All About Gold: Types, Karat, Composition, Durability (TKCD)

In the United States of America, it is required by the National Gold and Silver Marking Act of 1906, that all gold products be marked with a stamp of at least 1.5 karat of the stamp. It is considered unlawful to willfully stamp jewelry that is not a certain percent gold. This is the standard of fineness in gold jewelry. If there is ever a time you receive a piece of jewelry from that does not have a gold stamp, please contact us so we can have your jewelry appropriately stamped. Mistakes rarely occur, but when they do we will stand by our products.

Gold (Yellow & White):
GarnetGold is by far the most popular type of metal quality used when making jewelry. The most popular karat used in jewelry is 14K. A question we get far too often is, “What’s the difference between karats and what type of karat will last a long time?” If you are measuring a piece of 10K jewelry against one that is 14K, you can expect the 14K weight to be more, because gold is heavier than the other metals mixed with the gold. Pure gold is not typically used in gold jewelry. While it is the most expensive and most malleable type of gold, it is not durable. Listed below are the various components and percentile of gold within yellow gold jewelry

Metal Percent Other Components
10K Yellow Gold 41.7% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
12K Yellow Gold 50% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
14K Yellow Gold 58.5% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
16K Yellow Gold 66% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
18K Yellow Gold 75% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
20K Yellow Gold 83% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
22K Yellow Gold 91% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
24K Yellow Gold 99.9% copper, silver, zinc, nickel, x<0.1%

White gold is made up of other metallic components in contrast to yellow gold. It was first introduced in an attempt to imitate platinum. While yellow gold is almost always the same components (percent varying) to give it that ‘yellow’ color, white gold describes any gold metal combination with a white hue. Often, platinum will be used for a greater/heavier weight and durability as one of the components of white gold; the percentage of other metals in white gold ranges in percent and type of metal.

White gold can be made up of nickel (which is good for malleability), palladium, manganese, titanium, platinum, and more. The design and type of ring are often predetermined by jewelers before they are made. 22K to 24K white gold bands do not exist. By definition, white gold contains a white hue, and 24K pure gold is a yellow metal. It is difficult to remove all other particles from yellow gold, so pure gold is typically 99.9% gold metal.

Metal Percent Other Components
10K White Gold 41.7% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
12K White Gold 50% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
14K White Gold 58.5% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
16K White Gold 66% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
18K White Gold 75% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
20K White Gold 83% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
22K White Gold 91% Does not exist

Next UP in PART II, we will cover PURPLE gold as well as a brief history and explanation for why 10K gold in Brazil is still considered gold, but in Europe the lowest gold rating is 18K. Tune in and subscribe!

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