Carat Vs Karat: Whats The Difference
Diamond carat is the globally recognized standard for the weight of a diamond or gemstone. One carat weights 0.20 grams. Karat is a measure of gold purity. 24-karat gold in addition to being the name of a pretty great Stevie Nicks album is pure gold. By comparison, 12-karat gold is 50 percent gold and 50 percent base metals or impurities.
How Many Carats Is Pure Gold
- 24 karat or 24-carat gold is the purest form of gold, although it is defined as being 99.9% pure since its virtually impossible to eliminate all impurities.
- This form of gold is soft and malleable. Its usually found in bullion bars and coins. Its not really suitable for making jewellery, because it is not hard enough to withstand a lot of wear.
- 22 karat or 22-carat gold is 91.6% pure. It consists of gold blended with alloys such as zinc, silver or copper.
- These are added to increase hardness and improve scratch-resistance. 22-carat gold is beautiful and highly tarnish-resistant.
- This type of gold is perfect for luxury jewellery, and a top choice for investors.
- 18 carat or 18-carat gold is 75% gold. This is the highest purity for white gold, which requires a substantial amount of silver and/or platinum to obtain the white colour.
- 12 karat or 12-carat gold is made up of 12 parts gold, 12 parts another metal. Its therefore 50% pure gold.
- 9 karat or 9-carat gold is 9 parts pure gold thats 37.5% pure. A 9ct gold ring, blended with alloys such as silver and zinc, is far stronger and more resilient than a 24-carat ring would be.
What Does Karat Mean
A karat is a unit of measuring the fineness or purity of gold. The higher the number in front of the word karat in reference to jewelry, means that the gold jewelry has a high percentage of pure gold. The karat measurement of pure gold is determined against any other alloys or mixed metals in the gold material. A karat is measured by fractions on a scale of 0 to 24. For example, 14k gold is 14/24 parts gold. The 14 parts convert to 58.3% pure gold. The other percentage is made up of mixed metals. This is why karats of gold are expressed as 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k. Outside the United States, karat may be spelled carat, which does not refer to the carats of diamond weight. If you see carat being used to describe gold jewelry, again that refers to the fineness or purity of gold measurement. If you are looking for diamonds then the term carat will be used to describe the weight fo the diamond gemstone. So now that you know the basics for gold purity measurements, lets get into which karat is pure gold.
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So Which One Is The Best 24k 22k 18k Or 14k
Truthfully, there isnt a clear answer it depends. Your decision should be influenced by how often youll wear the jewelry, what youll be doing when you wear it, the coloring you prefer, and your budget. Gold isnt a one-size-fits-all accessory and there are a few things to consider.
Heres a quick guide to understanding the different karats of gold youll encounter when shopping for the perfect piece:
Why Isn’t Pure Gold Used To Make All Jewelry
Since gold is relatively malleable, 24k gold is rarely used for jewelry that you might wear every day, like a wedding or engagement ring, since it’s likely it would become misshapen. Adding an alloy like copper, iron, silver, zinc, or nickel makes it more affordable and much more durable and suitable for daily wear.
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Formula: How To Find Gold Content & Dollar Value Of 18 Karat Gold
EXAMPLE: 18 K DIVIDED BY 24 EQUALS .0.75
.75 MULTIPLIED BY $1288 EQUALS $966
$966 DIVIDED BY 20 EQUALS $48.30
$48.30 x .643 equals $31.05 per gram
Production fee for average small gold chain is $2.20 pergram at todays price 20-10-2010 18k chain would cost $33.25 per gram.
This is ex factory cost
Large gold chain production cost $5.00 per gramplus profit
How Can You Tell If Gold Is Real
There are several ways to tell if gold is real. As mentioned above, any genuine gold pieces will bestamped with a hallmark stating the content of pure gold that it contains. Always check for thehallmark. The stamp is usually found on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, or on the inner band of aring.
A few hallmarks, such as EPNS, EPBM, and GF, also indicate that a piece is not real gold. As with GoldElectroplate, these symbols indicate that a piece is not actually made of gold but another metal, andhas simply been gold plated.
A simple test is one that can be performed at home to check if gold is real. Gold is a heavy metal,and therefore, real gold should sink. Drop your gold item into a jug of water. Any piece of supposedgold jewelry that floats is likely to be fake gold.
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Different Colours Of Gold
You’ve probably seen a variety of gold colours when looking at jewellery. The variations are all down to alloying with other metals.
You can identify 24ct gold by its very rich and warm golden colour. However, when you add copper, the resulting alloy is pink coloured and is known as rose gold, red gold or pink gold.
