Throughout history, gold has been treasured for its natural beauty and radiance. For this reason, many cultures have imagined gold to represent the sun.
Yellow gold jewellery is still the most popular colour, but today gold is available in a diverse palette. The process of alloying—mixing other metals with pure 24 carat gold—gives malleable gold more durability, but can also be used to change its colour.
24k gold is also called pure gold or 100 per cent gold. This means that all 24 parts in the gold are all pure gold without traces of any other metals. It is known to be 99.9 per cent pure and takes on a distinct bright yellow color.
It is not suited for regular forms of jewellery. Coins and bars are mostly bought of 24K gold purity. 24K gold is also used in electronics and medical devices such as those used for children suffering from ear infections who are fitted with gold tympanostomy tubes that are known to improve aeration of the middle ear.
22K gold jewellery implies that 22 parts of the jewellery amounts to gold and the balance 2 parts are some other metals. This kind of gold is commonly used in jewellery making. In 22K gold, of the 100 per cent, only 91.67 per cent is pure gold.
The other 8.33 per cent comprises metals like silver, zinc, nickel and other alloys. It is this addition of metals that make the texture of gold harder thereby making the jewellery durable. However, you must know that although this can be used to make plain gold jewellery, 22K gold isn’t preferable for diamonds and heavily studded jewellery.
18K gold is 75 per cent gold mixed with 25 per cent of other metals like copper or silver etc. Usually studded jewellery and other diamond jewellery is made in 18K gold. This kind of gold is less expensive compared to 24K and 22K.
This one has a slightly dull gold colour. Recognizing 18K jewellery is rather simple – you will see the item stamped with 18K, 18Kt, 18k or a variation similar to these. At times, 18K gold is marked by 750, 0.75 or a stamp similar to these in order to symbolise that the jewellery contains 75 per cent gold.
Tips for Gold Buyers
24 karat = 99.5% pure gold and above
22 karat = 91.7 % gold
18 karat = 75.0 % gold
14 karat = 58.3 % gold
12 karat = 50.0 % gold
10 karat = 41.7 % gold