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Learn about Gold Karats : 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, and 24K

Gold Karat Content

Understanding Gold Karat Measurements: A Comprehensive Chart

In this detailed guide, we explore the intricate world of gold purity through our comprehensive Gold Karat Chart, breaking down the distinctions between 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, and 24K gold. Understanding the nuances of gold karat levels is crucial for both buyers and connoisseurs of fine jewellery.

A karat (K) is a unit of measurement that is dependent on the proportion of gold to alloy metals added. Each karat is a fraction of a gram of pure gold. The following is an explanation of karats that includes the percentages.

In the jewelry industry, diamond quality is measured in carats, the term carat originated from the carob seed, which has a similar weight to a grain of wheat. But gold karat is a different measurement. Gold karats measure the purity of the metal and how many parts of it are pure gold. The gold used in most jewelry is 18 karats or 24 karats, but some companies offer higher purity. Jewelry with 14 and 22 karats must also be marked to indicate the purity of the metal.

Gold karat is a measure of how pure gold is. Often times, the color of the jewelry will determine the karat. For example, yellow gold is 14k while white gold is 18k. Gold karat can be confusing because there are 24 carats to an ounce. An 18k bracelet would have 6 grams of pure gold in it while a 14k bracelet only has 3 grams of pure gold in it.

One of the first things that a person will learn about jewelry is the karat. However, what does a karat mean? A karat is a measure of purity for gold objects. In order to make gold jewelry, pure gold is mixed with an alloy metal such as silver or copper in order to make it more durable.

Gold Purity Table

8K33.3%.333 FineThis is the lowest karat at which “gold” may be referred to in Mexico. This is practically seldom seen in the United States unless it is imported.
9K37.5%.375 FineThis is a highly popular karat of gold in Ireland, and it is also the lowest karat at which “gold” may be termed in Canada. Likewise with this one.
10K41.7%.417 FineIn the United States, this is the lowest karat that may be termed “gold.”
12K50%.500 FineThe 12 karat standard was discontinued in 1932 when the 14K standard became legal, but some Black Hills gold is still produced in 12K.
14K58.3%.583 FineIn the United States, 14 carat gold is the most often purchased.
15K62.5%.625When the 14K standard was approved in 1932, the 15K standard was repealed.
18K75%.750 Fine18 karat gold is the most often purchased gold in Italy and other European nations.
19.2k80%.800 FineThis is a very popular karatage in Portugal.
20k83.3%.833 FineThis is an extremely high karat gold bar that is distinguished by its brilliant yellow hue.
22K91.6%.916 FineThis is another extremely high karat gold that is popular in Asia and is extremely soft due to the low content of strengthening alloys.
23.76K99.9%.999 FineThis is 99.9% pure gold and is a popular karatage in Hong Kong, China, and across Asia.
24K99.991000 FineThis is pure gold, without any alloys. In Turkey, India, and Asia, pure 24K gold jewelry is created, but it is very soft, slightly brassy in color, and more costly.

What is the best Purity?

The Best = 24K Gold

24 Parts Gold — 100% Gold This is the highest karat and purist form of gold jewelry.

Gold Karat Hallmark

FAQs About Gold Karats

Which is better 18K or 22K gold?

22K gold, which has a purity of 92 percent, is more resistant to corrosion than 24K gold, but less so than 18K gold. In this respect, 22K gold is a good compromise between 18K and 24K, although the 22K gold jewelry market is more varied than the 24K gold market.

Which is better 14k or 18K gold?

It is less expensive to buy 14k gold than 18k gold because 14k gold includes a lower proportion of pure gold. 14k gold also has a larger amount of alloyed metals, which means it will last longer and be more resistant to wear and tear. For people who lead more active lives, 14k gold is a wonderful option.

Is 10K or 14K gold better?

10K gold is significantly more durable than 14K gold, despite the fact that it is less expensive. In part due to the fact that it is created from a lower proportion of pure gold and a greater number of more durable alloy metals, this sort of gold is more resistant to scratches and other types of common damage than pure gold.

How can I tell if my 22K gold is real?

It is also possible to test your gold by scrapping it over a ceramic plate, which is a simple and rapid method. Simply draw your gold over an unglazed ceramic plate while applying a little amount of pressure to it. Following this procedure, examine the ceramic for a gold mark; if you can detect a mark, the gold is genuine. If, on the other hand, the mark is black, it is a fake.

