Karat and Carat. Two “precious” words that have the same pronunciation but are so different! Many people are confused between those two meanings. Let’s make it clear! Let’s analyze those differences…
Karat is the measurement of purity of a metal. Especially used in for the purity of gold. It ‘s initial is so important for the jewelry and must be stamped at every kind of golden jewel. Τhis initial is simply the “K” letter. Although Some countries uses the “C” letter as initial.
The purity of gold can be scaled from 1-24. Τwenty four Karat is the purest form of gold (1000/1000 gold) and in jewelry symbolized as “24K”.
Gold is one of the softer metals and needs to be added with alloys to harden it and make it strong without “bending like leaf”. The alloys added in gold to make it harder are nickel (which is not preferred because some people have allergies to nickel) , zinc, copper, silver or palladium. Some goldsmiths are making experiments with other metals like iron (gives a blue characteristics to gold).
So, these alloys are important not only for hardness but also changes the color of the gold. Basically alloys of gold are: “22K” (916/1000 gold), “18K” (750/1000 gold), “14K” (585/1000 gold), “12K” (500/1000), “9K” (375/1000). Noteworthy the “9K” gold is not considered so much as gold because of the less amount of it. Alloys under 10 karats are not mentioned as gold.
The most common alloy of gold in jewelry is the “18K” gold.
Carat is the weight measurement of precious gemstones (mostly the diamonds) and organic gems such as pearls.
Karat has the “K” initial as a mark but Carat’s symbol is the “Ct.”. One Carat is 0.2 gr or else the 1/5 of the gram. So… Ιf one diamond mentioned as a 5 Carat diamond, it weights 1 gr.
Furthermore, If the precious gemstone that we have is a half carat, then we call it 50 pointer, because a carat is divided in 100 points.
The origination of the word “carat” is coming from the phrase “carob bean” which used to measure gemstones and it was officially recognized as a legal word in gemology in 1907.
- Karat (K) is for the measure of purity of a metal
- Carat (Ct.) is for the measurement of the weight of the gemstones
As an example: “I love this diamond ring… It is a 2 Ct. diamond in an 18K pink gold ring!!!”