What is Karat Gold?

Karat Gold refers to a standardized industry unit of measurement regarding the percentages of metal alloy added to pure to to either strengthen it, decrease gold caratage to reduce costs or change it’s color.

This World Gold Council chart shows some examples of the composition of various caratages of gold.

 CaratageGold(Au)Silver (Ag) Copper (Cu)Zinc (Zn)Palladium (Pd) 
Yellow Gold9k37.5%42.50%20%  
Yellow Gold10k41.70%52%6.30%  
Yellow Gold14k58.30%30%11.70%  
Yellow Gold18k75%15%10%  
Yellow Gold22k91.70%5%2%1.30% 
White Gold9k37.5%62.5%   
White Gold10k41.7%47.4% 0.9%10%
White Gold14k58.30%32.20%  9.50%
White Gold18k75%   25% (or Pt)
White Gold22kN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Rose Gold9k37.5%20%42.5%  
Rose Gold10k41.70%20%38.3%  
Rose Gold14k58.30%9.2%32.5%  
Rose Gold18k75%9.2%22.2%  
Rose Gold22k91.7% 8.40%  

Notes:

White gold compositions listed here are nickel free. Nickel-containing white gold alloys form a small/very small percentage of white gold alloys and generally contain other base metals such as copper and zinc.

The following are the common standards of fineness that are used:

.375 = 9 carat (England and Canada)

.417 = 10 carat

.583 (.585) = 14 carat

.750 = 18 carat

.833 = 20 carat (Asia)

.999 (1000) = 24 carat pure gold

What are Rose Gold rings?

Rose gold wedding rings are a beautiful color of gold often seen in Victorian pieces and has become popular in wedding rings today. Rose gold rings contains Yellow Gold, but with a higher or larger percentage of Copper as the added alloy to give it its pink gold or “rose” color.

What about White Gold?

To make white gold rings, or jewelry, pure gold is combined with higher or larger percentages of white metal alloys like silver, nickel & palladium. To make white gold rings or silver rings have a whiter or brighter white it is often plated in rhodium.

Pure Gold is yellow and even when combined with white metal alloys it still can appear very yellow in color therefore the white gold wedding rings like sterling silver wedding rings are plated with a very bright white metal called rhodium.

Caring for your Gold jewelry

To keep gold wedding rings and gold jewelry shiny, you should clean your Celtic jewelry regularly with a solution of 10-parts warm water and 2-parts dish soap. The favorite dish soap of jewelers for jewelry is Dawn.

In regard to white gold and sterling silver Celtic jewelry it is important to remember that Rhodium-plate eventually wears off over time and normal wear revealing the true color of the metal beneath and allowing for tarnishing. How long will it take for the plating to wear off is unknown and depends on how well the jewelry is cared for. However remember that rhodium-plating is replaceable and can be re-done by your local jeweler, and is relatively inexpensive.