Gold Purity

Gold purity:

Gold Purity and Carat System Explained

Understanding Gold Purity

Gold purity refers to the proportion of gold in a piece compared to other metals. It is typically measured in carats (K), with 24K being pure gold. The purity affects the metal's color, strength, and value.

Carat System

  • 24K Gold: Pure gold, with a purity of 99.9%. It's highly malleable and has a distinct bright yellow color.
  • 22K Gold (916): Contains 91.6% gold, with the remainder being metals like silver, zinc, or copper. It's durable while retaining a rich yellow hue.
  • 18K Gold: Made of 75% gold mixed with 25% other metals, offering a good balance between purity and strength. Ideal for fine jewelry.
  • 14K Gold: Contains 58.3% gold. It's more resistant to wear and tear, making it suitable for everyday jewelry.
  • 10K Gold: The minimum standard in the U.S., with 41.7% gold. It's very durable but has a paler yellow color.

Types of Gold

  • Yellow Gold: The classic gold color, achieved without much alloy mixing or with balanced proportions of silver and copper.
  • White Gold: Gold alloyed with metals like palladium, nickel, or silver, giving it a white color. Often coated with rhodium for added brightness and durability.
  • Rose Gold: Contains a higher proportion of copper, giving it a pinkish hue. The more copper, the redder the gold.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is 1 ppm equal to?
  • How do you convert to ppm?
  • How to convert 1% to ppm?
  • How do you calculate ppm?
  • Is 916 gold 22K or 24K? 916 gold refers to 22K gold, indicating a purity of 91.6% gold.
  • What is a good gold purity for jewelry? 18K gold is often considered a good balance between purity, durability, and value for jewelry.
  • Which is better: 18K or 22K gold? 18K gold is more durable and suitable for daily wear, whereas 22K gold is purer and more valuable, better for investment pieces.
  • What is the purity of 22K gold? 22K gold has a purity of 91.6%, with the rest being alloyed metals.
  • Is 916 and KDM gold the same? Yes, 916 gold is also known as KDM gold, referring to the purity level of 91.6%.
  • What does KDM gold stand for? KDM stands for Kadmi, a term used in some regions to denote gold alloyed with cadmium.
  • What are the different types of gold available? Common types include yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and green gold, each mixed with different alloys for color and strength.
  • Which carat gold is considered 100% pure? 24K gold is considered 100% pure, although actual purity may be slightly less due to traces of other metals.
  • What is the lowest purity gold that is still considered gold? 10K gold, with 41.7% gold content, is the lowest standard considered gold in many countries, including the U.S.

This chart shows some examples of the composition of various caratages of gold.

  Caratage Gold(Au) Silver (Ag)  Copper (Cu) Zinc (Zn) Palladium (Pd) 
Yellow Gold 9k 37.5% 42.50% 20%    
Yellow Gold 10k 41.70% 52% 6.30%    
Yellow Gold 14k 58.30% 30% 11.70%    
Yellow Gold 18k 75% 15% 10%    
Yellow Gold 22k 91.70% 5% 2% 1.30%  
White Gold 9k 37.5% 62.5%      
White Gold 10k 41.7% 47.4%   0.9% 10%
White Gold 14k 58.30% 32.20%     9.50%
White Gold 18k 75%       25% (or Pt)
White Gold 22k N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rose Gold 9k 37.5% 20% 42.5%    
Rose Gold 10k 41.70% 20% 38.3%    
Rose Gold 14k 58.30% 9.2% 32.5%    
Rose Gold 18k 75% 9.2% 22.2%    
Rose Gold 22k 91.7%   8.40%