The golden secret – What's a carat?

The golden secret – What's a karat?

Karat, you might have heard this word when buying jewelry or gold items. But what exactly does it mean?

A karat (often written as "kt") is a unit of measure for the purity of gold. It is commonly used to indicate how much gold is present in an alloy, compared to other metals. Carat ("ct") is a unit of measure used for diamonds and other precious gems.

Pure gold is 24 carats. This means that 24 out of 24 parts of the metal are pure gold. In other words, 100% of the metal is gold. A different carat I personally love is 14 carats (contains 58.3% gold). This is the perfect shade of gold in my opinion, making for a softer and brighter color – not as harshly yellow as 22k or 24k can be. It's also very durable since it's hardened with 10 parts of other metals (usually copper).

Gold carat chart:

No. of carats Fraction of gold % of gold Fineness
9K 9/24 37.5 375
10K 10/24 41.7 416/417
12K 12/24 50.0 500
14K 14/24 58.3 583/585
18K 18/24 75.0 750
22K 22/24 91.7 916/917
24K 24/24 99.9 999

It's important to know the karat of gold because it affects the price, color and durability of the metal. Higher karat gold is softer and more yellow in colour, while lower karat gold is harder and has a more yellow-white appearance.

When purchasing solid gold jewelry, it's good to look for a hallmark that indicates the carat of the piece. This hallmark should be stamped on the piece by the manufacturer and give you an idea of ​​its composition and value.

In conclusion, knowing the karat of gold is crucial when buying gold jewelry or items. It gives you a good understanding of the composition and value of the metal. So next time you go jewelry shopping, keep an eye out for the carat!

Gold plating

For the plating to stay on the piece and last as long as possible it's important to plate with the correct thickness depending on what kind of jewelry it is. A micron (also called micrometer) is a tiny unit of measurement often used to measure any kind of jewelry plating thickness.

Ideal plating thickness
Jewelry Thickness
Earrings 1 - 2 microns
Ring 2 - 5 microns
Bracelets, necklaces, etc. 2.5 - 5 microns

Think of it like this, if you took a pencil and cut it into a hundred pieces, each one of those pieces would be about one micron thin. A human hair is around 70 microns, and anything below 25 microns is near impossible for the human eye to see.