ALL ABOUT GOLD
All that glitter is certainly not gold. But Gold will always glitter even after millions of years. Gold plays a vital role in the economic scenario as well as in the life of an individual. The yellow metal is not only loved for the beautiful jewellery, which the karigar hand-craft from this expensive metal. Love for yellow metal stays constant for its property of being equivalent to cash and an amazing investment option. Gold in the past 3 years has given a return of almost 32%, which is impossible in some other asset class. That’s the beauty of yellow metal, it not only make you look beautiful but also makes you wealthier. Thus, Gold has been considered the synonym for wealth since forever and it has not lost its charm to date. The economic factor of gold, helps the yellow metal steal the show from other metals. However, the second factor which makes yellow metal one of the most loved one is its association with jewellery.
Gold has become one favorite base to make jewellery because of its property of being malleable and ductile. These two properties aid the craftsman to create magnificent jewelry by giving it different shapes and sizes, without losing the strength of the metal. Ladies crush over jewelry, the more they have the less they feel. However, gold jewelry is everyone’s, first love. So when we love something so much, we must know all about it.
This article will help each of you understand the various karat of gold and how are they being used for making jewelry, which you adorn with utmost pride and love.
To begin with, let us understand the concept of Purity:
A substance that is 100% of that substance itself, without any adulteration. But sometimes, some foreign material is added to the substance, to get some added property or modify some property of that particular substance. Similarly, when some other metal is mixed with gold to give the metal some strength, the purity of gold comes below 100% and this is identified in terms of karatage or say KARAT( note: it’s the KARAT with K not CARAT with C. CARAT is used to measure the weight of gemstones).
24 karat gold simply means 100% pure gold without any adulteration. However, there is a gap of.05% which means, when you buy a gold coin or a bar its purity stands at 99.95% in the practical sense.
We must know, that 24kt gold can’t be used for making jewellery because of its nature of not being hard. However this factor is favorable for crafting jewellery, but it’s not feasible for wearing it on daily basis. Because of its softness, it will easily lose its shape and get deformed due to wear and tear. So, to make your favorite metal wearable in the form of jewellery, we add some other metal to make it durable. These other metals are mixed to form an alloy. Other metals could be Nickel, zinc, silver, etc.
22 karat gold as we can see is not 24 karat, thus the fraction of gold is not 100%. So the question arises, how much gold is there in 22 karat? Let us understand the math behind this:-
24 karat =100% gold
22 karat=(22/24)*100=91.67% gold.
So any jewelry, which says 22 karat gold means, it has 91.67% pure gold. So what does the rest 8.33% made of? It’s the alloy, which consist of various metal like silver, copper, and nickel, etc. This alloy is added to the gold, to change its property of highly malleable. This alloy gives some strength to the yellow metal, which in return makes it a favorable base for crafting plain gold jewelry, which is durable to wear. However, the strength is just not enough to hold any stone. Thus 22 karat is not recommended for jewellery with diamonds.
So to make the jewellery strong enough to hold the stone, we have the option to reduce the purity of gold significantly and bring it to 18 karat or 14 karat, as per the requirement.
Let’s see mathematically how many portions of gold is pure in 14 karat and 18 karat:
18 Karat= (18/24)*100=75%
We see the hardness of the metal increasing as we go on reducing the percentage of gold in the metal composition.
Further, we see, pieces of jewelry are hallmarked with combinations of 3 number to understand the purity of gold, which are shown in table on the right.