???? What are gold karats?
A karat is a unit of gold purity. It refers to the amount of pure gold there is in a piece of jewellery.
The abbreviation for karats is the letter K.
???? How do karat measurements work?
One karat represents 1/24th of the whole gold content in a piece of jewellery.
So at the top of the scale, 24K gold is 100% pure gold.
And, for example, 9K gold contains 37.5% pure gold, the rest being a mix of alloy metals.
???? What other gold purities are there?
Gold items come in various purities, as follows:
9K gold is 37.5% pure gold
14K gold is 58.3% pure gold
18K gold is 75% pure gold
22K gold is 91.6% pure gold
24K gold is 100% pure gold
???? Why is gold mixed with other metals? Why not use pure gold?
Gold is a very soft metal and bends easily. That’s why, on its own, pure gold is not ideal for jewellery items. Imagine your gold ring bending out of shape whenever you wear it. For use in jewellery, gold has to be mixed with harder metals to give it strength and shape.
???? What metals are mixed with gold?
Gold can be alloyed with various other metals to give it strength and shape. Common alloy metals include silver, copper, platinum, palladium and zinc. Alloy metals can also be used to change the colour of gold. For example, copper gives rose gold its reddish hue.
???? What is the difference between 9K and 18K gold?
The main difference is the gold content. 9K gold contains only 37.5% pure gold, while 18K gold contains 75% pure gold.
The second difference is the price. 9K gold contains more alloy metals than gold. Therefore, it is less expensive than 18K gold which contains more gold than alloy metals.
Finally, you have to consider quality and value. 18K gold feels heavier and more substantial and luxurious to the touch than 9K gold does. Also, 18K gold items have more long-term and re-sale value than 9K gold.
???? Colour – is there a difference between 9K and 18K gold?
With yellow gold, 18K gold may look richer and more yellow than 9K gold when compared side by side.
The same applies to rose gold; its golden-red colour may look slightly more intense in 18K purity when compared to 9K purity.
When it comes to white gold, you cannot really see the difference. That’s because white gold is alloyed with white metals like silver and coated in rhodium to make it look silvery-white.
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