Company: Il Giglio Designer(s): Simone Caneschi Bracelet in 18 carat yellow and white gold - Mare
The carat weight of gold is an important factor in buying gold jewellery. It indicates the percentage of real gold in any piece of jewellery. 24 carat gold is pure. It is soft, almost flexible and easy to break. That is why it is not always used in the making of modern jewellery that often features delicate designs. Other metals like silver, copper, and zinc are added to pure gold in small quantities to make it workable, durable and even colourful.
Company: Vendorafa Designer(s): Daniela Lombardi Bangle in 18 carat yellow gold - Pentagramma
Gold jewellery is available in a variety of caratages. The preference for a certain caratage of gold is usually based on cultural, regional or traditional factors. For example, 22 carat gold is predominately used in India, while 21 carat gold is preferred in the Middle East. Most Europeans prefer 18 carat gold 24 carat gold, pure gold, is predominately used in the Far East, and is often used as a mode of investment or exchange.
For further information, please visit www.gold.org/jewellery/
Image courtesy The Assay Office Birmingham UK
The "carat code" shown on the hallmark in the UK will tell you how much pure gold your jewellery contains. The word "carat" comes from Arabic, meaning "bean seed", because years ago seeds were used to measure the weight of gold and precious stones. Now though, carat literally means the amount of gold an item of jewellery contains. For example pure gold is 24 carat or 99.99% pure.
Company: DML Designer(s): DML Creative Team Bangle in 18 carat yellow and white gold - Fluido
Much of today's gold is mixed with a percentage of alloys – metals that modifies the colour of gold and makes it harder, and stronger. The carat mark tells you the percentage of pure gold to alloy. The higher the carat quality the greater the proportion of gold it will contain. Countries across the world allow different minimum carat standards. For example, in France and Italy the lowest permitted standard for gold is 18 carat, in Germany it is 8 carat and in the USA it is 10 carat gold. In Britain, however the minimum standard has been 9 carat since the First World War when gold was in short supply.
Company: Matthia’s & Claire. Designer(s): Chiara Cilluffo Bracelet in 18 carat yellow gold - Soleil
Traditionally most jewellery in the UK is 9 carat, though there are also 14, 18, 22 and 24-carat gold standards. You will find: 9 carat gold (37.5% pure) is shown on the hallmark as 375, (9 parts pure to 15 parts alloy). 14 carat gold (58.5% pure) is shown on the hallmark as 585, (14 parts pure to 10 parts alloy). 18 carat gold (75.0% pure) is shown on the hallmark as 750, (18 parts pure to 6 parts alloy). 22 carat gold (91.6% pure) is shown on the hallmark as 916, (22 parts pure to 2 parts alloy). Pure gold is defined as 24 carat or 99.99% pure. It is a common belief that 9 carat gold is harder wearing and more durable than 18 carat but to explode the popular myth, 9 and 18 carat gold have an identical resistance to wear and tear.
Company: Danilo Nero Designer(s): Neri Romualdo Bracelet in yellow and white gold - Radiosa
In the U.S. “Karat” with a “K” is a measure of gold’s purity. “Carat” with a “C” measures the weight of a gemstone. The karat mark tells you the percentage of pure gold to alloy. In Europe the karat markings are: 999 is 24K gold, 750 is 18K gold and 585 is 14K gold. There are also other marks with other meanings on fine gold jewellery. Ask you local jeweller to explain the marks and what they mean.