Gold is the most easily worked of all metals and ranges in softness based on its purity.
Generally pure gold is too soft for use in jewelry; it is commonly mixed with alloy metals such as copper and zinc. One of the great qualities of gold is its malleability. This, combined with its physical beauty and resistance to corrosion, makes gold the ultimate creative medium.
The term carat or karat (K or Kt) simply refers to the proportion of pure gold in a piece of gold alloy in jewelry. Karat can be defined in two ways: as fineness which expresses the amount of gold in parts out of 1000, or as a percentage of pure gold.
The karat system is used to reveal the amount of pure gold found in a piece of jewelry.
24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold.
18 karat (18K) gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts another metal or metals, making it 75% gold.
14 karat (14K) gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts another metal or metals, making it 58.3% gold.
10 karat (10K) gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts another metal or metals, making it 41.7% gold. 10k gold is the minimum karat designation that can still be called gold in the US.
When selecting jewelry, it’s important to balance gold purity with the durability. Rings and bracelets often take more abuse and are much likely to become deformed if softer gold is used; as a result, 18 Kt or 14 Kt Gold is a better selection. In addition, there are a number of other forms of gold that must be considered when shopping for jewelry. They include:
I will continue the explanations for each metal.
My shop www.kuartz.etsy.com