In gold, carat means the purity of gold. 100% pure gold is represented by 24K. 100% pure gold is actually not primarily found in nature. Pure gold has a purity of 999.9 per thousand. Apart from 24k, there are 22k, 18k, 14k, 12k, 10k, and 8k gold. 22K gold means it contains 91.6% gold. 18K gold has 75% gold in it, whereas for 14K this number is 58.3%. Each of these is used in different places from jewelry to industry. So do you know can jewelry be made of 24k gold?
Jewelry can not be made of 24k gold. The gold mine is a soft, easily bent metal. 24K gold is also soft because of the large amount of gold in it. Therefore, it is not suitable for use in jewelry. As the gold content in gold decreases, the hardness increases. By adding different metals to 22, 18, and 14-carat gold, its durability increases, and it can be used easily in the jewelry industry where generally 18K gold is used. In the carat system, each carat is one-24th of the whole. For example, if 18 parts of a piece of jewelry are made of gold and 6 parts of silver, that piece of jewelry is made of 18K gold.
An alloy is obtained by adding silver and copper to the gold used in the jewelry industry. This alloy also contains a small amount of zinc. Gold, silver, and copper alloys also differ in color. The amount of gold and the ratio of silver to copper are important in the alloy that appears yellow, red, and green. The ratio of silver and copper in gold provides control in terms of hardness, strength, and heat resistance. Alloys with silver added to gold usually consist of 75% gold and 25% silver. The gold-nickel mixture, which allows obtaining white gold, contains 80% gold, 15% nickel, 3% zinc, and 1% copper. The ratio is adjusted according to the area of use and color, especially in the mixture of gold and copper used in money printing. The gold-palladium mixture is also used in various industries.
Minerals added to gold affect the color of gold. When silver is mixed with gold, a greenish color is obtained. When nickel or platinum is added to gold it becomes white gold. Zinc and copper, on the other hand, make the color of the gold yellower and reddish, respectively. In the jewelry sector, there is a mixture of silver and gold called green gold. For white gold, when it is first produced, it has a dull and dirty color, but it is given a bright white color by rhodium coating. Over time, white gold may lose its former shine.
What Are 24K, 22K, and 18K Gold?
24K represents the setting in gold. Gold settings are generally understood from some numbers that indicate the purity of the gold in the invisible parts of the gold. In some cases, how many carats the gold has is understood from the color of gold, and its value is determined by weighing it according to the gram calculation. A gold carat is the purity of gold, for example, one hundred percent gold is 24 carats. However, 24-carat gold, that is, 100% pure gold, is very soft and very difficult to process. For this reason, some metals (silver, copper, or zinc) are added to gold to make various jewelry and it can be processed, that is, made harder by reducing its purity.
For example, gold with decreasing purity becomes 22 carats and 18 carats.18-carat gold bracelets are often used by jewelers. Every gold jewelry is stamped with a number that indicates the gold’s fineness or the purity of the gold. In general, on the inside of the gold or on the fasteners we call the fasteners, there are tiny inscriptions such as 916, 750, 585, 416, 373, which show how much gold is contained in 24K, 22K, 18K, 14K, or 1000.
If there is 22K or 18K, you can understand that there are already 22 settings and 18 settings. But for other numbers, you should take a look at the list below. The values expressed with these numbers indicate how pure the gold jewelry is at the thousandth rate. These proportional values, which indicate the purity of gold, are called fineness. For example, when we see the number 750, this 1000 is 750 pure gold and this corresponds to 18 carats. Gold settings according to fineness values are listed below.
- 333 fineness gold is 8 carats.
- 375 fineness gold is 9 carats.
- 417 fineness gold is 10 carats.
- 585 fineness gold is 14 carats.
- 750 fineness gold is 18 carats.
- 800 fineness gold is 19 carats.
- 875 fineness gold is 21 carats.
- 916 fineness gold is 22 carats.
- 1000 fineness gold is 24 carats.
Apart from these values, sometimes it can be understood how many carats there are from the color of gold. For example, red gold is a type of gold where copper is used a lot. Green gold, on the other hand, is a type of gold that we can understand that silver is used in large quantities. Metals such as nickel, zinc, silver, and palladium are used in the white gold alloy. Generally, these golds are produced as 18 carats.
What Do 24K and Other Gold Settings Mean?
Gold has been among the favorite metals of people since ancient times, due to its bright yellow color, free availability in nature, easy processing, and durability. While it was a metal that was used abundantly in the making of various items and metal coins in the old times, today it finds usage areas such as jewelry and in different sectors. Gold is also used in some electrical circuits due to its very good electrical and heat conduction properties.
