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To understand gold, you have to address it in layers, since there are so many aspects of it. In our last Brain Food blog, we discuss the different types of gold in gold jewelry. Now, we are going to have a shorter discussion on “gold purity” or a guide on measuring the pureness of gold. Purity is one of the most important things you should consider, especially if you are going to buy gold. How much the gold item is, is directly related to purity. So, to start, how is purity measured?

Gold purity is measured in Karats. Karats are expressed in fractions of 24. If you look at a gold product and see a “K” after it, you will recognize that as karats. If gold is in it’s purest form, you will see 24K. As quoted by source 1, 24K is 99.9% pure! If someone invests in gold and has gold bars, they are 24K as well. 22-Karat gold is still very pure at 91.6%. 18 Karats is 75% gold and is a good choice for gold that will be worn plenty of times. If you’re going out and exposing the gold to different elements, 18K gold is a smart choice. Investing in gold requires at least 22K and up. There are also 9K, 10K and 14K gold. There are also low and high karats. If the karat is lower, the stronger it will be. If it is higher, it will be softer. For example, if you don’t want your gold jewelry to tarnish, you should pick higher karats. See this handy gold purity conversion chart.

All of these will help you understand gold as a valuable element and make the right decisions for buying, selling, collecting, etc. We do encourage you to further research the subject if it really interests you. There are plenty of wonderful sources and you can take your pick for what is right for you.

Whether you are a collector or just someone that loves gold jewelry, it’s good to know the different types of gold that are in jewelry. If you’re a treasure hunter who’s just found a gold ring or bracelet and you want to explore the possible value, you will feel more confident with this new knowledge.

Gold jewelry does not have pure gold in it. Gold jewelry is a combination of metals or an “alloy”. It can be combined with silver, zinc, copper, palladium and nickel to create colors. Some of the most popular colors include: yellow, white, green and rose. Yellow gold, for example, is made by mixing pure gold with copper, zinc and silver.

Yellow gold is known as the purest color and requires the least amount of maintenance. White gold is a combo of pure gold and palladium or platinum. If you find an object of white gold, it’s great because it is scratch resistant and pretty durable. White gold is the choice for engagement rings and wedding sets. Rose gold is more durable than the two above and is created with copper, gold and silver. Green is sometimes made with copper, but mostly consists of gold and silver. The green color comes from the silver.

There are even more colors out there such as blue gold, which has a mix of indium and pure gold. Have you heard of black gold? it’s a real thing! This one is made up of cobalt and gold! Fascinating, right? All of this is great for understanding more about your gold jewelry finds. Stay tuned for part 2 featuring a guide to gold purity!