In the Know: Gold Karat
Karat, abbreviated K, denotes the purity and number of parts gold out of 24, where 24K is pure gold.
This should not be confused with "Carat" which is a measurement used to denote metric gem weight in most countries, with exception of Great Britain and Canada, who use these terms interchangeably.
Any karat less than 24K is “alloyed” or mixed with other metals to create a more durable material.
Each metal has a specific mix of “ingredients” lending to its unique color and properties such as hardness.
For example, metals such as silver or zinc are often mixed with a 14 or 18 karat gold base to create white gold.
Similarly, copper can be introduced into the gold alloy to create a pink hue, resulting in rose gold.
Though alloyed with other metals, 14 and 18 karat both maintain the luster that gold is prized for, while still being durable enough to hold stones and withstand daily wear.
The higher the gold karat, the more yellow its color and the more malleable or “soft” the metal.
For instance, 18 karat gold, having 4 parts more pure gold than 14 karat, has a warmer tone and is marginally softer.
Because 14K gold is slightly harder, we recommend it to those who are tougher on their jewelry or prefer a more subtle yellow hue.
Shop some of our favorite gold staple pieces: