Understanding The Carats of Gold

Understanding The Carats of Gold

Gold is an intriguing and valuable metal that has been used for centuries in jewelry, coins, and other decorative items. Many people are curious about gold and its various properties, including its purity and weight. Although gold is no longer used as a medium of exchange, it still serves an important role in today's economy. Gold carat is often used as a form of investment, and its price is influenced by several factors, including economic stability and inflation. In addition, 14 karat gold is a popular choice for jewelry and other decorative items. Its unique properties make it ideal for use in a wide range of applications, from electronic components to dental fillings. Though its use has changed over time, gold remains an important part of the modern world. 


In this blog, we will explore the various carats of this precious metal and what each one means for your investment. You will learn what a gold carat is, the different types of gold carats, the color, fineness, and purity of each gram of gold. 


With this information, you can make an informed decision on your gold purchases, be it a 14 karat gold or 10k gold

What are Carats?

Most gold that is presently owned or bought by consumers is in the form of jewelry. This is why jewelry is a mixture of pure gold and other alloys such as copper, nickel, palladium, or silver. This is where carat comes in. Gold Carat or Karat ( as it is spelled inside North America) denotes the purity of gold in a piece of jewelry or an ornament. A piece of jewelry that has a fractional measurement of 24-24 carat is considered pure gold jewelry. In every piece of jewelry, the carat is denoted with a tiny numbered stamp in the format of xxKT or xxK, which is called a Hallmark. The number in the place of ‘xx’ will indicate the type of gold to the actual content in the jewelry under inspection. 


The value of gold jewelry is measured by how many carats it contains. The higher the number of carats, the more expensive the item will be. Most gold jewelry is 18 or 14 carat. 18-carat gold contains 75% pure gold, while 14-carat gold contains 58.5% pure gold. The rest of the metal is made up of other metals, such as silver and copper, which give the gold its strength and durability. Carats are a measurement of purity, not weight, so two pieces of jewelry can have the same weight but different carat values. 


Reasons Why Manufacturers Mix Metals with Gold


As mentioned above, one of the reasons that manufacturers mix gold with alloys or metals is to make it harder, and the second reason is to decrease the manufacturing price. Thus, this differentiation of gold jewelry makes them accessible to all economic classes of society.


Hardness

Because of its soft nature, wearing jewelry made of pure gold daily basis is impractical. Jewelry such as rings, bracelets, and necklaces that will be subjected to everyday life rigor are made by mixing the gold with hard alloys. This durability of hard alloy-mixture makes it ideal for all kinds of jewelry.


Price

When pure gold is mixed with other metals which are less costly, the price of jewelry comes down as the cost of raw materials goes down. What this means is that the cost of 14-carat jewelry will be less than the 22-carat jewelry.


Factors That Affect The Carat


Carat of jewelry is also affected by factors such as the color of the jewelry and the fineness with which it is crafted.

Color

When other metals or alloys are induced into the gold, the color of the gold jewelry also goes through slight alteration. The ratio of multiple hues present in the different metals will have the final say in the final color of the jewelry. The standard gold precipitate will go through a color transformation of pink, red, and rose, with various alloys added. Following are the colors of gold and various alloys that create them.


Color of Gold

Alloys Infused

Rose gold

Copper

White gold

Silver, Nickel, Palladium 

Green gold

Silver

Composition of Caratages or Fineness


Fineness is one of the ways of denoting the precious metal constituents of jewelry made of gold. It represents the purity of gold in parts per 1000. These are stamped on the gold jewelry without the usage of a decimal point. Following are the composition of different caratages:



Caratage

Gold

Silver 

Copper 

Zinc

Palladium

Rose Gold

9k

37.5%

20%

42.5%

Rose Gold

10k

41.70%

20%

38.3%

Rose Gold

14k

58.30%

9.2%

32.5%

Rose Gold

18k

75%

9.2%

22.2%

Rose Gold

22k

91.7%

8.40%

White Gold

9k

37.5%

62.5%

White Gold

10k

41.7%

47.4%

0.9%

10%

White Gold

14k

58.30%

32.20%

9.50%

White Gold

18k

75%

25% (or Pt)

