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If you want to learn more about 18 karat gold, you're in good hands with us. This blog post details what 18 karat gold is and what you need to know when investing in 18 karat gold jewellery.
What are gold karats?
A gold karat refers to its purity. Gold is made up of 24 karats or parts. So, 24 karat gold is 100% gold. Whereas 18 karat gold is 75% gold and 25% other alloys. As we move down commonly used karats, the gold percentage decreases, with 14 karat at 58.3% and 9 karat at 37.5%.
The remaining gold alloys that aren't 100% pure are a range of other metals, such as silver, copper, and nickel.
Why is gold alloyed with other metals for jewellery?
While it is possible to craft designs from pure gold, it's rare. Due to its purity, 24 karat gold is highly malleable. As a result, it's unsuitable for jewellery that is ideal for everyday wear as it can easily scratch and lose its shape.
Furthermore, by alloying gold with lower-cost metals, jewellery becomes more accessibly priced. In a nutshell, pure gold is alloyed with other metals for durability and affordability.
Click here to learn more about the differences between 18 and 14 karat gold.
The different colours of 18 karat gold
Although all 18 karat gold comprises 75% gold and 25% other alloys, it doesn't all look the same. While typically a rich yellow colour, there are several shades 18k gold can take based on the mix of metal alloys used for the remaining 25%.
Because the various alloys change the colour, we can choose from yellow, white and rose gold shades. For example, rose gold gets its colour from larger quantities of copper, while white gold jewellery is alloyed with silver or platinum.
Types of 18 karat gold
Now that we've covered karats and colour, it's time to get into types. With so many kinds of gold on the market and some brands often misleading customers, it can be difficult to tell the types apart. However, it's essential to know that not all 18 karat gold jewellery is identical.
There are four types of gold jewellery available:
Gold plated is the lowest cost option because the design only uses 0.05% of pure gold on top of a base metal.
Gold vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is a thicker gold plating on top of sterling silver. In the UK, the gold plating needs to be a minimum of 2.5 microns thick. However, when converted to millimetres, 2.5 microns is just 0.0025mm.
Gold-filled jewellery is plated with a layer of solid gold, weighing at least 5% of the item's total weight. So, if you had a gold ring that weighs 5 grams, 0.25 grams would be solid gold.
Solid gold (our personal favourite!) is crafted entirely of gold. As a result, this is the best quality of gold jewellery you can invest in.
What makes Umara unique?
At Umara, we only use solid gold in our designs now and forever. So, you can shop with the confidence that you're buying high-quality products that will truly last a lifetime. The best bit? We're committed to transparent and fair pricing. While other brands markup jewellery as much as 1000%, our markup is significantly lower, so you can enjoy solid gold jewellery minus unnecessary price tags.