Are you planning to invest in gold? If you are not a jewellery expert, there are chances that you might overlook the purity factor of this precious metal. Karat (K/kt) measures the purity of gold. Here are the different types of karat that are used for various purposes.
Gold is one of the precious metals that has stood the test of time and still remains undefeated due to its natural beauty and radiance. Gold shines like fire blazing in the night. It is a highly versatile metal used by many for ornamental and investment purposes.
Today, if you are not a jewellery aficionado, then you might easily get confused between carat and Karat when you plan on investing in this precious metal. Though both are a form of measurement used in the jewellery industry, it is essential to know the difference between them. Carat (ct) is the term used to describe the weight of diamonds, while Karat (K/kt) is the measure of the purity of gold. Many countries accept both Carats as well as Karat to denote the proportion of pure gold in any product.
Gold is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, very soft, malleable, delicate, and ductile metal in its purest form. It is, therefore, mixed with alloys metals to improve its strength and pliancy or flexibility. Today, different types of gold karats are used for various purposes.
Gold is divided into 24 parts, and Karat tells us the percentage of gold in a piece. Pure gold is 24K, which means all the parts are gold. Various metals like copper, nickel, zinc, and silver are alloyed with gold based on their applications and uses. The higher the Karat, the higher is the gold content in the application, whether it is a stunning piece of plain jewel, a studded jewellery, a gold bar, or even a gold coin. Here are some of the common types of Gold Karat.
This is the purest form of gold and the most expensive too. This precious gold is usually used for investments only as it is not feasible for making jewellery. Gold in its purest form is very soft and tends to scratch, bend and break easily. However, one can easily find coins or bars of 24K gold. Additionally, 24K gold can also be used in electronics and medical devices. 24K gold has a distinct bright yellow colour.
Here, the gold is 91.67%, while the remaining 8% is a mixture of alloys. In other words, there are only 2 parts of alloys and 22 parts of gold in any application. These alloys allow the jewellery to be durable. Since only 8% is a mixture, 22K gold is best suited for plain jewellery and naturally enameled jewellery. But remember, 22K is still a soft metal, and therefore it is not preferred for diamonds and gemstone studded jewellery. This is because there are chances that the precious stone might fall off as 22K might not hold the weight causing the loss of grip. It can also get scratched easily, though rhodium plating can enhance the scratch resistance to your jewellery.
Here, 75% is gold which means out of 24 parts, 18 parts are gold while others are metals. 18K gold is commonly used in fine jewellery. It is a perfect option for jewellery that is not worn daily. The lower percentage of metals in 18K gold is the right choice for people who suffer from metal allergies as the lower percentage makes it less prone to oxidization. It is also more cost-effective as it doesn't need rhodium plating and less maintenance in the long run. It has a pale yellow tone with a slightly dull shade.
With 14 parts of gold or 58.5% pure gold and 41.7% of other metals, 14K gold offers more wear and tear to any piece of jewellery. It is more rigid and durable, making it the right choice for daily wear jewellery for those who lead an extremely active lifestyle. In addition, 14K gold is cheaper than others and durable, and less likely to cause allergies.
A 10K gold piece means 10 parts of gold or 41.7% gold, and other parts include metal alloys. 10K gold is sturdy and can't be scratched or bent easily. It is harder and more robust and the cheapest as the quantity of gold is less than others.
The popularity of gold varies from country to country. Like 24K is most preferred in Asia and India while 18K is more prevalent in South America and Europe and 14K is dominant in the US jewellery market.
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