Understanding the concept of gold karat when applied to gold:

One karat is 1/24 pure, so 24 karat is pure gold. In other words 24 karat would be 100% gold or pure gold.

In 18 karat gold jewelry, there are 18 parts of pure gold and 6 of another metal (18/24 = ¾ = 75% pure gold).
In some cultures, 24 karat gold jewelry is required for certain jewelry pieces but its generally agreed that 24 karat gold is too soft for jewelry use.

In some parts of the world, 18 karat is preferred because of its brighter yellow color and it is considered purer and more precious.

In the US, 14 karat or 18 karat gold is preferred because it is more durable.

In Europe, the percentage of pure is indicated by a number representing how many parts out of a total of 1,000 parts of pure gold.
One thousand parts is equivalent to 24 karat. 18 karat would represent 750/1,000 = ¾ = 75%.

Here is a table indicating the different gold karat markings around the world.

Gold Marks

American Marking (Karatage) karat Pure Gold Content (Fineness In Percent) European Markings
24k 100 1000
22k 91.6 916
20k 83 833
19k(used in Portugal) 79.2 792
18k 75 750
15k(used in Portugal) 62.5 625
14k 58.5 585
12k 50.0 500
10k 41.7 417
9k 37.5 375

Return to Jewellery Homepage .

Return to All About Jewelry From Gold Karat.

Read more gold facts and interesting tips below:

Cleaning Gold Jewelry Tips
Our super cool tips on cleaning and taking care of your gold jewelery.

How To Buy Gold Jewelery Guide
Great guide in helping you when buying gold jewelry.

Gold Carat
Understanding the concept of gold carat.

Gold History
Read all about the complex and interesting history of gold.

Facts About Gold
Some very interesting facts about gold.

Colors Of Gold
Check out the different colors of gold and their composition.

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