Gold Karat Differences Explained

During the course of my career in the showroom and now online , I am often asked by my clients to explain the differences  between 10k, 14K and 18K gold. The easiest way to explain the difference has to do with the actual amount (percentage) of pure gold (or fineness) that is utilized to make the specific karat. 

24K gold is very yellow in colour and in its pure form, is a very malleable, soft precious metal that is too soft, delicate and unsuitable for use in much jewellery.Certain Asian cultures exchange 24K gold jewellery. Gold bars and gold coins in various denominations are often minted in 24K gold.

Below is a table that illustrates the differences in gold karats:

 Karat     Fineness   Gold Purity
 24K     99.99  100% - no alloys
 22K     91.6  91.6 % pure gold,  8.4% alloy
 18K     750  75% pure gold, 25% alloys
 14K     58.3  58.3% pure gold - European marking 585
 10K     41.7  41.7% pure gold, 58.3% alloy


As I mentioned earlier, pure 24K gold is a deep, rich yellow colour. With the use of white based alloys such as silver and palladium, we are able to change the colour to white gold. Nickel is not as widely used as before, as it has been determined that approximately 10-12% of the population have an adverse or allergic reaction to nickel. This may explain why some of you may have had a reaction to costume and or plated jewellery .To modify the colour of gold to rose or pink gold, we simply add more copper to the alloy mix and reduce the other alloys accordingly.

 When comparing similar and identical styles of items in different karats, for instance, you will find that the same jewellery item in 18K gold will have more gram weight than the corresponding item in 14K gold. That is because the density of gold is greater than the density of the alloys added. Additionally, because of the higher gold percentage content, the price per gram will be higher.


Not the kind of karats we have been discussing.


I hope that this blog post has been informative and helps explain the differences in gold karats

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Paul Nudelman Jewellers is celebrating our Platinum Anniversary - our 70th year of business. We offer very competitive rates on gold jewellery items.We invite you to send your inquiries and we will do our best to find your jewellery gift.




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