Pure gold in jewelry is rare because that pure gold is just too soft to be of practical use. Gold jewelry is more likely to be 14-karat gold or, less commonly, 18-karat gold because those are alloys with other metals mixed in with the gold to give the gold some structural strength.

This doesn't mean you can't use 24-karat gold in jewelry; just that you have to be careful about how and where you use it. You want to protect the gold so that its softness doesn't work against it and ruin the look of the jewelry.

Use It Sparingly

First, use it sparingly. 24-karat gold is expensive, and even if you can afford the amount of scrap gold you want to use, too much of it can make the jewelry too fragile to effectively wear anywhere, turning it into a waste of money. Maybe if you were creating a pendant with a jar filled with 24-karat gold flakes, you could get away with placing a lot of gold there, but in most jewelry applications, you'd have to make the piece very big if you wanted to showcase a lot of 24-karat gold. When you design your jewelry piece, use the principle of less is more for the 24-karat sections.

Do Not Use It for Load-Bearing Applications

Do not use 24-karat gold for any application that will place the gold under stress. Do not use it to hold gems; the gold may be too soft to keep the gem in place. For example, prongs on a ring can be bent away from the gem if the prongs snag on an edge as you reach into a drawer. Do not use it for clasps as the soft gold could be pulled out of shape easily, opening up the clasp. You can use 14-karat gold for clasps and 18-karat for charms and other features that might hit things like tabletops, for example, when you lean over.

Save the 24-karat gold for sections of the jewelry where it will be on display but protected. A small acrylic bottle pendant filled with gold flakes looks nice, as does a piece with 24-karat gold inlaid borders within a larger design. (A flat expanse of 24-karat gold could wind up with dents, as could 24-karat gold used for external borders around the outside of the piece.) Decorate pendants with 24-karat gold flakes, but use harder 18-karat or 14-karat for sections that need to maintain a smooth surface.

The form of the scrap gold you can find may give you additional ideas of what to do with it, especially if you're limited in your ability to reshape the scrap gold (e.g., not having access to equipment that would let you safely melt and mold the gold). Just be sure that whatever you choose to design, any 24-karat gold will be protected from things that could scratch it and yank it into different shapes.

If you're ready to buy scrap gold, contact gold sellers and buyers.