Guide to Gold Purity
Scared of getting frayed off? Don't want to waste your money? Here’s a simple guide to understanding the different aspects of gold purity, how is it measured, and the difference between 24k, 22k, and 18k gold. We mostly visit our local jewelry stores to purchase gold jewelry. Also one can now even buy gold jewelry online as they offer some good deals. But how do you check if the gold that you have bought is unadulterated or pure? ‘Caratage’ is the unit of pureness of gold blended with other metals. The purity of gold is conveyed in carats, frequently abbreviated to ‘ct’ of ‘K’ in the USA and various other countries. The higher the cartage, the purer is the gold. The gold used for rings, bracelets, watches, and other fine jewelry is rarely 100% pure gold — instead, it comes in a variety of different purity levels. Pure gold has a purity of 24 carats. Various other purities exist that are measured relative to 24 carats. Lower cartages contain less gold; 18-carat gold contains 75 percent gold and 25 percent other metals, often copper or silver. 24 carat is pure gold with no other metals. The most common gold purity levels are 10K (karat), 14K, 18K, and 24K. Each level of gold purity offers its range of advantages and disadvantages, from hardness and durability to the risk of certain levels of gold purity contributing to skin irritation.
24k gold is also called pure gold or 100 percent gold. A great mix of purity, durability, and value for money. This means that all 24 parts in the gold are pure gold without traces of any other metals. Since it’s very soft and malleable, this type of gold isn’t used for engagement rings. It is known to be 99.9 percent pure and takes on a distinct bright yellow color. There is no higher form of gold than 24K. Since this is the purest form of gold, it is naturally more expensive than 22K or 18K gold. While gold purity levels can seem a little confusing at first, they’re fairly easy to understand once you’re familiar with the basics. Below, we’ll walk you through: As it is extremely soft, it bends and warps easily, making it a poor metal for jewelry that needs to retain its shape. Pure gold also scratches easily.
Every type of gold has a different purity level. Pure gold, or 24K gold, is 100% pure. 10K gold, on the other hand, is only 41.7% pure. 14K gold, which is the most popular type of gold for jewelry is 58.3% pure. There’s no “best” type of gold for every application. Instead, each purity level has its range of advantages and disadvantages.
18 karat gold is made up of 75% gold and 25% alloy. This type of gold is referred to as 18 karats because 18 out of the 24 parts that make up the gold are pure gold. 18K gold is 75 percent gold mixed with 25 percent of other metals like copper or silver etc. Usually studded jewelry and other diamond jewelry are made in 18K gold. This kind of gold is less expensive compared to 24K and 22K. This one has a slightly dull gold color. 18K gold is usually the purest form of gold used for rings, watches, and other wearable jewelry. In short, 18K gold looks fantastic, with the classic yellow appearance that most people associate with gold jewelry.
14K gold has a rich color, with the classic gold appearance that most customers look for in rings and other jewelry. Its color is slightly less saturated and intense than 18 karat gold, making it an excellent choice if you want gold jewelry that’s rich and attractive but not overly yellow. Compared to 18K gold, the main advantages of 14K gold are its durability and affordability. Rings and other jewelry made using 14K gold are significantly more durable than those made with 18k gold, making this type of gold a good choice if you’re concerned about scuffs and scratches.
14 karat gold is made up of 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy, or 14 out of 24 parts gold. 14K gold is the most popular gold for rings and other wearable jewelry in the United States, the UK, and other Western countries. About 90% of all engagement and wedding rings are made from 14K gold, making this a good go-to choice if you’re not sure which type of gold is best for your purchase. Due to its sturdiness, all favor the most affordable option, a 14 karat gold jewelry item.
Fineness is another way of expressing the precious metal content of gold jewelry and represents the purity in parts per thousand. In the West, the karat is expressed in fineness. E.g. 24 k gold is expressed as 1000 parts out of 1000 pure or fineness 1.000. 22 k is expressed as 22 divided by 24, multiplied by 1000 which will give you a fineness of 0.9166, 21 karat is 21 divided by 24 multiplied by 1000 which is 0.875 fineness, and similarly 18 karat is 0.750 fineness.