When shopping for gold chains, it’s essential to understand the karat and purity of your purchase. Karats are different from carats, which are used to measure diamonds.
A karat measures the percentage of pure gold in a piece of jewellery. The higher the karat number, the more refined the gold.
What is Karat Gold?
Karat is the standard used to measure the purity of gold. It is sometimes referred to as carat in the US, though that term is typically reserved for gemstones. Karat is a mix of pure gold and other alloy metals. The higher the karat, the more refined the gold. Traditional karat values include 24K (pure gold), 18K (75% gold), and 14K (58% gold).
Many jewellers use a system called millesimal fineness when marking their jewellery. This measurement is similar to karat but expresses purity in parts per thousand rather than per hundred.
It is essential to know the karat of your gold chain to determine its durability and value. A solid gold chain will be stamped with a purity mark, while a gold-plated or gold-filled chain will contain a layer of gold bonded to a base metal. Reliable gold chains are a better option for everyday wear as they stand up to scratches and other damage.
Which Karat is the Best Gold for Chains?
When choosing a gold chain, the type you choose depends on your preferences and lifestyle. If you are on a budget, opt for 10k gold chains, which have a lower gold content but provide increased durability and value. 14k gold is another popular choice because of its balance of quality and affordability.
For a more luxurious look, choose a 22k gold chain. This purity provides a rich color and is strong enough to withstand everyday wear. You can also opt for a black gold chain for an edgier look.
Avoid purchasing plated gold chains, as the thin coating will eventually wear off, leaving the primary metal behind. Choose hypoallergenic solid gold chains that last longer than plated ones. When you are ready to buy a new gold chain, make sure it is genuine by checking the jewelry’s hallmark. Authentic jewellery will feature a stamp that indicates the chain’s karat number or purity.
What is the Difference Between Karat and Carat?
You may have noticed that the numbers associated with gold are notated in karat (K) and carat (C). While these two terms sound similar, they are different measurements for entirely other things.
Karat is a measurement of purity, while carat measures the weight of gemstones. It’s common for jewelry makers to use both karat and carat when describing the gold used in their designs, so it’s easy to get confused.
Pure gold is incredibly soft and challenging to create jewellery, so it is often mixed with other metals to provide strength and color. This mixture is referred to as an alloy. For example, a piece of jewellery with 14K gold comprises 14 parts of pure gold and ten elements of other metals. This mixture makes the jewellery more durable for everyday wear. It also provides a good balance between value and purity. The higher the gold content in a piece of jewellery, the more expensive it will be.
Which is the Best Gold for Chains?
When it comes to gold chains, you have many options. For example, you can choose a solid chain or a hollow one. Reliable chains are typically more durable than hollow ones and will save you money in the long run, as they’ll require fewer repairs.
The karat of your gold chain should also be considered. The higher the karat, the purer the gold will be. However, higher karats are also more expensive and challenging to work with. For most people, 14k gold is the ideal karat for chains as it balances price and durability.
When purchasing a gold chain, make sure it has been hallmarked. A hallmark will include a number that indicates the chain’s karat purity and other important information about the chain. A hallmark will also help to prevent counterfeiting and ensure your chain is genuine. Some markings to look for include GP, RGP, GEP, HGE, and GHGE.