Much like silver, pure gold is very soft, and gold is usually alloyed with other metals to make a stronger metal before it is crafted into jewelry. Unlike silver, the mixture of metals used to create the alloy also has a significant influence in the color, and the value of the metal.
When we talk about the purity of a gold alloy, we usually talk about Carats. The word “carat” dates back to classical times when the ancient Greeks used tiny “carob” seeds to measure small weights. Carat, as used for gold purity not a measure of weight, but represents the proportion of pure gold in a gold alloy. Carat is also used in the same way for platinum alloys. Somewhat confusing is the fact that Carat can also refer to the weight of diamonds.
This table shows the minimum percentage of gold or platinum in an alloy for some of the most used carat values. The stamp value is usually stamped or engraved into a jewel as a quality label. It represents the millesimal purity, or parts per thousand.
Carat purity is measured as 24 times the pure mass divided by the total mass. If you want to calculate an exact carat value u can use the formula stated below.
K = 24 * ( Mg / Mm )
So for a ring that weighs 10 grams in total and has at least 7.5 grams of gold in it the carat rating is:
K = 24 * ( 7.5 / 10 ) = 18 Carat
So 14K gold is actually only about 60% pure gold, which usually makes it a lot more affordable as well as making it much stronger than 24K or pure gold. What makes up the other 40%? This is where it gets interesting. With gold alloys, the “other” metals in the mixture have a big influence in the color of the metal. The most common gold colors are; yellow, reddish, and white. Mostly these colors are created by adding silver, copper, palladium or platinum respectively to the gold alloy. Palladium or platinum are much more expensive than silver, and close to or more valuable than pure gold, which is why a 14K white gold metal can be almost as or even more expensive as 18K gold.
There are also some more exotic colors that you might not expect to come from the combination of materials that create them. Below you will find a table that states some of the most common as well as some exotic alloys and their constituents.
|Sterling Silver||White Gold (18kt)||Yellow Gold (14kt)||Yellow Gold (18kt)|
|92.5% Silver||75% Gold||58% Gold||75% Gold|
|7.5% Copper||25% Palldium or Platinum||25% Silver||12.5% Silver|
|17% Copper||12.5% Copper|
|Red gold (18kt)||Rose Gold (18kt)||Green Gold (18kt)||Purple Gold (18kt)|
|75% Gold||75% Gold||75% Gold||75% Gold|
|25% Copper||22.25% Copper||25% Silver||25% Aluminium|
At suuz.com you design your personalised jewelry right here online. Once designed you can easily order a test model to see your design or get it in beautifully polished silver or gold. Each piece is hand crafted in the Netherlands to perfection.Let's design your piece >