Understanding gold Karats

Understanding gold Karats

Gold is a popular and top choice metal of fine jewelry. But it doesn’t take too long for the confusion to set in when presented with a combination of letters and numbers such as “18K” or “24K”.

This post will explains everything you need to know about gold in 10 minutes or less.




1. Gold Karat

The purity of gold is measured in Karats or simply “K”, just like weight is measured in pounds or kilograms or diamonds are weighed in Carats. 100% pure gold is 24 Karats or 24K. When gold is mixed with other metals such as zinc, copper, silver, the purity of gold decreases.

Using 24K as our starting point for 100% pure gold, 22K gold is 91.67% pure gold, 18K gold is 75% pure gold and 14K gold is 58.3% pure gold.

Gold carat weight

2. Gold Color

In addition to the Karat, you’ll need to decide on the gold color. The most common gold colors are yellow, white and rose. These colors are formed when 24K pure gold is mixed with other metals.

  • Yellow gold is formed by adding zinc, copper and silver to the pure gold alloy. The yellow gold colors can be altered by changing the proportion of mixed metals.
  • White gold is formed by adding nickel, manganese or palladium to the pure gold alloy. Nickel can cause allergic reactions, so it might be best to avoid white gold without nickel.
  • Rose gold is formed by adding copper and silver to the pure gold alloy. 18K rose gold is our personal favorite and also a popular metal choice among Russians.

Yellow gold, white gold, rose gold

3. Gold Price

A simple google search will tell you the price of 24K gold.

However there is additional cost involved to transform gold into a fine piece jewelry. An example of such costs include cost of mixing 24K pure gold with other metals to create a gold color of your choice and lost gold during jewelry making process and polishing. Thus the gold price you see on your google results page can be deceiving as it does not give you a full picture of the true cost of gold in jewelry.

 So here are the 4 key takeaways:

1.In order to ensure your diamonds and gems are set firmly in gold, opt for 14K or 18K gold. As you get closer to 24K gold, the metal starts to get softer and the risk of losing precious stones increases. Softer gold also wears quickly and can dent easily.

2. The color of gold depends on your personal preference. There is no right or wrong answer.

3. Avoid gold that is mixed with nickel as it can cause allergies.

4. Gold purity is important and creates value. Visually 10K gold may look the same as 18K gold. However 10K gold is of lesser value because the metals such as copper, zinc, silver that are mixed with pure gold alloy cost significantly less.

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