Understanding Gold Purity

Pure gold, a rich orange-yellow color when not mixed with other elements, is a beautiful and rare sight to see. It is also relatively soft, considering a fingernail can scratch the surface of pure, 24 karat gold. Therefore, jewelers have to mix in other metals, like silver and copper, to increase the hardiness of the gold they use, creating a piece’s durability and longevity. This is why you see varying karats of gold; the lower the carat, the more inclusions of other metals, creating hardness.

Gold Purity Chart

Why Different Prices for Karats of Gold?

The higher the percentage amount of gold used, the more expensive it will become. Nine karats will be less expensive, while 24 karats will be most expensive. Also, the price of a piece will also take into account how much metal is used; a heavier piece uses more metal, which will elevate the price.

What Karat Should I Choose?

What karat you choose is an entirely personal choice. If you are looking at an item you might wish to wear every day, 9 karats would be the most durable. If you are looking to purchase an heirloom item that will be worn occasionally, a higher karat might be your best choice. Also, individuals with varying severities of allergies might find a higher karat piece reduces their allergy to certain metals. Price is also a factor in deciding which karat is right for you.

What is Rose Gold?

Rose gold is an alloy with a larger percentage of copper added to it, which changes the color of the gold to a rosy tint that rose gold is known for.

What is White Gold?

White gold is an alloy of gold mixed with percentages of zinc and nickel, which changes the color of gold to white. White gold was developed to imitate platinum, which is a naturally white metal.

Fun Fact!

What is the Largest Nugget of Gold Ever Found?

Called “The Welcome Stranger”, the nugget was found at Moliagul, Victoria, Australia in 1869 by Richard Oates and John Deason. It weighed over 173 lbs., and returned over 156.6 lbs. of net pure gold!

Picture of miners who discovered the Welcome Stranger Gold Nugget showing the nugget that weighs over 150lbs

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