Metal Guide - Gold carats explained

Gold Carats Explained

It is likely that many of us have come across the term 'Carat' in relation to gold. It is often mistaken as a unit of weight but it refers to the percentage of pure gold within an article.

You may see it abbreviated to these symbols: ct, K or kt.

So, what's the difference between 9ct and 22ct gold?

Here's how they are broken down:

24 carat gold
is the ultimate gold carat – it doesn't go any higher than this. It's the purest form and consists of 99.9% gold. It is naturally yellow and highly valuable, but very soft and malleable, so it is not usually used to make fine jewellery or intricate objects.
22 carat gold
consists of around 91.6% gold and so is highly priced. It is also very soft, so it's not ideal for stone set jewellery, being more suitable for plain gold jewellery, such as wedding bands.
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18 carat gold
contains 75% gold, with the rest made up of other more durable metal alloys used to add colour and strength. White metals will be added to create white gold with copper added to create rose gold. 18ct yellow gold is appreciated for its radiance and is much warmer and brighter in tone than 14ct and 9ct gold – but with its high percentage of gold, it still comes at a higher price.
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14 carat gold
has about 58.5% pure gold and has a warm yellow hue. It is more affordable than 18ct gold, making it a popular choice.
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9 carat gold
has 37.5% pure gold; it is the most affordable form of gold jewellery and portrays a light yellow hue. Its higher percentage of other metals, makes it stronger and more durable and particularly suited to the creation of jewellery.
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