Frequently Asked Questions About Gold Jewelry
What Is “14 Karat” Gold?
Like fine silver, fine gold is alloyed with other metals to improve strength and durability. The amount of fine gold used is traditionally measured in karats. “Pure gold” is represented as 24 karat; the higher the karat value, the greater the amount of pure gold used in the alloy. In its pure state, gold is quite soft and is rarely used for jewelry.
The most common gold alloys used in the United States are 14 karat and 18 karat. 14 karat gold consists of 58.3 percent fine gold (14/24). 18 karat gold consists of 75 percent fine gold (18/24).
What Are White Gold and Rose Gold?
The color of 14 karat or 18 karat gold will vary depending on what other metal the pure gold is alloyed with. An alloy of copper, silver, and zinc will give gold its most traditional yellow color. Increasing the amount of copper used in the alloy will redden the color of the gold, producing rose gold. A nickel or palladium alloy is used to create white gold.