Difference between Gold Karats
We all are well aware that the purity of gold is measured in terms of karatage. Karat is the unit that is used to measure the purity of gold. The higher the karat in a gold item, the purer the gold in it would be. Be it moulded into coins, bars or precious jewellery; gold is available in a variety of karats, and these karats are used differently.
Here’s a simple guide that will help you understand the difference between all varieties of gold karats available:
The 100 per cent pure gold is 24 karat gold, as it doesn’t include any traces of other metals. It is said to be 99.9 per cent pure in the market and has a distinct bright yellow colour. As it is the purest form of gold, it is naturally more expensive than other types.
However, due to being lesser in density as compared to a lower karatage gold, it is soft and easily bendable. Therefore, it is not made into any regular jewellery. 24k gold is normally used to make gold coins and bars. However, a tiny amount of alloy is also mixed in 24K gold coins
to make them durable. It is also apt to be used in certain electronics and medical devices.
The 22 Karat gold is commonly used in making regular jewellery. 22K means that 22 parts of the metal amount to gold and the rest two parts are some other metals that make the texture of gold harder, thus making the metal durable.
In 22K gold, only 91.67 per cent is pure gold. The remaining 8.33 per cent consist of metals like silver, zinc, nickel or other alloys. Although it is used in making plain gold jewellery
, 22K gold isn’t preferable form to make any heavy studded gold jewellery. It is because diamonds and other precious gemstones have their weights while 22 karat gold
is softer than these stones and is incapable of holding them firmly through the daily use of the jewellery piece. This form of gold is often found in a lot of wedding jewellery and other items that are worn occasionally.
18 karat gold
comprises 75 per cent pure gold mixed with 25 per cent of other metals like copper or silver, etc. Highly suitable for making studded and diamond jewellery, 18k gold is less expensive as compared to 24K and 22K. This type of gold has a rich yellow tone with a slightly dull shade that makes it absolutely desirable for exquisite gold and diamond jewellery pieces.
Jewellery made out of 18k gold is suitable to wear daily, and the lower amount of metals makes it a better choice for people who suffer from any metal allergies. 18-karat gold is widely used for making rings, watches, and other regularly wearable jewellery. Its warm yellow shine makes it perfect for wedding rings and similar jewellery pieces.
14 karat gold is produced from 58.3 per cent pure gold and a 41.7 per cent mixture of other metals like copper, zinc, silver and nickel. With only 14 parts of gold out of 24, it’s usually less expensive than other higher karats of gold. The presence of a higher amount of alloyed metals makes 14K gold more resistant to wear and tear. And as it is harder and more durable, it is ideal for making daily-wear jewellery, especially for an active lifestyle. It is also less likely to cause any skin allergies.
The colour of 14k gold is often paler yellow because of the lower saturation of gold. It is extensively used to make daily wear rings and pendants/lockets. Due to its sturdiness, all favour the most affordable option, a 14 karat gold jewellery item.
10 karat gold is an alloy of gold that contains at least 41.7% of gold and the rest being other alloys such as silver, nickel or zinc. The amount of alloyed metals is higher than that of pure gold, i.e. 58.3%, which makes it less precious and more vulnerable to tarnish. It has 10 parts of gold out of 24. This form of gold is very sturdy, not too soft and doesn’t scratch or bend easily.
It is the cheapest form of gold and has a paler tone than other karats. Because of its durability in terms of quality and simplicity, 10k gold is often used in simple chains, rings and other items that are not part of any lavish pieces of jewellery collection
. Also, 10k gold can probably cause skin irritation if you’re allergic to certain metals.
The Best One?
So, which type of gold is best for your jewellery? Honestly, there is no such thing as ‘the best type of gold’ for anyone. It merely depends on what kind of jewellery you are going for and how often will you be wearing it! While choosing the gold for a wedding ring or daily wear chain, it’s essential to keep in mind a few other factors such as your skin sensitivity, lifestyle and aesthetic taste. It’s also important to shop with a budget in mind. And, don’t forget to check the live gold price in India online
before buying any type of gold item.
All of the above forms of gold have their own uniqueness and desirability. So whether you decide to go for 10K or 22K, the only thing that matters is that you make a purchase worth it because gold will glitter anyway!