In your quest for the perfect jewellery piece, you may have noticed that some jewellery is made in 9k, 14k or 18k. “K” is used for karat and this is the purity measurement used with gold. It is not the weight measurement for diamonds, “ct”, which stands for carat.
So, what is the difference between 9k, 14k and 18k gold?
It is the measurement of the percentage of gold that is in a piece of gold jewellery.
100% gold is measured as 24k, pure gold, which is too soft to be used for fine jewellery as it will bend and scratch very easily, making it impractical for everyday wear.
A piece of jewellery that is stamped 18k or 750 consists of 75% gold. The rest of the 25% is made up of metal alloys that give the gold hardness and colour.
So a stamp of 14k or 585 means 58.5% gold and a stamp of 9k or 375 means 37.5% gold.
The importance of knowing the difference in the percentages of gold is so that you know what you are paying for. The higher the percentage of gold the more expensive the piece will be. 9k gold being the cheapest is considered discount gold.
18k gold being the most expensive, is used for high end jewellery and it is the gold that is least likely to tarnish.
If you are a purest when it comes to gold it would matter that your jewellery piece is 18k and therefore more exquisite.