I was wondering what the karat numbers mean for gold? I know it has something to do with the amount of actual gold, but what does each # equate to?
jason neath [ Editor ]
Basically it's math. There are 24 karats(parts) total. So whatever karat gold you have, you just divide that by 24 to find the quality.
- 24 karat gold = pure solid gold = 24 parts/24 total = 100% gold.
- 18 karat gold = mix gold + other = 18 parts gold + 6 parts other = 75% gold(gets stamped .750)
- 14 karat gold = mix gold + other = 14 parts gold + 10 parts other = 58.3% gold(gets stamped .585)
- 10 karat gold = mix gold + other = 10 parts gold + 14 parts other = 41.67% gold(gets stamped .417)
Basically the non-24 karat gold is mixed with other alloys (silver, copper, zinc), and since gold is very malleable, the less karat you have, the stronger the gold will be.
Hope that helps