There are two very important issues that must be considered when purchasing a piece of jewellery made from gold.
Carat (commonly abbreviated kt to k) is one of the most important things to consider when choosing that special piece of gold jewellery. It refers to the percentage of gold that has been mixed with the metal (the type of metal used is determined by the desired colour of the gold).
Carat measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with another metal alloy, this means that if the gold purity is higher, the value therefore is too.
For example, an 18kt piece of gold jewellery will always be worth more than a 14kt piece of gold jewellery and this does not change, whether you are choosing between white gold, yellow gold or rose gold.
9kt gold denotes 37.5% gold purity. It is the minimum standard used to create gold jewellery in the UK, such as durable metal rings and strong necklace chains.
9kt gold features a 9kt stamp or the numbers 375, somewhere on the jewellery.
This carat of gold denotes 58.5% purity, immediately increasing its value and making it a popular choice for those looking for a longer lasting piece of jewellery.
Look for 14kt to be stamped on the gold or the numbers 585.
18kt gold denotes 75.0% purity and is used mainly for fine jewellery. Look out for the numbers 750 or the 18kt stamp.
22kt gold features 91.7% gold purity, making it an expensive metal and very soft. Therefore, it is mainly used for plain gold jewellery.
The numbers 917 and stamp 22kt indicate the purity of this gold.
This is the highest carat gold, denoting 100% gold purity. It cannot be used for jewellery because it is too soft to work with.
The colour options for the gold do vary. The most popular gold colour is White Gold, followed by Yellow Gold. The difference in colour between Yellow Gold and White Gold is determined by the metals used in the alloy mix.
Yellow Gold is made by mixing pure gold with alloy metals such as copper and zinc.
White Gold is made by mixing pure gold with some white metals such as silver and palladium.
White Gold is essentially Yellow Gold that has been mixed with other metal to whiten it, but it does not become completely
white, it remains off white or cream white. it is often plated with rhodium,which in time wears off so regular re-plating
is often required to maintain its whiteness.
Rose Gold is made by mixing pure gold with copper.
Jewellery can also be made using a combination of different gold colours. These jewellery items are sometimes called two-tone or multi-coloured gold