One common question we get asked is “What is the difference between carat & karat?” I’m sure that you have also wondered this at some stage. This is especially the case, when looking at selections of engagement & wedding rings.
Well, the simple explanation is that one is a unit of weight (Carat). The other is a unit of purity or fineness (Karat).
A Carat is a unit of weight for diamonds & other gemstones. This measurement is used as an international standard for weighing gemstones & pearls. A one-carat diamond weighs .2 of a gram, whereas a 5-carat diamond weighs 1.0 gram.
While carat weight may indicate a diamond’s size, the shape & cut of a stone also plays a large part. Determining how large or how small the stone appears. Two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (& prices). This is dependent on three other factors of the diamond 4Cs: Clarity, Color, & Cut. It is important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined using all the 4Cs, not just carat weight.
A Karat is a measure of the purity of gold. 24-karat gold is pure gold. But usually, you mix gold with another metal, like copper or silver when making jewelry. This is because pure gold is too soft. Each karat indicates 1/24th of pure gold. So, if a couple’s rings are 18-karat gold, meaning the metal is 18 parts gold & 6 parts alloys.
The alloys are broken down, as per what color 18K gold you want to achieve:
- Yellow Gold (18K) – mix is 75% gold & a mix of 12.5% copper & 12.5% silver
- White Gold (18K) – mix is 75% gold & 25% palladium or nickel
- Rose Gold (18K) – mix is 75% gold & 20% copper & 5% silver
Now that you know about carat & karat jewelry terms. Go to our Colors of Gold blogpost to find out more about the various colors of gold available.