slightly different than the others.

POROSITY. The loupe will also reveal porosity, which indicates that the piece was cast. If there is too much porosity, it could be a sign that the piece may not be strong and if it is a ring, it may break. If the item has a smooth finish, it indicates a higher degree of craftsmanship. Pieces that are rough and unpolished indicate that the piece was quickly made, and therefore the value is less.

About the cost of gold.

Gold prices are firmly set in every country and they reflect the world price of gold which may vary day to day. Gold is money. No one can sell gold for 60% off, just as no one gives away money. Beware of such claims. You get what you pay for.

The jewelers mark up, however is another story. During the off season, you can almost always strike a better deal. And, buyers often can get even better prices near the end of the month when the jewelers bills, plus employee salaries and commissions come due. Always ask the jeweler or sales clerk for their best promotional price. Remain silent until you get an answer. Another tip: if you are equally interested in two different pieces of the same apparent quality, which cost about the same, but you can only buy one, select the piece which weighs the most.

Ask questions. Inspect. Compare. Use your common sense. Enjoy your jewelry…you deserve the best-from Cartagena.