The purity level of gold is measured based on karat. The karat system is nothing but the measurement of the ratio of pure gold to different other alloys in a gold coin, jewellery or ornament. If the quantity of gold is greater in a particular jewellery than the other alloys, the higher will be its purity level. Let us understand the difference between 24k, 22k, 18, 14k, and 10k gold.
24k gold is the purest form of gold because it does not have a mixture of other alloys. It comprises a bright golden colour and is generally more expensive than other types of gold. As the gold density is lesser than the lower karat, it is extremely soft and is not perfect for regular jewellery.
24k gold is available in the market in the form of bars and coins. In addition, 24k gold is also used in making various medical and electronic devices.
22k gold is widely used to make regular jewellery and ornaments. Two parts of other alloys are mixed with 22 parts of gold which make the gold texture harder. This makes the jewellery durable and ideal for regular wear purposes. Out of 100%, 91.67% contains pure gold and the rest 8.33% are a mixture of other metals like nickel, zinc, silver, and other metals.
Although it is the widely used form of gold for regular jewellery, it is not the ideal form for making heavy gold jewellery like diamonds and other gemstones that carry their own weighs which are quite heavy as compared to 22k gold. It cannot hold the gemstones firmly for the daily us. So, it is often seen in wedding jewellery which is used rarely.
18k gold comprises 75% gold and 25% other metals. This type of gold is mostly used in making watches, rings and other wearable accessories and is also less expensive than 22k and 24k gold. It has a bright and vibrant yellow colour which makes it an ideal choice for engagement rings.
18k gold jewellery is also highly suitable for daily wearable jewellery as the amount of metal is lower and does not cause metal allergy.
14k gold has 41.7% alloys and 58.3% gold. As it has only 14 parts of pure gold, it is quite affordable as compared to the 18k, 22k, and 24k gold. The presence of a higher quantity of other metals such as nickel, silver, zinc, and copper prevent from wear and tear. Not only this but it is also harder and more durable and is used for making activewear jewellery pieces.
14k gold characterizes pale yellow colour which many people look for in lockets and pendants. It is also highly suitable to make heavy studded jewellery.
10k gold is nothing but an alloy containing 41.7% gold and the remaining mixture of other alloys. The quantity of pure gold is lesser in this form of gold which makes it ordinary and is prone to damage. However, it is sturdy and does not have the risk of causing any scratch.
As it is the cheapest kind of gold, it has a paler undertone. 14k gold is mostly used to make simple rings and chains.
There is no best type of gold. It depends on the preferences of the customers. All the above-mentioned types of gold have their own characteristics.
FAQ's on Difference between gold karats
- What is the difference between 24 karat gold and 22 karat gold?
The 24-karat gold is of the highest purity while the 22-karat gold is slightly less pure. It is difficult to make and use jewellery made of 24-karat gold as it would be soft and mushy. That is why 22-karat gold is used to make jewellery.
- How can I check whether the gold that I have purchased is real?
One of the easiest ways to check the authenticity of your gold is to conduct the float test. Take your gold ornament and put it in a bowl of cold water. If the gold item sinks to the bottom of the bowl, then it is real gold since the precious metal’s density is high, otherwise it fake or a plated gold ornament. The other way to check is by taking your gold ornament and bringing it close to a magnet. If it sticks to the magnet then it is fake gold. Real gold will not stick to the magnet.
- How much pure gold is present in 18 karat, 22 karat and 24 karat?
The 18 karat gold is 75% pure and 25% alloy metals, 22 karat gold is 92% pure and 8% alloy metals, and 24 karat gold is 100% pure.
- Which gold is best to invest in?
If you are looking forward to long term investment then 24 karat gold is the best option. If you are looking forward to making jewellery, then investing in 22 karat or 18 karat gold would be a better option.
- Why is 24 karat gold not used for making jewellery?
The 24-karat gold is of the highest purity and is very soft. This softness allows the yellow metal to be easily drawn into wires and beaten into sheets. Because of this exceptional softness, it is difficult for a jeweller to craft intricate jewellery pieces with 24 karat gold.
- Is the gold price determined by an organisation or entity?
How gold prices are gold determined?
- How gold prices are gold determined?
The gold prices are affected by various external factors such as the rate of Indian currency with respect to US dollar, price of oil, important political events, etc. The internal factors such as the policies introduced by the government, interest rate, the demand for gold, etc., also have an impact on gold prices in India.
- Is gold important for a nation’s economy?
Yes, gold is important for a nation’s economy. It directly indicates whether a nation’s economy is in good condition.
- What to check while buying gold jewellery?
The below-mentioned are a few points one should note when buying gold jewellery: 1. Check the purity of gold used while making the jewellery, i.e. 22 karat or 24 karat, 2. Check if the ornament is hallmarked and 3.Check the making charges applied.
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