Karat is a measure of the purity of gold and platinum alloys. In the US and Canada, the spelling karat is usually used for the measure of purity, while carat refers to the measure of mass and mostly used for precious stones such as diamonds. As a measure of purity, one carat is one twenty-fourth purity by weight. So the karat system is used to reveal the amount of pure gold found in an item. A 14K jewelry is only made up of about 60% pure gold , 12K ring of 50% gold, 18k ring is made up of 75% and 24k gold jewelry is the most pure form at 99% or 100% gold. In America a lot of consumers buy 9K or 14K gold jewelry but what they are actually buying is 60% or less gold, the rest is other non precious metals. 24K gold jewelry is not only the most precious and the most expensive but it maybe hard to wear because it is soft. However adding 1% hard metal can make the difference in the softness and also the color. Some of the Chinese and Indian 24K gold is dark yellow or orange. However Turkish 24K gold is more yellowish and more shiny because the 1% metal included. The 24K goldsmiths are artisans who specialize in producing only 24K gold jewelry. Western consumers just started the discover the beauty of pure 24K gold jewelry. 24 Karat gold is often refered to as ‘fine gold’. 24 Karat gold is from 99.0% to 99.9% pure gold depending on a country’s laws. In China, 24 Karat gold is called “Chuk Kam”, meaning ‘pure gold’ and has a gold minimum of 99.0%. According to the World Gold Council, in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, 24 carat(Karat) gold is the typical caratage (fineness).” There is very little 24 karat gold jewellery sold in other parts of the world. 24 Karat gold is soft and not very durable for jewelry. Mixing other metals to create a gold alloy gives strength and hardness to gold jewelry. This means gold jewelry wears better, is less scratch resistant and will not be damaged or distort as readily as 24 Karat gold jewelry.The purer the gold content in a piece of jewelry, the more valuable it is. Gold is mixed with alloys, metals added to strengthen the gold to create more durable jewelry, particularly in gold rings and gold bracelets. Mixing other metals with gold also gives a variety of coloured golds used in gold jewelry creation.
24 Karat gold and 22 Karat gold jewelry created as special designer pieces that are worn for special occassions and bought as investment pieces due to their high gold content and designer’s artistic prestige. Such pieces rarely lose their value and increase in value as a designer becomes more famous or passes away.The different grades of karats are:
24 Karat Gold Jewelry, where 24 of the 24 parts are gold, 99.99% fine gold.
European Gold Jewerly
European gold jewelry indicates the gold purity as a 3 digit number.
24 Karat Gold Jewelry is marked 999 to show a 99.9% gold purity.
A lot of very creative and talented jewelry designer started to use pure gold = 24K in their designs and it looks like the trend is here to stay for a long time.
In my opinion, the preference of 24K gold over 14K gold is like the preference of Silk over Polyester.