Being a very stable element makes it a metal that is not affected by golden acids. Gold, which is not oxidized, tarnished, or discolored, has been used in many fields for centuries as a very precious metal due to all these features. Although gold, which is a yellow and soft element, is not 100% pure in nature, it is found in the purity of 99.99%, which is close to this value. Among the elements most often mixed with gold are copper, silver, nickel, and zinc.
When these metals are combined with gold, a more durable alloy emerges. On the other hand, color changes occur in the alloy depending on the type and amount of elements mixed with gold. E.g; Green gold is obtained by mixing gold and pure silver, white gold is obtained by mixing gold with platinum and nickel, red gold is mixed with copper, and yellow gold is obtained by mixing it with zinc.
While the concept of % (percentage) is used in chemistry for the purity of gold, the terms “karat” or “carat” are used in relation to the purity of gold in jewelry. These concepts are briefly expressed with the letter “K”. For example, the phrase “14 K” written inside a gold ring means that the gold is 14 carats. In order to calculate the setting of an item made of gold, the fineness value must first be found. The fineness value is briefly explained as the evaluation of the purity of gold out of 1000. In order to calculate this value, the pure gold mass in the material made of gold is divided by the total mass and multiplied by 1000.
For example, the formula 80 gr / 100 gr x 1000 is used to find the fineness value of 80 grams of pure gold in a 100-gram bracelet. With this calculation, the purity of the bracelet is found to be 800 fineness. Since pure gold is considered to be 1000 fineness and 24 carats, 1 carat equals 41.66 fineness. As a result, the fineness value must be divided by 41.66 in order to reveal purity. In this way, the purity of gold can be understood. The purity and fineness values of the most commonly used gold carats in the market are listed as follows:
- 24-carat gold is 99.99% pure and has a fineness value of 999.9.
- 22-carat gold is 91.6% pure and has a fineness value of 916.
- 18-carat gold is 75% pure and has a fineness value of 750.
- 14-carat gold is 58.5% pure and has a fineness value of 585.
Since gold is a precious metal, it is also a commodity that is traded all over the world. With the opening of the wedding season, gold prices may rise. The industrial need for gold also affects gold prices. Especially in countries such as China and India, the use of gold as a jewelry item is in high demand. However, 22-carat bracelet prices and 14-carat gold jewelry prices are never the same. Although gold prices are affected by various factors, the most important factor determining the selling price of gold is the degree of purity. The lower the price of gold, the lower its price. However, a low-carat gold does not cause a problem in use.
How to Tell if Your Jewelry Is 24K Gold or Not?
The question of “how to understand how many carats gold is” is one of the question marks in the minds of almost everyone who is interested in gold and wants to invest in gold. Finding answers to the questions of individuals about gold helps both to make a healthier investment and to reach the most accurate information about the purchased gold. In this sense, first of all, it is necessary to explain what the setting is in gold.
Gold is a mineral found in nature in pure form and made known by various processes. While it is easy to process gold, it is possible to set gold with auxiliary metals used in the processing stage. The gold setting also gives important details about the softness and hardness of the gold jewelry purchased. The lower the setting, the greater the hardness. Conversely, the higher the gold is tuned, the softer the gold will be. Therefore, it can be said that 22-carat gold is softer than 14-carat gold.
The gold setting has features that may vary from country to country. In this sense, it is possible to talk about 4 different types of gold carats in most countries. These are 8, 14, 18, and 22 carats. It is stated that there is also 21-carat gold in Middle Eastern countries. For this reason, it is a common fact that 21-carat gold and 22-carat gold are mixed in this geography. In Europe and other countries, 14-carat gold is the most widely used.
Understanding the gold setting is a very important issue for those who want to buy gold or want to know whether the gift they receive is gold. In order to find out the gauge of the gold, you can make an examination yourself, or you can go to the jewelers to see what gauge your gold is. For this, it would be correct to read the codes on the inside of the gold jewelry.
Because every gold jewelry must have a code. Otherwise, you may have to suspect that the problem with this gold may exist. In rings and bracelets, the stamps are usually found on the inside; whereas it is located in the clip part of bracelets, and necklaces. If you have encountered situations contrary to this mandatory rule, you should be suspicious and apply to the nearest jeweler.
We talked about the need to examine the stamps on the inside of the gold in order to understand the gold setting. But you need to know which of these stamps means what. In this way, you can easily understand how many carats the gold you bought and the gifted gold you received is without help from the jeweler. You can encounter 3 different stamps in 14-carat jewelry. If you see the numbers 14, 575, or 585 on these stamps, it means 14k gold.
