Gold is amongst the most used metal in the world for making fine jewellery and is also coined as a precious metal with high corrosion resistance valued by investors. While gold is rare and truly gains popularity because of its sheen and market value, there are different types of gold that are valued differently due to its purity.
The purity of gold is measured in terms of karatage or karats. The higher is the karat, the purer the gold would and therefore higher would be the value. But the gold with the highest purity is not always used in the making of jewellery. Here is a simple guide to understanding different types of gold as per carats.
24K or 24 Karat gold
24K gold is 99.9% pure and does not contain traces of any other metal. It is bright yellow and is mostly used for making gold bars and coins. 24K gold has a low density which makes it easy to bend and soft and therefore a tiny amount of metal alloys are mixed to it to make it apt for jewellery crafting, use in electronics, medical devices, etc.
22K or 22 Karat Gold
22K gold is 91.7% pure gold and the remaining 8.33% consists of other metals and alloys that make the texture of this gold harder and durable. 22K gold is mostly used in the making of pure gold jewellery as it cannot hold heavy stones well but can be of good durability to create designs on its own. 22K gold is often the best choice for pure gold wedding jewellery, pure gold earrings, or bangles.
18K or 18 Karat Gold
18 Karat Gold is 75% pure gold and the remaining 25% consists of metals like nickel, copper, zinc, and other allows. This type of gold is widely used for making gold fusion and diamond jewellery as it is harder than other purer forms and still retains that sheen in its appearance. Slightly dull than 24K gold, the 18K gold has a rich yellow tone and is suitable to be used for daily jewellery, fusion jewellery, diamond jewellery, etc. 18K gold is also widely used in making solitaire earrings, diamond studs, diamond rings, watches, and other jewellery pieces.
14K or 14 Karat Gold
14 Karat gold is 58.3% pure and the rest of 41.7% comprises metals like copper, silver, nickel, zinc, etc. As this type of gold contains only 14 parts of gold out of 24 parts, the relative value of 14K gold is lesser than 24K, 22K, or 18K. This type of gold is used in the making of gold jewellery (particularly semi-precious jewellery), watches, rings, electronics, etc as highly durable and more resistant to wear and tear. 14K gold is also suitable for people who are prone to skin allergies due to gold.
10K or 10 Karat Gold
With only 10 parts of gold out of 24 parts, 10K gold contains only 41.7% of pure gold and the rest is silver, nickel, zinc, or other metal alloys. This type of gold is highly durable and therefore very sturdy. It has a slightly pale appearance and is also the cheapest gold to buy.
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If you have been thinking of buying gold jewellery for yourself, it’s best to understand the purity of the gold as per carats to truly understand which kind of jewellery is the best for you and how its value will be determined in the future.