White gold includes a substantial amount of nickel, manganese or palladium. The white gold jewellery you will see in jewellery shops is almost always plated with rhodium, giving it a bright white colour. Unplated white gold is more of a warm grey and is not widely used in jewellery.
There is no such thing as 24ct white gold: the highest carat for white gold will generally be 18ct or 20ct, but the higher the caratage the more yellow the colour will be.
Advanced How To Understand The Meaning Of Gold Hallmarks
One of the main uses for Gold is Gold Jewelry. When buying agold necklace, a pair of earrings, a bracelet or a ring you really need to look atthe gold content in what your buying and think about what this jewelry will beused for.
Many people are not aware that the gold content or that thepureness of the gold alters the softness or hardness of the metal. So it would be useful to determine how oftenyou will be wearing your jewelry. Gold is a soft metal and can easily bendor be broken when in its most purest form.
This is a simple and informative guide for understanding gold hallmarks, how to identify them and the methods used for testing the purity of gold.
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How Do I Know Which Type Of Gold Is Best For Me
To help you select the best type of gold for you or your partner, consider the following:
- Budget: 10k gold is your least expensive option, while 18k gold is the most expensive.
- Type of jewelry: Earrings, necklaces, or special occasion jewelry often receive less wear and tear than items like rings, watches, and bracelets, and thus are more suitable for the higher karat contents.
- Aesthetic: Think about the intensity of the gold and what you prefer. If you like a lighter, more understated look, consider 10k. If you want something with a brighter yellow look, think about 18k.
Then Why Is Purer Gold More Expensive
If most industries do not seek or work with pure gold, it is natural to question why it is so valuable on the market. The simple answer is that gold is a commodity that is traded on the world market.
Pure gold is scarce, which makes it valuable. And there are places in the world in which pure gold is highly sought after. In East Asian countries such as Indiaone of the largest markets in the world22K or 24K gold is highly valued and sought after.
There is also a sizeable market in Western countries for pure gold. Some people are allergic to the alloys used in most gold jewelry and can only wear gold items that are on the higher end of the purity scale.
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Does That Mean 24 Karat Gold Is Best
Yes and no.
24 karat gold is the purest form of gold. Pure gold – or usually, near pure 22 karat gold is highly prized in many parts of the world. Because its so soft, its easy to shape into delicate and intricate jewellery.
However, 24 karat gold isn’t very durable. Its also very expensive. A 24 karat gold wedding ring would not only cost a lot but it would get bashed up pretty fast. Hence the demand for 9 karats and 18 karat gold alloys.
The Durability Of The Gold
What are the various marks of gold? Most of the time, goldcan be marked in several ways. Gold jewelry is often pounded with specificmarks that offer information on its fineness. These marks assist the consumerto find out the value and genuineness of every piece of jewelry. Most jewelryhas at least one mark specifying the content of the gold. Therefore, allconsumers who want to purchase jewelry should better check the marks.
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Gold Purity Terminology: What Is Gold Fineness
The measure of gold purity, or fineness, refers to the gold-to-metal additive ratio. Lets look at a few terms that you may come across when studying about or shopping for gold:
- Assay: A test that determines metal content and quality
- Bullion: Precious metals in a bulk, uncoined form such as gold bars, considered in mass rather than value
- Carat: Not to be confused with Karat in North America, a Carat is a unit of weight used for precious stones. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Outside of North America, Carat is used in the same context as Karat.
- Ductile/Ductility: How capable a metal is of being deformed using tensile force
- Hallmark: A symbol or mark stamped on a piece of precious metal that certifies its standard of purity
- Karat: Unit of measurement for the fineness of gold, with the higher numbers containing more gold and 24K being the finest
- Malleability: How capable a metal is of being deformed using compressive force.
- Millesimal Fineness: A system used to show the purity of precious metals by parts per thousand rather than karats
- Troy Ounce: 31.1034768 grams, or approximately 1.09714 standard avoirdupois ounces
- Troy Weight: A system of measurement used for gemstones and precious metals, where a full Troy pound consists of 12 troy ounces rather than the 16 avoirdupois ounces in a standard pound
What Is Carats In Gold
Heres where it gets confusing. In relation to gold and other metals, a carat has a completely different meaning.
The Karat or Carat system measures metal purity as a fraction. It tells you how many parts are pure. 9-carat gold is the minimum accepted standard of gold in the UK, and 24 carat is the purest gold. To add to the puzzle, the Carat number is not usually stamped on the metal. That number is linked to the percentage of pure gold.
Did you know? The English carat measure is visible into four grains, each of which is divided into four quarts.
