The purity of goldGerman López Pérez
The purity of gold is an essential characteristic that must be taken care of when buying a gold jewel.
As I half explained with the color of gold, this metal when working in jewelry never works in fine gold (24 KT) or what is the same only gold without being accompanied by any other metal. The reason for this is because if the jewel were made only of gold it would be too soft and at the slightest scratch, it would dent. The gold metal itself is too soft to withstand daily use and for this reason it is alloyed with other metals to provide the necessary hardness and taking advantage of this, jewelers over time have given it a twist to combine different alloys to get like this varied colors and tones.
Well let’s start by explaining what that strange thing about karats is and what people do not know for sure what it is: The percentage of pure gold in the alloy is measured in carats (never to be confused with the carats of precious stones) being 24 K the maximum possible, corresponding to pure gold. The usual purity of jewelry is 18 K, being an alloy resulting from 18 parts of gold and 8 parts of another metal, with which a high quality alloy is obtained.
24K = 100% pure gold
18K = 75% pure gold
14K = 58.3% pure gold
All jewels must have an identifying mark referring to the karat, showing us if it is made in 18K, 14K gold, etc. It is generally shown with the mark of 750 thousandths which is the one corresponding to 18 K. This contrast is important to highlight because if for example we buy a jewel in a foreign country or in our own country we can avoid being ripped off. All the pieces are verified by a gemological laboratory before going on sale in jewelers. If by chance you are going to buy a jewel and it has no contrast, do not trust it, much less if you do not buy it in a jeweler. However, I do not get involved talking about the contrast because this is an issue that I will explain in another article. Not everywhere is 18KT gold used in Portugal, for example the karats used are 15KT and in Antique jewelry we can find many 14 KT English jewelry, unique jewelry alloy until the twentieth century.
Signed: Germán Joyero’s team www.germanjoyero.com