A Guide to Different Types of Gold and Karats

A Guide to Different Types of Gold and Karats

Gold and Karats, we hear about them very often, but do we actually know what gold karats are and what they mean? In the simplest way, this article will try to explain everything you need to know.

Gold is a very delicate metal with a soft and malleable texture. Raw gold is usually used to create investment gold bars, which can be resold in the goldsmith industry. Given it’s soft texture too, raw gold is not suitable for the manufacture of jewellery alone. It often needs to be mixed with other metals that give it the right hardness to be crafted.

Solid gold bangle

When raw gold is melted in with other metals, the process is called an alloy. Based on the quantities of metals mixed, a type of alloy will be obtained from a certain colour. For example, white gold is obtained by mixing pure gold with palladium or silver; rose gold is obtained by melting pure gold with copper, and so on.

The word carat refers to the amount of pure gold alloy used to produce a particular jewel or object. Pure gold is made up of 24 carats of gold. As we all know, there are various carats and below we will explain more about the difference.

18 Karats and 24 Karats: Discover the difference

With gold jewellery, gold is often mixed with other metals based on the type of alloy you want to create. An alloy with a high carat will therefore contain more gold. But let’s dig deeper to what gold karats are and what the difference is between 18kt and 24kt gold.

  • 24kt Gold refers to 999.99% pure gold. It is used to create bars and, given its durability, coins.
  • An 18kt jewel is composed of 18 parts in gold and 6 parts in another metal, often silver or copper.

Some more facts…

  • 14kt gold is the most common carat in the United States, consisting of 14 parts in gold and 10 in another metal.
  • 9kt gold refers to the carat composed of 9 parts in gold and 15 in another metal. This is the minimum accepted legal standard of carat weight in several European countries
  • 8kt Gold is the minimum standard in Greece and Denmark and is a carat composed of 8 parts in gold and 15 from another metal.

Different Types of Gold and karats: how to recognise the difference

Have you ever wondered how to tell real gold from fake gold? Keep reading for the easiest ways to know!

Gold is a noble metal, which means that it is resistant to corrosion, oxidation and acid. As you look through jewellery, look for any visible marks or spots. Also look for the marking or punching, which will indicate what percentage of gold an item is made of. For example, in the case of Merci Maman 18kt Solid Gold jewelry, you will find the 750 mark engraved. You can usually find these on the inner bands of rings or on the claps of necklaces.

Keep in mind that this form of marking became common in the 1950s in some areas, but in India, for example, it only became mandatory in 2000.

There are 2 different scales to indicate the amount of gold through the brand.

  • The numerical classification system commonly used in Europe ranges from 1 to 999, where 999 means pure gold.
  • In the United States, a scale of 0 to 24k is used, where 24k is pure gold.

Be wary as some counterfeit pieces may have markings that make them appear authentic. So don’t rely on the brand alone unless you are sure you have real gold in your hands!