The purity of gold is a subject that has often confused buyers in the last minutes of decision making. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, before going out to buy gold jewelry from a land-based showroom or online, you must know everything possible about this precious metal and its purity. Gold, in all its form is precious. That’s what we have been told and that’s what we believed in, until the age of free information which discloses a lot of these early facts as myths or advertisement gimmicks. You may not know this but gold that is below 10K cannot be legally labelled as “gold” because of its very low content of pure gold.
The Puzzle of Karat in Gold
The letter K that is scribed after a digit to denote the purity of gold is Karat. It is the universal purity measuring unit of gold. Gold purity ranges from 10 to 24K, depending on the kind of piece, design and configuration of the product. Like for instance, pure gold which is all 24 parts gold is not used to make ornaments. Gold in its purest form is too delicate to work with. That’s why 24K gold is mostly sent to the gold banks to freeze into bricks, coins, nuggets and such assets that are mostly used as investment and asset building than anything else.
22K is the next grade which is 22 parts gold and 2 parts alloy. This is the best quality gold available to the jewelry industry. All gold fine jewelry are curved using this quality of gold. But, when you choose diamonds and gems, the reality changes a little. For diamond or any other gems, the designers need a harder variety of gold, and therefore, the 18K gold is used. 18K gold, often marked as 750 in European style is 75% gold. It has higher content of alloy than its 22K superior. That makes the gold harder and a lot easier to work with.
There are lesser varieties like 14, 12 and 10K which have a decreasing quantity of pure gold, in the order of their appearance.
If you are looking to buy gold ornaments, it is advisable to try and not settle for anything less than 14K, if you can avoid it. Also be aware that white, rose and black golds contain alloys in substantial quantity that gives them their color and texture.