Ever wonder what the numbers and the letter mean when you are considering a jewelry purchase? 18? 24? And what does the “K” stand for? The world of gold is an ancient one, and the rules governing how it is categorized are equally ancient and, dare we say, set in stone.
Worldwide, the jewelry business operates by set standards in order to give customers confidence in what they are buying. Let’s take a look at what it all means, and how you can make sure you have the real thing.
What Does 18 Karat Mean?
The word “karat” has been used in the gold world for centuries to describe the purity of the gold in question. One hundred percent gold is classified as 24 karats, but pure gold is too soft to use in most jewelry designs.
In order to be used in jewelry, other types of metals are mixed with pure gold. 18 karat gold is 75% pure gold, mixed with 25% of an alloy to strengthen it. Common alloys include nickel, silver, and copper. 18 karat white gold is alloyed with silver or palladium and then often plated with rhodium in order to make it even stronger and give the white gold jewelry design a brighter appearance.
18 karat gold jewelry
How to Test Is 18 Karat Gold Real?
So how can you tell if the jewelry you have is really 18 karat? Here are a few ways you can test on your own.
Gold must be stamped with a hallmark that tells the purchaser what karat the gold is. 18 karat gold will have a small stamp on the inside of the jewelry that reads 18k.
But could a forger include that in their fake? Of course, so try at least one other test to help you determine if your jewelry is truly 18 karat.
Gold is a heavy metal, so heavy that it will sink in water. If you drop your jewelry in a glass of water, real gold will drop straight down. Remember that 18 karat gold is 75% gold mixed with other alloys.
Some of the lighter karat weights like 10 or 12 karats will not drop down as quickly as a piece of jewelry made with 18 karat gold.
Gold is a metal that will not attract a magnet. To test is 18k gold real, hold it next to a magnet. If the magnet sticks to your jewelry, then it does not have a high percentage of gold but is made up of other, more magnetic metals.
If you have inherited family jewelry or been given pieces that you are uncertain about, seek out the advice of a certified jewelry appraiser. Many jewelry stores have an appraiser either on staff or on call and will appraise your jewelry for an agreed upon fee.
A professional appraisal will not only reassure you that what you own is really 18 karat gold jewelry, but will also result in a certificate that attests to the appraised value of your jewelry.
Buy 18 Karat Gold Jewelry from a Trusted Source
The best way to make sure what you have is really 18 karat gold jewelry is to buy from a trusted source. The look and feel of 18 karat gold jewelry is one of elegance, Tuochen jewelry factory has a wide range of prices and styles to suit your every jewelry required.