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What is the Difference between Gold Karats

We all know that gold's purity 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 would be. Be it moulded into coins, bmolded precious jewellery; gold is available ,n various 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:

24K Gold

24K gold is pure gold composed of 99.9% gold and very few other metals. It is the highest quality and most valuable type of gold available. 24K gold is often used in coins and bars, and it is also used in some medical and electronic applications. 24K gold is relatively soft and can be easily scratched or dented.

However, due to being lesser in density as compared to lower karatage gold, 24 Karat gold is soft and easily bendable. Therefore, it is not made into any regular jewellery. However, a tiny amount of alloy is also mixed in, making gold coins to make them durable. It is also apt to be used in certain electronics and medical devices.

22K Gold

22K gold is an alloy made of 22 parts gold and 2 parts other metals, usually copper and silver. This makes it a high-carat gold valued for its durability and rich, warm color. Most jewellers make 22K gold jewellery which is durable but may be less pure than 24K gold, it is still considered a high-quality and valuable material, and its higher metal content makes it more resistant to scratches and wear. However, it may not be as hypoallergenic as lower-carat gold alloys and may be less malleable and easier to break or bend.

In 22K gold, only 91.67 percent is pure gold. The remaining 8.33 percent consists of metals like silver, zinc, nickel, or other alloys. Although it is used in making plain gold jewellery, 22K gold isn’t the 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.

18K Gold

18K gold is an alloy that contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of other metals, such as silver, copper, and zinc. 18K gold is valued for its durability and relatively high gold content while still being practical for everyday wear. 18K gold jewellery is most bought by people. Compared to higher-carat gold alloys, 18K gold is more resistant to scratches and wear, making it a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings. However, it is still malleable enough to work into intricate designs and is often used in traditional and modern jewelry styles.

18 karat gold comprises 75 percent pure gold and 25 percent other metals like copper, silver, etc. Highly suitable for making studded and diamond jewellery, 18k gold is less expensive than 24K and 22K. This type of gold has a rich yellow tone with a slightly dull shade, making it 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 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.

14K Gold

14 karat gold is produced from 58.3 percent pure gold and a 41.7 percent 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. 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.

10K Gold

10-karat gold is an alloy of gold with at least 41.7%, 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 gold form is 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 elegant pieces of jewellery collection. Also, 10k gold can cause skin irritation if you’re allergic to certain metals.

Which Type of Gold Karat is Best?

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 depends on what kind of jewellery you are going for and how often you will wear it! While choosing gold for a wedding ring or daily wear chain, you must consider 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 gold rate today before buying any gold item. 

All of the above forms of gold have their 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!