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What's the Deal with Karats?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between 10kt, 14kt, or 18kt? When shopping for jewelry, the price can vary greatly by a number of different elements. Last week, I wrote a blog titled, What’s the Price Difference, that talks about a few of them (, and this week I am delving into the mysterious world of karats!

When gold comes out of the earth is ALWAYS yellow in color, and it is ALWAYS soft! Gold is malleable which means that it can be permanently pressed out of shape without breaking or cracking. It is also ductile which means that it can be drawn out into thin wire. In fact, one ounce of gold can be drawn into 50 miles of thin wire! In order to make gold durable enough to wear in jewelry, other metals are added. Some of the common metals added are silver, copper, and zinc.

The abbreviation kt stands for karats, which is the unit of measurement used to denote how much pure gold is in the metal mix. (Diamonds are also measured in carats, but as you can see, it is spelled differently using a c instead of a k)

· 10kt is 10 parts pure gold and 14 parts other metals, or 41.7% pure gold

· 14kt is 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts other metals, or 58.5% pure gold

· 18kt is 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts other metals, or 75% pure gold

· 24kt is pure gold (not very practical for jewelry wearing!)

When all quality and gemstone factors are equal, a 10kt gold ring will be significantly cheaper than an 18kt gold ring. The price is directly related to the amount of pure gold content.

The metal color will be different as well. The higher the gold content, the richer and robust the gold color will be! This brings us to another question, what makes gold different colors?

Tune in next week as I explain how gold can come in various colors! Same bat-time, same bat-channel!

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