You should not rely on all other explanations and statements. When you buy 22-carat gold, it can be said that the stamps you will encounter and the settings written on it are much more. When you buy gold, if you encounter one of the numbers 22, 910, 912, 916, 930, or 933, it means that the gold is 22 carat. The numbers used in the 18 carats are 18 and 750. In 8 carats gold, 8, 330, and 300 numbers are used.
If you don’t see the stamp or gold carat numbers under your purchase or as a gift, you should keep in mind that there may be different reasons for this. First of all, we can mention that deletions due to wear occur when this setting is not visible. If the gold you bought has been used before, wear may have caused the setting not to be visible. In addition, even if the gold has gone through any cleaning and polishing process, it is possible that the gold setting will be erased.
The reason why the gold setting is not found may also have arisen due to manufacturing errors. For this reason, when there is no hallmark under it, it is necessary to talk to your jeweler and express the reason for the situation. The last and most important possibility is that the gold may be fake. If the gold is fake, you have to be very careful because of the possibility that the money you paid to buy the gold may go to waste.
Precious Metal Alloys and Jewelry Mathematics
It is possible to form a wide variety of precious metal alloys. However, gold and silver alloys have an important place in the field of trade. Alloys of these two metals do not have special names, but the word “carat”, which indicates the ratio of the precious metal in the alloy, and the name of the metal are used together. 22-carat gold, 900-carat silver, etc. The ratio of the amount of precious metal in an alloy to the total amount of the alloy is called “setting”.
A worthless ore is added to lower the setting. In this case, the amount of precious metal is kept constant. To upgrade the tune, precious metal is added. In this case, the amount of worthless metal is kept constant. Adjustment changes can also be made with lower or higher gauge alloys by mixing the previous alloy. Here too the thought will be similar. Pure gold is often used mixed with a worthless metal, as it is easily deformed and corrodes quickly. Copper is preferred as a non-precious metal. Pure gold means 100% gold and is 24 carat. 18k gold means 18 out of 24 is gold and 6 out of 24 is worthless metals.
“Jewelry” is the process of processing precious metals and their alloys into personal ornaments, household goods, religious jewelry, etc. It’s not about creating works. Jewelry is all of the activities aimed at making works of art by processing precious-worthless, metal, and non-metal raw materials. As for non-metal raw materials; mineral origin (marble, precious and worthless stones, ceramics, etc.) and animal or plant origin (ivory, turtle and sea shells, coral, wood, etc.) materials are available.
Every beautiful, attractive jewelry, when worn, arouses a sense of pleasure and interest in the viewer. Recognizing this effect, mankind started jewelry in the very ancient times before the discovery of metals. Jewelry meets the need and desire of human beings to beautify themselves.
Precious metals are not used in their pure form in jewelry. This is because pure metals are not suitable for processing. Pure gold obtained from nature is called “fine gold” in jewelry. Pure gold is not used in jewelry because it is very soft in this state. Some additives such as copper, nickel, zinc, etc. are mixed into it (in the silver alloy, copper is generally preferred as the base metal) and thus gold alloys are obtained in certain proportions. These additives are put in certain proportions by making some calculations.
The ratio of pure gold in these obtained gold alloys is called “carat”. Carat, or karat, as used in Europe, is a 1/24 representation of pure gold in a gold alloy. In other words, pure gold or, as a jeweler’s term, fine gold is considered to be 24 carats. Gold, which has been shown with this unit of measurement for a long time, is evaluated on the basis of a more precise unit of measurement today, which is called the “fineness”, which is used by Europe.
Fineness is the representation of gold purity as 1/1000. In other words, pure gold, which we call 24 carats, is considered to be 1000 fineness. Since 1 carat = 41.66 fineness, that carat is multiplied by 41.66 to find the fineness equivalent of any carat. Precious metals are part of the alloy, a proportion. Therefore, it is necessary to express separately the weight of the precious metal and the total weight of the alloy. Here, the weight of the precious metal is called “Pure (fine) Weight”, while the weight of the whole alloy is called “Total weight”. If we divide these two weights, we get the fineness value. In other words, the fineness of the gold is the ratio of the specific weight to the total weight.
It is theoretically possible to use any scale to denote the millimeter of an alloy. For practical reasons, my million is expressed in thousands. Accordingly, pure gold is 1000/1000 fineness. An alloy of 750/1000 fineness contains 750 grams of pure gold in every 1000 grams. To express the weight of precious stones, gram is a very large weight, and “carat” is used. Technical carat, which is exactly 0.2 grams, is used today. Thus, it is easy to convert carats to grams.
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