White Gold

22k

None

None

None

None

None

Yellow Gold

9k

37.5%

42.50%

20%

Yellow Gold

10k

41.70%

52%

6.30%

Yellow Gold

14k

58.30%

30%

11.70%

Yellow Gold

18k

75%

15%

10%

Yellow Gold

22k

91.70%

5%

2%

1.30%


Difference between Gold Carats


Now that it is established that the purity of the gold is calculated by the caratage, a study of different carats and their difference is obligatory. May the gold be molded into bars, coins, or beguiling jewelry; the carats determine the purity of the output. Following are the different gold carats and some of their differences.


24 Carat 

When a piece of gold jewelry is said to be 24 carats, it means that there is no alloy or other metal mixed with it. This is the purest form of gold on  the market and has a distinctive golden color to it. However, because of the hundred percent pure gold usage, the jewelry will be soft and prone to bending. Due to this reason, 24-carat is not mainly used to manufacture any jewelry. They are just reserved for making coins and bars. But if and when they are to be used in jewelry, some alloy is mixed to make them durable. Also, 24-carat is used in electrical appliances for them being a good conductor of electricity.


22 Carat

22 carat is used in most gold ornaments. When jewelry is said to have 22 carats, what that means is that the 22 part of the metal is gold and the other 2 parts is another alloy. Thus made jewelry is only 91.67 percent pure gold, and the rest, 8.33 percent, is made up of alloys like zinc, silver, nickel, etc. Despite its preference, the 22 carats is not used in heavy jewelry that needs to hold big hefty stones like diamonds and other precious heavy metals. Most of the 22-carat jewelry is not worn on a regular basis and they are set aside for special occasions only (like marriage, for example).


18 Carat

18-carat gold jewelry is less expensive than those jewelry made of 22 and 24 carats. When jewelry is made of 18 carats, what that means is that 75 percent of it is pure gold and the rest 25 is other alloys like zinc or copper. This caratage is highly suitable for holding heavy stones like diamonds and other hefty studs. The color of this jewelry will be a rich tone of yellow with a dull shade, and they are perfect for those who are prone to metal allergies. Rings, watches, and other wide ranges of heavy jewelry are made using 18 carats. 


14 Carat

As its name suggests, the 14 karat gold (carat) is 14 parts pure, and the rest 10 parts other alloys like silver, zinc, or nickel. A 14k gold jewelry is 58.3 percent gold and 41.7 percent mixture of other alloys. This mixture of the higher percentage of alloys makes them susceptible to wear and tear and, therefore, suitable for daily use. 14-carat jewelry does not cause any allergic reaction to the skin while wearing them. The color of this jewelry is, moreover, a lighter yellow due to the lower saturation of gold. 


10 Carat

10-carat is 10 parts pure gold out of the 24 parts, and the rest of the 14 parts are other alloys or metals such as zinc, silver, or nickel. A typical piece of jewelry made of 10k gold is around 41.7 percent gold and 58.3 percent alloy. The 10-carat jewelry can be the go-to option for those who look for a less expensive but long-lasting jewelry. One of the biggest trait is that it is quite durable and can resist scratches or any kind of dents on the jewelry 



What Carat Will Suit You?


To know what carat of jewelry you should select, first, you have to answer a set of questions such as “is it for occasional use or regular use,” “you want precious stones such as diamond or other stones added to it or not” and “whether you are allergic to gold or other alloys used or not.” Based on these questions answered, you will be able to know what carat is right for you. By approaching Bayam jewelry, you can avail the best 10k and 14k ornaments that are handcrafted by jewelers with unique designs. 


Click here and reach out today to adorn your collection with distinct pieces of jewelry.




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