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Gold Carat: A handy chart for buyers

Updated on January 9, 2013
Crystaline Native gold on display at the Natural History Museum, London.
Crystaline Native gold on display at the Natural History Museum, London. | Source

What Does “Carat” means about gold?

Okay, you are planning to buy a gold ring for your engagement coming up next week. Or, your mother’s birthday is coming and you are thinking of gifting her a pair of gold earrings. You went to a jewelry shop and the salesperson asked what Carat of gold you are looking for? 22 Carat rings has a higher price than 14 Carat rings. Puzzled?

Carat is the percentage of purity in a thing which is made of gold. It is expressed in a measurement out of 24. In other words, if your ring is 18 Carat, it means 18 parts of its 24 parts is gold, as percentage- 75% of the ring is made of gold

18/24 = 0.75

I know its little confusing for the first time. Here is the chart for better understanding-


Carat
Gold Content
10
41.6%
14
58.3%
18
75%
21
87.5%
22
91.6%
24
99..99%

Generally, 24 Carat gold is not used to make jewelry as pure gold is soft and needed to be polished often to maintain its shine.


Chapel Roof; Krakow Cathedral mkII in Kraków, Poland
Chapel Roof; Krakow Cathedral mkII in Kraków, Poland | Source


How could I know if I have bought my desired Carat of gold?


Look at the inner side of the ring, in the hook of your earring or necklace. You should probably see a number like this: 9999 or 916 or 875 etc.


Here is the explanation:

Number
Carat
9999
24
916
22
875
21
750
18
583
14
416
10


Happy Gold Shopping!

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 Funeral mask also known as “Agamemnon Mask”. Gold, found in Tomb V in Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann (1876), XVIth century BC. National Archeological Museum, Athens.
Funeral mask also known as “Agamemnon Mask”. Gold, found in Tomb V in Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann (1876), XVIth century BC. National Archeological Museum, Athens. | Source

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