Gold is a highly valued and cherished metal that has been used in jewellery making for centuries. It is known for its lustre, durability, and timeless appeal. However, not all gold is created equal. The difference in gold’s quality and purity is measured in karats, which indicates the percentage of gold in the metal alloy. The higher the karat, the purer the gold. In this context, this discussion aims to explore the difference between 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k gold, their unique features, and how to determine which type of gold is best for you. Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing 10 or 14-karat gold jewellery, and ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
How Is Gold Purity Measured – Karat Vs. Carat
The term “carat” has its origins in Arabic qīrāṭ, which means “bean pod” and was borrowed from Medieval French and Italian. It is also derived from the Greek word “keration,” which means both the carob bean and a small weight. The carat weight was standardized at 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams, in the early 20th century. Therefore, a diamond weighing 2 carats would be 400 milligrams or 0.4 grams.
The word “karat” has the same origin as “carat,” but it refers to the purity of gold instead. One karat is equivalent to 1/24th of pure gold in an alloy. The proportion of 1/24th goes back to ancient Roman times when a siliqua was equal to 1/24th of a golden solidus. Thus, a 14-karat gold ring contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of another metal such as copper, while pure gold is 24 karat gold.
Despite their distinct meanings in the jewellery industry, “carat” and “karat” are often confused. For instance, some people use “karat” to denote the weight of a diamond rather than the purity of gold.
What Are the Most Common Gold Purity Levels?
The most common gold purity levels are 24-karat, 22-karat, 18-karat, and 14-karat gold. 24 karat gold is the purest form of gold, consisting of 99.9% gold and 0.1% other metals, and is typically too soft for use in jewellery. This type of gold is mainly used in the production of coins, bars, and bullion.
- 22 Karat Gold
22-karat gold contains 91.7% gold and 8.3% other metals, usually copper and silver. This type of gold is commonly used in high-end jewellery, such as wedding bands and necklaces because it is more durable than pure gold.
- 18 Karat Gold
18-karat gold contains 75% gold and 25% other metals, such as copper and silver. This type of gold is a popular choice for fine jewellery, such as engagement rings and bracelets, because it is more affordable than 22-karat gold and more durable than 14-karat gold.
- 14 Karat Gold
14-karat gold is the most commonly used gold purity level in the United States and contains 58.3% gold and 41.7% other metals, typically copper, silver, and zinc. This type of gold is used in a wide range of jewellery, from earrings and necklaces to bracelets and watches, because it is durable, affordable, and has a rich gold color.
- 10 Karat Gold
10K gold is the most durable and affordable option among different karat weights in jewellery. However, with only 41.7% gold content and a high concentration of alloyed metals, it may cause skin irritations in those with metal allergies. Its pale-yellow color and lower gold purity also make it less desirable for fine jewellery or engagement rings. Nevertheless, 10K gold’s high alloy content makes it resistant to scratches, ideal for everyday wear. Additionally, it is a budget-friendly option for those wanting the look of gold without the high price tag.
It is important to know these gold purity levels before you go ahead and buy online jewellery. Check out Khoé Jewellery and see the wonderful products they have.
Difference Between a Karat and a Carat
Here are some differences between a Karat and Carat. Make sure to read till the end to know the whole thing.
- Meaning: Carat is a unit of weight used for measuring gemstones, while Karat is a unit used to measure the purity of gold.
- Origin: The word “Carat” is derived from the Greek word “keration,” meaning a small weight or carob seed, while “Karat” is derived from the Arabic word “qirat,” which means the weight of a carob seed.
- Weight: A Carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams, while a Karat is a fraction of 24, indicating the purity of gold in an alloy.
- Usage: Carat is mainly used in the gemstone industry to measure the weight of diamonds and other precious stones. Karat, on the other hand, is used in the gold industry to measure the percentage of gold in an alloy.
- Scale: Carat is measured on a scale of 0-100, while Karat is measured on a scale of 0-24.
- Symbol: The symbol used for Carat is “ct,” while the symbol used for Karat is “K” or “kt.”
- Common Usage: The term “Carat” is more commonly used in the United States and other English-speaking countries, while “Karat” is commonly used in Europe and other parts of the world.
When you want to buy jewellery, especially gold jewellery, it is more than important to know about the differences between Karats and Carats, the purity levels of gold, and much more. Be sure to check Khoé Jewellery and witness some of the best options in gold and other jewellery items.