When searching for a ring or any type of jewelry, you hear terms such as 10K Gold, 18K Gold, and 24K Gold. Many people wonder what these terms mean, which is why we decided to publish this post to explain gold's purity and answer some questions.
Karats in Gold
Gold's purity is expressed in karats, which is abbreviated as K. In this purity scale, gold is hypothetically divided into 24 parts and each part stands for pure gold. Therefore, 24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold. Higher the karat, purer the gold is. The following scale provides some information about gold's purity depending on its carat:
24 Karat: 99.9% Pure
22 Karat: 91.7% Pure
18 Karat: 75% Pure
14 Karat: 58.3% Pure
10 Karat: 41,6% Pure
A question that is often asked is, "Why don't you sell 24K Gold jewelry?". More gold is better right? This is not always the case in jewelry. Gold in its pure form is not a very strong metal, and to increase its hardness, it is mixed with stronger metals such as copper and silver. As a result, 14K and 18K gold are more common in jewelry since they are stronger. 22K and 24K high purity gold are commonly bought as investments instead of ornaments.
By mixing gold with other metals, different colored gold may also be obtained. An example is, mixing 75% pure gold with 25% copper would give you 18K Rose Gold. This resulting 18K Rose Gold alloy is significantly harder than 24K Pure gold. If you are interested in different colored golds, you may check out our other posts.
Gold in its pure form is relatively soft,
Gold is mixed/alloyed with harder metals to be used in jewelry,
Mixing gold with different metals also give colored golds.