Simple Facts About Gold Alloys in Jewelry
In the United States gold must be at least 9K to be sold as karat gold. Lower karat gold alloys have a higher percentage of the other metals added to them. Karatage or Karat count is actually the measurement of how pure of gold an item or jewelry piece actually is. Its measured in 24ths so a 24k piece of jewelry is actually 100% pure gold. The chart below shows how much yellow gold is in your jewelry according to the stated Karat:
1 karat Gold = 4.17% Gold and 95.83% alloy 2 karat Gold = 8.33% Gold and 91.67% alloy 3 karat Gold = 12.5% Gold and 87.5% alloy 4 karat Gold = 16.67% Gold and 83.33% alloy 5 karat Gold = 20.83% Gold and 79.17% alloy 6 karat Gold = 25% Gold and 75% alloy 7 karat Gold = 29.17% Gold and 70.83% alloy 8 karat Gold = 33.3% Gold and 66.67% alloy 9 karat Gold = 37.5% Gold and 62.5% alloy 10 karat Gold = 41.67% Gold and 58.33% alloy 11 karat Gold = 45.83% Gold and 54.17% alloy 12 karat Gold = 50% Gold and 50% alloy 13 karat Gold = 54.17% Gold and 45.83% alloy 14 karat Gold = 58.33% Gold and 41.67% alloy 15 karat Gold = 62.5% Gold and 37.5% alloy 16 karat Gold = 66.67% Gold and 33.33% alloy 17 karat Gold = 70.83% Gold and 29.17% alloy 18 karat Gold = 75% Gold and 25% alloy 19 karat Gold = 79.1% Gold and 20.83% alloy 20 karat Gold = 83.33% Gold and 16.67% alloy 21 karat Gold = 87.5% Gold and 12.5% alloy 22 karat Gold = 91.67% Gold and 8.33% alloy 23 karat Gold = 95.83% Gold and 4.17% alloy 24 karat Gold = 100% Gold and 0% alloy
Pure gold is very soft. It is very easy to work with hand tools.To make it harder it is mixed with other metals, creating an alloy. Gold alloy purity is expressed in karats depending of the amount of yellow gold added to it. The mixture percentages are not standardized, so depending on the fluctuating cost of alloy metals, manufacturer, or desired color, your gold piece can have a different hue from other pieces of the same gold purity karat. Pure gold is always yellow gold and to make it other colors it is mixed with other metals to change it.
Gold alloys are available in many colors being the most populars Rose, White and Green. The color of the alloy is determined by the percentage and types of metal mixed with the pure gold. Rose gold contains more copper; until recently white gold was traditionally made with nickel. Now white gold is also made with palladium, a platinum family metal; green gold is made with an alloy of fine silver. As an example, most green gold is 18 karat; 75% gold, 25% silver. Notice that white gold is always yellow but with an outer layer of allow.
There are many other colors made with alloy combinations. The percentage of gold used is directly related to the karat content of the alloy. It does not matter what type of metal is "mixed" with the gold, just how much.