Understanding Gold Purity: TheDifferences Between Types of Gold & Karat Values

Gold jewelry is special.

Derived from the versatile heavy metal, gold jewelry offers natural beauty and radiance that has been coveted by humans for at least 6,000 years.

Resistant to rust and corrosion, gold jewelry has the ability to stand the test of time and become a coveted family heirloom.

What might not be as clear when it comes to gold is the difference between karats and color. There’s more to it than merely yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold when it comes to options.  

Learning the difference between karats and color can be helpful when picking out your wedding ring or a pair of timeless stud earrings.  

The Different Karats of Gold Purity

When it comes to wearing gold jewelry every day, you will want a stunning piece of jewelry that can stand the test of time.  

Contrary to popular belief, pure 24-karat gold is not the best option if you wish to wear the piece of jewelry every day.

The purity gives it a rich, alluring color that can catch anyone’s attention.

To give the gold increased durability, the gold material is mixed with other metals like silver, platinum, or copper.

The mixture is then what determines the karat of gold, or the purity level. For daily wear, 18karat and 14-karat gold jewelry are the most common.

Gold Purity Scale

Gold content and purity is measured in karats, as the number increases, so does the gold purity level.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides the following standards for gold jewelry:

  • 24K: Made up of 99.9% gold, it is the purest form available. It is too soft for frequently worn jewelry.
  • 22K: This karat is 91.6% pure, and although the color is beautiful, it is too soft to hold previous gemstones.
  • 18K: Offering 75% gold purity, 18-karat gold is ideal for fine jewelry.
  • 14K: As one of the most popular choices for gold jewelry, 14-karat gold consists of 58% gold.

Even though 24-karat gold is the most valuable because of its color and purity, it isn’t ideal for fine jewelry like engagement rings or watches.

To help ensure your luxury jewelry stands the test of time, opting for pieces made from 18- or 14-karat gold are usually best.

Colors of Gold Jewelry

Karat value isn’t the only factor to consider while shopping for a new piece of gold jewelry.

Shopping for an effortless gold pendant necklace or diamond stud gold earrings that will become an family heirloom means determining which gold color you prefer.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold offers a classic visual appeal that is perfectly paired with modern styling. The vibrant color acts as the perfect foundation to any great piece of fine jewelry.

yellow gold matching ring, necklace, and bangle fine jewelry set with diamonds and blue gemstones

The soft, yellow glow helps the person wearing the piece fall in love with it a little bit more each time they take it out of their jewelry box.  

White Gold

White gold jewelry offers a fashion-forward appeal due to its modern, silver appearance.

The brilliant color is complementary to pair with other pieces of jewelry but can stand out on its own. Whether it’s a sleek necklace or rings stacked on a single finger, white gold jewelry can complete any ensemble.

four while gold rings with diamonds stacked on the ring finger of a woman’s hand holding a strawberry ice cream cone

Rose Gold

Perfectly complementing every skin tone, with a modern blush hue, rose gold gives a unique twist on traditional styles.

Thanks to its warm glow, rose gold jewelry provides a whimsical charm and stunning finish for outfits that go from day to night.

closeup side view of a rose gold diamond engagement ring resting on cream-colored fabric

Add the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble with a modern twist. The fashion-forward color has quickly become a popular choice among shoppers.

Mixed Gold

Two-tone and three-tone gold jewelry provides a fresh spin on a classic jewelry style.

Mixed gold jewelry combinations can be seen in a variety of ways like yellow and white gold or rose and white gold.

men’s yellow and white gold two-tone wedding ring between book pages above a yellow gold diamond engagement ring and matching wedding ring

Wedding bands can be found with a playful rose gold center and yellow gold face, while bracelets can be found with the colorful metals intertwined to create a stunning design.

And the way the materials are combined can seem endless, but it creates a great opportunity for you to express your personal style.

Find Gold Jewelry for You

When it comes to buying gold jewelry, there’s no right or wrong answer.

It is all personal preference; what matters is the quality of the piece.

You deserve something that will last for years to come.

To ensure you are getting the best gold jewelry in the Capital Region, Hannoush Jewelers sells only the highest quality 18-karat and 14-karat gold jewelry.