What does 12k Gold mean?

The term “12k” relates to the purity of the gold, and it indicates that your item is 12 karats pure out of a possible maximum of 24 karats. It’s made up of 50 percent gold and 50 percent alloy, according to the manufacturer.

The value of 12k gold is the same as the value of 500 gold. When compared to higher purity gold alternatives, this form of gold is both more durable and more inexpensive. This is due to the fact that it comprises 50 percent alloy.

How can you tell 22K gold from 24K?

The most important distinction between 22 and 24 karat gold: A 24K gold ring is defined as having a 99.9% purity level, whereas a 22K ring is made of around 91 percent pure gold. The remaining 9 percent of the ring is made up of other metals like copper, silver, or zinc.

Does 14K gold turn green?

In contrast to pure gold, your 14K gold jewelry will most likely discolor green over a period of time. In addition to 14 parts pure gold, it comprises 10 parts alloy, which may include silver, palladium, bronze, copper, zinc, and nickel, among other metals. When these metals come into contact with air, they oxidize and produce skin pigmentation.

What is the best purity for everyday jewellery?

When choosing the purity of everyday jewellery, the best option usually balances durability and aesthetic appeal. For everyday wear, it’s often recommended to choose jewellery made from:

  1. Gold: 14-carat gold is ideal for everyday jewellery. It strikes a good balance between purity and strength, making it durable enough to withstand daily wear while still maintaining a rich colour and lustre. 18-carat gold is also a popular choice for those who prefer a higher gold content without compromising too much on durability.

  2. Silver: Sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver mixed with other metals, usually copper, is another excellent choice for everyday jewellery. It’s durable, relatively affordable, and easy to maintain.

  3. Platinum: Platinum is a great option for those looking for a white metal. It is naturally more durable and denser than gold, making it ideal for daily wear, though it is also typically more expensive.

These options are preferable for everyday jewellery as they offer a good compromise between appearance and the ability to withstand the rigours of daily tasks and exposure to elements.

How can you tell if gold is 22K or 24K?

Determining whether gold is 22-carat or 24-carat involves a few methods, each varying in precision and requirement for professional tools. Here are some ways to identify the carat of gold:

  1. Hallmarks/Stampings: The simplest method is to look for hallmarks or stampings on the gold item. These marks indicate the purity of the gold. For example, 22-carat gold may be stamped with “22K”, “916” (indicating 91.6% pure gold), or “917”. On the other hand, 24-carat gold, which is nearly 100% pure, might be marked “24K”, “999” or “1000”.

  2. Acid Test: This involves using a nitric acid test kit, where you apply acid to a scratch from the gold item on a test stone. The reaction, or lack thereof, helps determine the purity. For instance, if the mark from the gold does not dissolve or change colour when acid for lower purity levels is applied, it suggests a higher purity, potentially 22K or 24K.

  3. Electronic Gold Tester: This is a more modern and less destructive method. An electronic gold tester can provide a readout of the gold’s purity by measuring its electrical conductivity.

  4. X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometers (XRF): XRF is a professional and non-destructive technique used by jewellers and assay offices to determine the exact composition of the metal. This method is highly accurate and can differentiate between 22K and 24K gold.

  5. Density Test: Since 24-carat gold is more pure, it will have a higher density compared to 22-carat gold, which contains other metals. Measuring the density (by weighing the item and calculating its volume through displacement of water) can indicate its carat, though this method requires precise instruments.

For the most reliable result, especially for valuable items, consulting a professional jeweller or using professional testing methods (like XRF) is recommended.

Does 14K gold tarnish over time?

Yes, 14-carat gold can tarnish over time. Tarnishing in gold jewellery occurs due to the other metals alloyed with the gold. Since 14-carat gold is composed of 58.3% gold and 41.7% other metals such as copper, silver, zinc, or nickel, these additional metals can react with elements in the environment like oxygen, sulphur, and even certain acids found in skincare products or perspiration.

The tarnishing process is generally slower in 14-carat gold compared to lower carats because the proportion of gold is higher. However, it is more prone to tarnish than higher carats like 18-carat or 22-carat gold, which have fewer reactive metals. Regular cleaning and proper storage can help reduce the rate at which 14-carat gold tarnishes, keeping it looking better for longer.