Gold purity or percentage is measured in “karats” denoted by the letter “K” and most of us are familiar about the term karat while purchasing gold jewellery.It is an accepted fact that 22Kt is more expensive than 14Kt gold. Here, we will explain the term Karat that will be helpful in determining the value of this precious metal during your next jewellery shopping.
There is an interesting history behind the origin of this purity measuring unit. The term was originated from carob seeds as in Asian countries they were used to balance the scales that determined the weight of gold. A Karat i used to measure the purity of gold and its amount in a piece of jewellery indicates the percentage of pure gold in it. It means that gold is measured by its purity against a 24 partition.
Different types of Gold Karats
24Kt is pure gold and it can be seen only in bullion bars. As it is too soft to be used in crafting jewellery, it is mixed with other metals to make it stronger. Usually, the most pure gold that can be seen in jewellery is 22Kt which has a shiny yellow appearance. Technically speaking, it is 91.6% Au which means that 22/24 parts of it are made with pure gold. The colour changes, depending upon the kind of metal alloyed with original gold – mixing with copper gives a slightly red hue whereas adding zinc will give a more yellowish shade. The best quality jewellery is 22Kt gold mixed with silver and it is the most expensive one. As this is the softest form of retail jewellery extra care should be given so that it does not wear out from daily use.
18 karat gold contains 75% Au, which means that 18/24 parts of this form are pure gold. It is one of the most favourite type to make jewellery as it is strong enough to hold gemstones like diamonds, emeralds, rubies etc. in their place without weakening the prongs or the gems falling out. It is highly appreciated for its radiance and it has a brighter tone when compared to 14 karat and 9 karat gold.
Other than yellow gold, there are other forms of gold also in the jewellery market that are rising in popularity these days. Rose gold, the trendiest form is 18 karat and it is composed of 75% gold and 25% copper giving it the pink tone. It will be interesting to know that most of the antique jewellery were made of rose gold as copper alloys were used widely in the middle ages.14 karat gold is about 58.5% pure providing a warm yellow colour and it is relatively low priced than its 18 karat version.
Even though gold will not tarnish, other metals in the alloy will be damaged with the passage of time and jewellery with low karat are also likely to produce skin allergies. 22 karat will retain its glowing look forever when compared to the18 karat, 14karat or 9 karat variety and so on.It is easy to recognise karat from hallmarking and 22karat jewellery is marked with “916” which indicates that it is 91.6% pure. Similar hallmarks are found on other forms of gold jewellery also making it easier for the customer to select the most valuable jewellery.
These tips will provide you with enough technical knowledge to select the right gold jewellery that is more valuable and pure.