Welcome to The Irish Jewelry Company Blog! In this informative article, we aim to demystify the concept of gold karats and shed light on its meaning and significance in the world of jewelry. If you've ever been curious about what those little numbers followed by "k" on your gold pieces signify, you've come to the right place. Whether you're a seasoned jewelry enthusiast or a first-time buyer, understanding gold karats is essential for making informed decisions when it comes to purchasing and appreciating the value of gold jewelry. Join us on this journey as we unravel the mystery behind karat gold and discover how they play a crucial role in determining the quality and purity of this precious metal.

What is Karat Gold?

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

What does Karat mean?

The term "Karat" refers to the unit of measurement that is used in the process of determining how much gold is included inside an item of jewelry or a ring in comparison to the number of other metals that are there. The greater the Karat number, the more gold there is in the piece of jewelry.

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

  Caratage Gold(Au) Silver (Ag)  Copper (Cu) Zinc (Zn) Palladium (Pd) 
Yellow Gold 9k 37.5% 42.50% 20%    
Yellow Gold 10k 41.70% 52% 6.30%    
Yellow Gold 14k 58.30% 30% 11.70%    
Yellow Gold 18k 75% 15% 10%    
Yellow Gold 22k 91.70% 5% 2% 1.30%  
White Gold 9k 37.5% 62.5%      
White Gold 10k 41.7% 47.4%   0.9% 10%
White Gold 14k 58.30% 32.20%     9.50%
White Gold 18k 75%       25% (or Pt)
White Gold 22k N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rose Gold 9k 37.5% 20% 42.5%    
Rose Gold 10k 41.70% 20% 38.3%    
Rose Gold 14k 58.30% 9.2% 32.5%    
Rose Gold 18k 75% 9.2% 22.2%    
Rose Gold 22k 91.7%   8.40%    


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 have become popular in wedding rings today. Rose gold rings contain 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 reveals the true color of the metal beneath and allows 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.


What is the ideal karat for gold?

Gold with a 24 karat rating is pure gold and does not include any other metals or alloys in any amount. Gold with a 24 karat purity rating is more costly than gold with a 22 or 18 karat purity rating. This is because 24 karat gold has a characteristic brilliant yellow tint.

Is gold 10K or 14K better?

There are a few benefits that come along with 10K Gold. 10K or 10 karat gold is significantly more durable than 14 karat gold, in addition to having a lower price point. This sort of gold is more resistant to scratches, scuffs, dents, and other forms of common damage than other types of gold. This is due to the fact that it is manufactured from a lower proportion of pure gold and a greater number of more durable alloy metals.

What Karat gold is best for daily jewelry wear?

When it comes to jewelry, 14k gold is highly recommended by most jewelers, including The Irish Jewelry Company, due to its high level of durability and suitability for long-term usage. When compared to 18k and 24k gold, the most important benefits of selecting 14k gold are its longevity and superior cost-effectiveness.