ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gold Grade: Different Gold Grades: Grading 0f Gold Purity: Carat, Karat: Gold Ore Grades

Updated on December 14, 2012

____Gold Carat / Gold Carats____
____Gold Karat / Gold Karats____
_______Gold ct / Gold kt________
________Gold Measure________
_________Gold Purity__________
____________Gold k___________

Gold Grades, Fineness and Karat / Carat

Gold is graded in karat / carat. A karat (carat) is a measurement of the fineness of gold. The gold grade expresses the proportion of gold in a gold alloy or the quality of that gold alloy. Pure gold or fine gold is 24 karat / 24 carat (24k, 24 kt, 24 ct) gold (.999). 24k gold (999 fineness) is the grade of gold bullion.

Gold Grade Naming Conventions

US nomenclature for the grade of gold.
kt, k
UK nomenclature for the grade of gold.

Gold Karatages (Caratages)

The grades of gold reduce in karat fineness as more non-gold metal (alloy) is mixed with gold. Pure fine gold is very soft and malleable and does not lend itself well to gold objects that receive a lot of wear, as pure gold wears easily. The next grade down from pure gold is 22 karat (22k) gold (.916) , which is somewhat harder but is still easily worn away, especially if in contact with gold of lower grades. 22k gold is used in some gold coins and investment jewellery (jewelry).

18 karat (18K) gold (.75) is used for high quality jewellery (jewelry) and is the most commonly used grade in Continental European jewellery. It is considerably harder than the two previous grades but still wears more easily than 14k grade gold and lower grades of gold. It is advised that two different grades should not be worn together in order to limit the wear that could occur.

14 karat (14k) gold (.583) is the most common grade of gold used in North America. This is considerably harder than the most common UK gold grade, which is 9 karat (9k) gold (.375). There are other grades of gold, notably 15 karat (15k) gold (.625); 12 karat (12K) gold (.5) and 10 karat (10K) gold (.417). The lowest grade of gold that is acceptable for jewellery is 8 karat (8k) gold (.333)

All jewelry in the USA and jewellery in the UK. is required by law to be stamped so consumers will know the quality of gold used. This has not always been the same, even since the time of compulsory hallmarking in the UK - the reason being that some items are just too small for a hallmark to be useful in identifying the gold purity.

North America usually marks jewelry with the karat grade (10K, 14K, etc.), Other countries have different gold hallmarking conventions, for example jewellery made in the UK or Italy has a fineness stamp (417, 583, etc.).

So any piece of jewellery can have a karat grade or a fineness number stamped on it

Gold Grades at a Glance

Lowest acceptable for jewellery.
Most UK jewellery.
Lower grade Continental Europe jewellery.
Some older UK jewellery
Most North American jewellery.
Some older UK jewellery
Most Continental European jewellery.
Some coins and investment jewellery.
Gold bullion / pure gold.
Gold Grades, Percentages and fineness.

Gold Grade in Relation to Gold Mining

The gold grade, when referred to in connection with the mining of gold ore is the proportion of gold contained in the ore, calculated as grammes of gold ore per tonne (g/t) of extracted material. The grades of gold ore can range from 1 g/t up to 10 g/t or more. The higher the number of grammes / tonne that can be extracted is more profitable the mine, as long as the operating costs of extraction do not deplete the cost per ounce. Some gold mines, such as deep shaft gold mines have high operating costs and are only viable if the gade of gold ore is sufficiently high to offest those cost. Mines that operate on the surface can survive on much lower grades of ore as their extraction costs are likely to be lower.

In recent years the grammes / tonne grading of gold has been increased across the board due to a greater quantity of gold being able to be extracted due to increased capabilities in the extraction process. With the price of gold at it's current levels, it has become viable to utilise these improved techniques to extract gold from gold tailings and gold slag heaps.

Gold Grade in Relation to Gold Coins

Gold coinage is a different matter altogether. Since the late 1950s gold coin traders have graded gold coins by a range of grades evaluating the quality of the condition of the coins. This standard for grading gold coins has a range running from uncirculated (the highest grade) and fair, which is the lowest grade.

Collectors of coins are sold coins on the basis of this grading method. Most gold coinage sold for collection fall into the range fine (F, VF, EF, XF) to mint (AU, Mint). Gold grades such as good (VG, G, AG) and fine (F) are "filler" coins for collectors. A table giving the mint states (MS), description and gold grade range is given below.

Gold Coin Grades

Range (MS)
Mint state
Almost uncirculated
Extra fine
Very fine
Very Good
Almost good
Gold Coin Grades

_______These pencils are for your personal use for comments_____.

__________________PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE________________


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How about gold sold in Singapore.

      We have chinese gold and indian gold.

      Indian gold is very strong brigth yellow color.

      Chinese gold is lighter. It is said 999 carat or


    • humagaia profile imageAUTHOR

      Charles Fox 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      If you like gold as a colour you are so right. However, there is a move towards more exotic colours, as you note is you read the series of gold hubs I have produced.

    • LeanMan profile image


      9 years ago from At the Gemba

      The gold for sale here in Saudi Arabia is 22K and looks so much better than what I could have bought in the UK..


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)