Feb 22, 2010

Gold Karats FAQ - 4 essential facts you must know before buying gold jewellery - Part 1


There are many different types of gold available from regular jewelry stores and online jewellery stores. Understanding the difference will help you make a better informed decision when purchasing your next piece of fine karat gold jewellery. This is why I’ve put together this Gold Karats FAQ guide. As there is quite a lot to this subject, I’ve broken the Gold Karats FAQ Guide into 3 parts. They all can be found at my website in the author bio at the end of this article. What does the term Karats refer to when describing Gold? The first thing we need to cover in part 1 of Gold Karats FAQ guide is that the “K” in 9K or 10k gold stands for karats. Not to be confused with Carat (Ct), which is the unit of weight measurement for gemstones. Karats is a measurement of the content of gold. Online Jewellery stores & regular jewelry stores rarely sell gold karats jewellery made from pure gold as gold is considered a soft metal and is too soft for everyday use. Mixing the gold with other metals hardens it and makes it more durable and less likely to bend. The result is “karat gold”. Pure fine gold jewellery would also be too expensive for the average consumer. Mixing gold also produces different coloured golds – see gold karats FAQ part 2 or go to our online jewellery store australia for more information regarding gold colours. So “karat” is the content of gold used in a gold alloy in jewellery. i.e : 9k gold contains 37.5% pure gold (375 parts per thousand parts). 10k gold contains 41.7% pure gold (417 part per thousand parts)(include 10k) 14k gold contains 58.5% pure gold (585 parts per thousand parts). 18k gold contains 75% pure gold (750 parts per thousand parts). The most common karat gold used in Australia is 9k and 18k. 18k is more expensive than 9k as it has a higher gold content. Both these types can be found at online fine jewellery stores and bricks and mortar fine jewellery stores. In the USA, 10k & 14k gold are most popular. Gold Stamps (hallmarks) The next thing to cover in this gold karats FAQ guide is the hallmark. Karat gold is normally stamped (hallmarked) to indicate the type. E.g. 9k gold would either be stamped 9k or 375, 18k gold would be stamped either 18k or 750. The stamp doesn’t indicate the colour of the gold, it only refers to the gold content. Most countries have laws requiring gold alloys be stamped with one of the standard hallmarks. This said, a halkmark doesn’t mean the item is what is says it is. Hallmarks should not be confused with a manufacturing stamp which is unique to the manufacturer. What is Fine Gold? You will see offline and online the terms fine gold jewellery, fine gold & fine jewelry. What do these terms mean? They normally refer to karat gold. In other words, fine gold jewellery is jewellery that is not gold plated. What is Solid Gold? You will see the term solid gold mentioned at online jewelry stores and at regular fine jewellery stores. Gold is normally named solid gold when it is karat gold or fine gold. For example 9k, 10k, 14k, 18k and 22k gold is often said to be solid gold. Jewellery is not considered solid gold if it is gold plated.

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