What Exactly Does Your Gold Jewelry’s Karat Count Mean? - Heart In Diamond

Gold comes in a number of karat counts – but what exactly does the term “karat” mean? Karat is the unit used to measure how much gold is in a piece of jewelry relative to the other metals that are present. A higher karat means more gold in your jewelry. Pure gold is referred to as 24 karat gold, which means that it is 100% gold, unmixed with any other element. Pure gold is rare and beautiful but is also soft, which makes it unsuitable for jewelry. Gold needs to be mixed with another metal such as silver or copper so it can be hard and durable enough to withstand the use associated with jewelry.

Each subsequent karat count suggests a smaller amount of gold is present in comparison to other metals. Here is a breakdown of the most common karats found in jewelry:

18K Gold = 75% gold, 25% other metals

14K Gold = 58.3% gold, 41.7% other metals

10K Gold = 41.7% gold, 58.3% other metals

9K Gold = 37.5% Gold, 62.5% other metals

The same applies to both white and yellow gold jewelry.