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24K, 22K, 18K, 14K Gold Explained
People often feel that the number given in Karats is an explanation of the "quality " of the jewelry. However, that is not true. The Karats used in describing gold jewelry should not be confused with the Carat used in describing diamonds. The Karats used for gold jewelry is a measure of the percentage of gold in the mixture.
Pure gold is too soft a metal to actually be practical for jewelry. It would be easy to bend out of shape and deform. As a result, gold must be alloyed or mixed with other harder metals to be practical for jewelry. This is where the Karat numbers come into play:
- 24 kt (short for Karat) is pure gold
- 22 kt is 91.6% gold and 8.4% other metals.
- 18 kt is 75% gold and 25% other metals.
- 14 kt is 58.3% gold and 41.7% other metals.
- 10 kt is 41.7% gold and 58.3% other metals.
If you have gold jewelry that is in other purities than mentioned here, you can figure it out with the following formula: Karat = 24 x (mass of gold //Total mass of all metals).
Recently, however, the purity of gold is being expressed differently. As with silver, the purity is mentioned as a fraction, such as 0.999 fine silver, and 0.925 sterling silver. The same can be said of gold.
- 24 kt gold is 0.999 fine gold (as pure as it gets)
- 22 kt gold is 0.916 gold
- 18 kt gold is 0.750 gold
- 14 kt gold is 0.583 gold
- 10 kt gold is 0.417 gold
The other metals mixed with gold is often wondered. Different metals can be used to give different colors to gold, such as yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, etc. The most popular alloy mixed metals are silver, palladium, copper, iridium, rhodium, and recently nickel. With rhodium prices skyrocketing, generally other metals are being used.
Celestial Jewelers is here for all your jewelry needs, serving Acworth, Kennesaw, Cartersville, Marietta, Woodstock, Holly Springs, Emerson and beyond. Providing: On Site Jewelry Repair, Watch Repair, Watch Batteries, Custom Jewelry Design & Manufacturing and Insurance Appraisals. We buy Gold, Diamonds, Silver and Gemstones. We Offer the Best Prices on Engagement Rings, Wedding Ring Sets, Anniversary Bands, Men’s Wedding Bands, Diamond Rings, Men’s Jewelry, Mother’s Rings, Pearls, Metaphysical, Precious, Semi-Precious and Unique Gemstones. See the Difference at Celestial Jewelers Today!
Gold, Silver, Platinum, Rhodium and Palladium are all examples of Precious Metals.