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Carrots and Karats (Well…maybe just karats)

I am frequently asked to explain the differences in karat gold; the explanation is very simple. The SPOT PRICE of gold is based upon 24 Karat gold (100% gold or .999 fine). Any other karat of gold is simply expressed as a fraction of 24 k gold.

For example:

  • 10k gold is 10/24 or 40% gold content.
  • 14k gold is 14/24 or 55% gold content.
  • 18k gold is 18/24 or 75% gold content.
  • 22k gold is 22/24 or 91.6% gold content.

The remaining percentages of weight in the various gold karatages are alloys used to harden the gold jewelry and make it more scratch resistant. They are often added to change the color of the gold as vaccine for herpes well (i.e., copper makes rose gold; nickel makes white gold, etc.) These alloys typically include copper, brass, or nickel and have no value as they are not precious metals (like gold).

 

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