What are carats of gold?

So, you’re after some jewellery and the term ‘carats’ or 'ct' keep appearing and you have no idea what they mean - don’t worry you’re not alone. Some people mistake them for weight, but in fact it’s about the purity of gold or percentage of gold in the item. 

Lets start off with the most common! 

9ct Gold - 37.5% of pure gold

You see this a lot because it is the most affordable carat of gold on the market. It is also the strongest gold so you are able to wear it everyday with minimal damage. You can usually tell that its 9 carats when it has a light yellow colour to it.

14ct Gold - 58.5% of pure gold

This is less popular, you don't see this carat a lot on the market, but its a great alternative to 18 carat because its cheaper. It has a warm yellow look to it.

18ct Gold - 75% of pure gold

This carat of gold is used a lot more in jewellery making than the others. Because they can add white materials such as palladium to make white gold, but they can also add copper to make rose gold. Rose & white gold is now becoming very popular to wear because of its colour. 18 carat gold is very popular for its warm, bright and radiant colour that it has due to it having a high percentage of pure gold in it.

22ct Gold - 91.6% of pure gold

This carat of gold is seen mainly in wedding ring bands as its a very soft carat of gold to work with. If jewellery makers used this carat to set stones in, they would fall out very quickly because the material bends easily.

24ct Gold - 99.9% of pure gold

Last but not least is the 24 carat, this is the purest gold you can get it does not go any higher. Its naturally very yellow in colour and is highly valuable. But this carat is no good for fine jewellery as its very soft and malleable.


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