What EXACTLY is a Gold's "Karat"?

I'm pretty sure you've came across with the term "Karat" in pretty much every jewelry store you've encountered, but you may be wondering, what exactly does it represent?

Fret not - As we're here to lay down all the main differentiating factors of each Karat in a rather "easier to digest" fashion. ☺️

For starters, a Gold's "Karat" is a unit that shows how much pure gold is in an alloy (a combination of metals) or metals such as Stainless or Sterling Silver.

Pure gold is marked as 24K – this is the highest karat level for gold meaning it is 100% pure gold. However, pure gold is too soft and bendable to be used for jewelry, so it is usually mixed with other metals such as copper, silver, zinc, nickel, or palladium to make it more strong and suitable for different designs and colors.

With that said, the lower the karat is, the less pure gold and more other metals are present. For example:

  • 18K gold is an alloy that contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of other metals, such as silver, copper, and zinc. This means it has a purity level of 75%.

  • 14K gold is an alloy that contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of other metals, such as silver, copper, and zinc. This means it has a purity level of 58.3%.

  • 10K gold is an alloy that contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of other metals, such as silver, copper, and zinc. This means it has a purity level of 41.7%.

Yes, "Karat" DOES Affect Gold's Color.

Going straight to the point, the higher the karat of your Gold jewelry has, the more YELLOW the gold will look. The lower the karat, the more white or rose the gold will look.

  • 24K gold has a bright yellow color that is unrivaled by any other type of gold. It is the most pure and valuable type of gold available. However, it is also very soft and prone to scratches and dents. It is not recommended for jewelry that will be worn daily or exposed to wear and tear.

  • 18K gold has a warm yellow color that is less intense than 22K or 24K gold. It is valued for its strength and relatively high gold content while still being practical for everyday wear. It is more resistant to scratches and wear than higher-karat gold alloys but still bendable enough to work into intricate designs. It is often used for engagement and wedding rings as well as traditional and modern jewelry styles.

  • 14K gold has a moderate yellow color that can vary depending on the kind and amount of other metals in the alloy. It can also have a white or rose hue depending on the proportion of silver or copper respectively. It is the most popular type of gold for jewelry in the US because it offers a good balance between quality, strength, and affordability. It is suitable for most types of jewelry and can withstand daily use.

  • 10K gold has a pale yellow color that can also vary depending on the kind and amount of other metals in the alloy. If you want a budget-friendly type of gold with high level of durability, you may opt for 10K gold. However, it may also cause allergic reactions in some people who are sensitive to the metals used in the alloy. 

Important Notes:

As of this time of writing, Avaria mainly distributes 14k and 18k PVD processed Gold. We do understand that different customers may have different preferences and needs. That’s why we’re always open to expanding our collection and adding new types of gold in the future. Whether you’re looking for 10k, 22k, or even 24k gold, we’ll do our best to accommodate requests and find the right product for you if the right conditions are met. 

So the question lies...

Which Exactly Should You Go For?  

So you might be wondering whether 14K or 18K gold is the best choice for you.

Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, so it will really depend on what matters to you the most...

Well, that's what we would say if we're you're run-off-the-mill jeweler. 

The good news is that both our 14K and 18K gold are PVD processed. Meaning, they are waterproof and hypoallergenic. So factors such as durability, fading, and how potentially allergenic it each piece may be goes straight out of the window as our PVD processing mitigates all of that.

With that said though, there are still some differences between them that you may want to consider:

  • If you’re looking for something that’s strong, affordable, and has a lovely, yet subtle gold shimmer, 14K gold might be the way to go. 

  • If you’re looking for something that’s more luxurious and elegant, and that has a rich and vivid yellow color, 18K gold might be the one for you since it has more pure gold in it.

Regardless of what you choose, you can never go wrong with whichever you fancy as we can assure you that you’re getting a beautiful work of art that will never lose its charm.

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