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Does A Higher Karat Mean Higher Quality Gold
To put it simply, no. Whilst 24k is the purest form of gold available, it does not mean it is of a higherquality. It means that there is more gold in it, and therefore it is more valuable. However, 24 karatgold is rarely used in making jewelry, as pure gold is too soft and can be easily damaged. Gold that isblended with more alloys is stronger. This is preferable especially for jewelry as the lower karatsmake a piece of jewelry more durable. The lower the karats in a ring, for example, the stronger it willbe.
The most common karat used in jewelry and generally the most sought after is 18k gold. This meansthat 18 out of 24 parts of the piece is pure gold, a relatively high number. The one quarter thatis not gold will be made up of other alloys, making the jewelry more durable, better for everydaywear and slightly cheaper.
The lower the number of karats, the less amount of pure gold it contains, so the more affordable,more durable and more suited for daily use it will be.
What Are The Most Common Gold Purity Levels
Gold and gold alloys are measured by the percentage of pure gold per other elements. The purest gold is 24k, which has 24 out of 24 parts gold with no other metals present. The next purest gold is 18k, which has 18 out of 24 parts gold, and 14k and 10k follow the same standards. While jewelers can make gold alloys in any karat amount, 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k are the most common for their appearance and suitability to specific types of gold jewelry.
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How Else Is The Purity Of Gold Measured
The Carat or Karat is a measurement mainly used in the United Kingdom or United States respectively. However many European countries, as well as the four Assay offices in the UK, when hallmarking use the millesimal fineness system for standardisation. This system is represented by the purity of Gold, Platinum and Silver alloys by parts per thousand of pure metal by mass in the alloy. For example an alloy containing 91.6% of Gold is shown as “916” and is usually rounded to a three digit number, particularly when used as a hallmark.
How Did The Carat System Start
In order to understand what a diamond carat measures, it would help to know the origins of the modern carat system. Carat weight started with the carob seed, when early gem traders used the small, uniform seeds as counterweights in their balance scales. Today, the carat is the same milligram weight in every corner of the world.
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Does High Karat Mean Higher
Purer gold does not mean better, it means more pure, worth more money, and more expensive. With gold, the phrase less is more can certainly apply. As stated earlier, the less pure the gold is, the more alloy metals it contains. Gold that is blended with more alloys is stronger. This may be preferable especially for jewelry as 24K gold is very soft and not as durable. The lower the karats in a ring, the stronger it will be. Lets compare lower and higher karats:
- The lower the karat, the stronger it will be, while higher karat gold will be softer.
- Lower karat gold is not tarnish-resistant. Higher karat gold is much more resistant to tarnishing.
- Lower karat gold is not worth as much monetarily. Higher karat gold is more valuable because it is purer.
- Higher karat gold will appear more yellow.
Choose the purity level that makes the most sense for what you intend to use it for, whether you will subject it to a lot of force, and your personal preferences.
What Is A Gold Karat
A ‘gold karat’ is exactly the same thing as a ‘gold carat’: the difference is simply that in US English the word is spelled with a K instead of a C. And in the US you’ll see ’24K’ used to indicate purity rather than ’24ct’ as in other countries. As we’re in Australia we use ‘ct’.
The English have been spelling the word as ‘carat’ since around 1300 and this is the spelling that continues to be used in the UK, Australia and other countries.
When it comes to gemstone mass, US English spells the word as ‘carat’ … just to add to the confusion!
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What Is An Alloy
Pure gold is very soft, so it is rarely used on its own. Instead, other metals are added to gold to alter its durability, strength, color and price. This mixing of metals produces what’s known as an alloy. Some common metals used in gold alloys are silver, nickel, copper, zinc and platinum. Silver is a popular component in gold alloys because it is tarnish-resistant, which helps keep it shiny and scratch-free.
Different alloys also determine whether gold is hypoallergenic or not. For example, like gold, silver is a hypoallergenic metal, so people are unlikely to have an allergic reaction from gold/silver alloys. However, low-carat golds often contain higher portions of potentially allergenic metals. Therefore, people who are allergic to certain metals should opt for high-carat gold. Additionally, some natural alloys, like cadmium, are toxic and cannot be used to make jewelry.
What About White Gold
To make “white gold” jewelry, Pure Gold is mixed with white metals such as Silver & Palladium. The karat of White Gold follows the same pattern as Yellow Gold, with 18K White Gold containing 75% gold, 14K White Gold containing 58% and 10K contains 42%.
The key to White Gold is Rhodium-plating. Remember, Pure Gold is a deep yellow color, and even when it is mixed with white metals it needs an extra kick to make it “whiter than white”. To give White Gold a real shine, the jewelry is coated with a very white metal called Rhodium.
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