Karat is the term used to measure the purity of gold. Any measure below 24k, pure gold, is comprised of metals like silver, zinc, nickel and other alloys.
24 karat = 99.5% - 99.9% pure gold
22 karat = 91.7 % gold, 8.3% metal
18 karat = 75.0 % gold, 25% metal
14 karat = 58.3 % gold, 41.7% metal
10 karat = 41.7 % gold, 58.3% metal
When it comes to jewelry, there are benefits to adding metals to pure gold such as added strength, durability, and scratch resistance. However! Most jewelers in the US can take advantage of their customers by trying to sell them 10k gold. In fact, a majority of other countries do not consider 10k gold to be real gold and do not allow it to be sold because it contain less than 50% pure gold!
That's why at Drewelry, we advise our customers, and anyone interested in buying gold jewelry, to stay in the 14k-24k range. Below are the benefits and our recommendations for each gold measure in that range.
24 karat: For jewelry buyers who desire the pure gold look and feel. You are sure to stand out wearing jewelry of 24k. The glow of pure gold is not something you see people walking around with everyday and is sure to blow yourself and others away. 24k gold can also be used for investments as it is a form of currency across the world.
22 karat: For jewelry buyers who desire the pure good look but also want some added strength for everyday wear, 22k gold is very similar in color and other qualities of 24 karat gold.
18 karat: The perfect balance of durability and that gold glow, even though it will be slightly duller than 22-24k gold as you can see in the photo above. 18k gold is the standard in countries such as Italy, who are one of the World's leaders when it comes to fine jewelry. We highly recommend 18k gold jewelry since the added metals ensure your piece of jewelry will last a long time and withstand scratches.
14 karat: If you are in the market for jewelry, but are looking to stay cost effective then 14k gold is the right choice for you. You still get that gold look as you can see in the photo above and excellent durability since it does contains more metal, but all at affordable prices. You will see a wider variety of 14k gold jewelry in the market for this exact reason.
Another thing to add, in case you were wondering how to get different colors of gold, the fact is that jewelers mix certain metals with pure gold to achieve colors such as:
- Pink or Rose gold - Rose gold is made by adding more copper in the alloy composition of the gold
- White Gold – The white color of gold is achieved by adding nickel or palladium
Hope this helps!