What is karat? Karat is a unit or measurement for purity or fineness in crafted gold pieces. The word "karat" originated from the carob seed, which was used to balance scales in the weight measurement of gold in ancient Asian bazaars. Karat is not to be confused with "Carat" which deals with the measurement of weight of Diamonds, Gemstones, etc.
For purposes in the United States :
Karat = Purity ; Carat = Weight of Diamonds and Gemstones
Pure gold (24k) is too soft to make jewelry in most cases. Most 24-karat gold is sold as investments to world governments and central banks as well as private investors in the form of Bullion (Bars, and Rounds). Pure or Fine Gold Jewelry does exist, but is very delicate as it bends like warm butter. Because of this, most gold jewelry almost always has other alloys which are mixed with the gold, such as silver, copper, or zinc, or nickel. A single karat of gold is equal to 1/24 part (4.1667%). The gold karat shows how many parts of gold and how many parts of other metals are in gold jewelry or other crafted gold pieces. The charts above show the differences between the different karats, and also shows the percentage of gold and other metals. The standard of stamping in the U.S. and other parts of the world can vary a bit, but all translate to the same math.
As I mentioned earlier, gold is a very soft metal, so high karat items are often easily damaged. A 24 karat item is generally reserved for display or ceremonial use, because it is not very practical to wear on a daily basis, as it is not durable at all. With newly manufactured pieces of gold jewelry, most have a karat rating in the range from 10k to 18k. In the US, the minimum karat value allowed by law for gold jewelry is 10k, but in Europe, 9 karat (9k) gold items are very common. Some of these items do make their way to the United States, most commonly bought while traveling. High karat gold 20k + usually always comes from the Middle East and India.
Stating the obvious, the purer the gold content in a piece of jewelry, the more valuable it is.
At Texas Gold and Silver Buyers of San Antonio, we utilize State of the Art XRF X-Ray equipment to determine the karat of your jewelry. This is a near exact and precise way to test and pay our customers THE MOST for their Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium jewelry, coins, bullion, scrap, and dental items. The widely used method of scratch stones and acid is destructive, time consuming, and nowhere near exact!! Alot of our competitors only use Acid Testing to determine your pieces are real and not counterfeit, and then purchase items at a flat rate on the lowest karat. The Acid Test is a age old way to determine a piece is gold, but is not accuarate determining different karats (10k, 14k, 18k, etc) This is not acceptable to us, and we want to ensure our customers are paid TOP DOLLAR on what they actually have.
We are YOUR local San Antonio Precious Metal Experts, and encourage you to come by and see us for a honest, safe, hassle-free evaluation and offer on your Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium items.
Texas Gold and Silver Buyers
3435 Thousand Oaks, Suite 107
San Antonio, Texas 78247
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Thanks for stopping by our blog. My name is Evan and I am the owner of Texas Gold and Silver Buyers in San Antonio. From time to time I will post blog entries to help educate and inform our customers and potential future customers on all aspects of Precious Metals (Gold, Silver, Platinum & Palladium!)