The term "carat" in relation to gold products means a quality mark and indicates the purity of the alloy. Pure gold is known as 24-carat gold, which corresponds to 999 fineness. 14K gold is one of the most commonly found on the market.
What is karat gold
Gold is a metal famous for its plasticity. Pure gold is too soft for jewelry making, so it is used in alloy with other metals. So, yellow gold is an alloy of gold with silver and copper, pink - only with copper, white with nickel, palladium, platinum or zinc, green - with silver and zinc or cadmium.
In the system of samples familiar to many, the content of pure gold per 1 kilogram of alloy is indicated. In the carat system, it is assumed that any gold product consists of 24 parts of metal. Only gold itself is measured in carats.
Therefore, a piece of jewelry with a 14 carat mark consists of 14 parts of the most precious metal and 10 parts of other metals. Or, if we talk about the percentage, it contains 58.5% of gold and 41.5% of other metals, which corresponds to 585 fineness, that is, in 1 kilogram of alloy 585 grams of gold.
The metals contained in a gold alloy are called ligatures.
There are also markings:
- 24 carats (999 standard);
- 22 carats (916 standard);
- 18 carats (750 standard);
- 10 carats (between 585 and 375 fineness);
- 9 carats (375 standard).
The karat system is widely used in Europe and the USA, as well as in China, India and the Middle East. At the same time, according to the laws of these countries, a deviation from the declared gold content of ½ carat is allowed. Naturally, more often jewelers “make mistakes” in their favor.
Gold items marked with 24 carats are rare, mostly found in China, where they are used for wedding ceremonies, and 22 carat fine jewelry is popular in the Middle East. 18-karat gold is popular in Europe, especially with brands that make road watches. 14K gold is more commonly found in the United States.
In the USA, the minimum fine for jewelry is 10 carats, in Europe it is 9.
The lowest admissible fineness - 9 carats, owes its origin to the Second World War. It was introduced in the UK in order to be able to produce wedding rings, recognized as "essential goods", but at the same time spend as little precious metal as possible.
What is the difference between "gold" and "diamond" carat
There is confusion between diamond and gold carat. It arose due to the fact that both the one and the other unit of measurement is associated with the Latin name for carob seed (carat). The unit of mass of gemstones, equal to 200 mg, was derived from the weight of the seeds of this plant.
Carat - a measure of the purity of gold - originated during the time of the Roman emperor Constantine I. He ordered the minting of gold coins - solidus - so that the mass of gold in them was equal to the mass of 24 carob pods.