Gold Explained

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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. 

I hope this helps when making your jewelry buying decisions. Thanks for viewing our auctions and come back often. goldbuyer57




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