There are various grades of gold purity, determined by the ratio of their alloy composition and rated by a karat system. Typical karat purities range from 10 karats to 24 karats (pure gold), with a wide variation of usage from country to country. In the United States, the most popular composition is 14 karat gold.
Below are some of the most common gold densities, along with the characteristics and pure gold content of each:
- 24 Karat Gold
- In its purest form, the metal is comprised of 100% gold with virtually no alloy metals. Pure gold is extremely soft and pliable, which is why it's often mixed with other metals, such as copper and silver, to forge jewelry.
- 22 Karat Gold
- This level of gold is 91.7% pure which is still too soft to make jewelry and not as durable as 18K or 14K.
- 18 Karat Gold
- This alloy consists of 75% gold and 25% alloy metals. 18 karat gold has been found to be the perfect balance between gold purity and strength. Brilliance offers a variety of exquisite 18 karat gold jewelry.
- 14 Karat Gold
- 14 karat gold is 58.3% pure gold; the remainder is comprised of alloy metals. Any gold purity less than 14 karat gold is not recommended for high quality jewelry.
- 10 Karat Gold
- This tier of the metal consists of 41.7% gold. This is the minimum purity that can still be considered gold in the United States and is not used for high quality jewelry.
Some countries use a required hallmarking system to imprint each gold jewelry piece with the karat count. Hallmarks for gold will typically appear as the karat weight (for example, 18 or 14) followed by 'K', 'KT', or 'karat'. Although this is not a government-mandated law in the United States, Brilliance stamps each piece of gold jewelry with the karat weight as a means of ensuring a confident, informed jewelry shopping experience.
Colors of Gold
Due to its inherent softness and malleability, gold is rarely used alone when forging a jewelry piece. Instead, it's blended with other fine metals to lend more hardness and durability. When pure gold is combined with these other metals, it takes on a variety of rich shades that have become desirable in their own right. At Brilliance, we offer an assortment of contrasting hues in our fine gold jewelry: