Gold Carat Weight: What It Means
Pure gold (24 carat gold) is incredibly soft. In order to be made into wearable jewels, it must be alloyed with harder metals like copper, nickel, silver, zinc and palladium to improve its strength and durability. To find out the ratio of pure gold to metal alloys, look at the carat weight:
- 14 carat gold: 58.3% pure gold
- 18 carat gold: 75% pure gold
- 22 carat gold: 91.7% pure gold
- 24 carat gold: 99.9% gold
Most fine jewelry is made of 14 carat or 18 carat gold. How to choose between the two:
18 carat gold
18 carat gold is the highest practical carat weight for fine jewelry. It is made up of 75% pure gold and has a wonderfully rich, saturated color. When it’s yellow, 18k gold has that incredibly vibrant, sunny hue that screams glittering gold, and it’s personally what we prefer, but everyone has an opinion on it!
18 karat gold is slightly more expensive than 14 karat gold because it contains more pure gold. It probably won’t make a huge difference in price unless you make a large, intricate piece with a lot of gold in it.