Education Center

Gold Jewelry Education

How Pure?
Pure gold is too soft to withstand the active life of daily wear, so it is commonly alloyed with a mixture of other metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to give it strength. The percentage of gold is noted by a number followed by "k" or "kt" indicates gold content, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewelry is gold. This value is expressed in fractions of 24ths, making 24/24k gold 100% gold.
What Color?
The color of a gold item is determined by two factors:

The choice of metal alloys included in it
The percentage of each choice involved
All Yellow Gold?
At Karat, you'll find exclusively 18k yellow gold jewelry. 18k gold contains a greater percentage of precious metal than 14k or 10k gold. It is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with specific metals to make it strong enough to withstand daily use.

Lesser quality 14k gold is composed of only 58.3% gold, and 41.7% other alloys that give it strength. Its gold color cannot be as luxurious as 18k gold. 14k gold is most commonly found in functions where strength is most important, such as clasps and earring backs.
Gold is one of the first known metals. Many countries use the gold standard as their currency system, in which their money represents an equivalent value in gold.
24/24ths = 100% gold
Too soft for wearable jewelry
22/24ths = 91.7% gold
Very soft – not recommended for daily jewelry popular in the Asian continents
18/24ths = 75.0% gold
Preferred for fine jewelry
14/24ths = 58.3% gold
Acceptable for jewelry
12/24ths = 50.0% gold
Not acceptable for fine jewelry
10/24ths = 41.7% gold
10k is the legal karat minimum gold limit for real gold in the United States.
At Karat our jewelry is exclusively 18 karat or greater.

What is White Gold?

Because 18k white gold is 75% gold, jewelry made from this blend has a slight yellow color. A common alloy to create this white color is nickel which aids in strength and zinc which is used to accomplish the desired white color to enhance the whiteness of the metal. It is common for almost all white gold to be plated with rhodium, a shiny white metal which is extremely hard, to whiten the fine jewelry.

Pink or Rose Gold

Copper is added in greater quantities to create this unique color from yellow gold. This gives the gold a beautiful rose or pink color.

Effect on Price?

The price of gold jewelry is based on the percentage of gold used or karat weight, as well as the labor, design and difficulty of construction of each piece of jewelry.

Caring for your precious Gold

Harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning fluids can destroy your valuables. To clean your gold jewelry, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap; and wash gold gently as you would your own skin. When storing your gold pieces, place them separately in soft cloth bags or jewelry boxes to protect them.

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