Gold Jewellery FAQ

The world of jewellery is mired with an arsenal of technical jargon or terminology that may be very confusing and totally meaningless to the average man on the street.

This article will attempt to clarify most of it starting with the simplest to the more technical aspects of the jewellery industry.

What are Karats and how are they calculated?

The karat measurement is basically a 24/24 base system that jewellers use to determine the purity level of gold jewellery. The 24 part scale simply represents 100 %, meaning 24 karat is pure gold of a total weight. To explain this a little further if an item weighs 100 grams and it is 24 karats, then all of the 100 grams is gold and similarly if an item weighing 100 grams and it is 12 karats, than only 50 grams out of those 100 grams is gold using the formula 12 karats /24 karats x 100 grams.

gold jewel

Another example is, let’s say there is a gold necklace weighing 60 grams and it is 18 karat gold, so the calculation would be: 18 / 24 x 60 grams, which equals to 45 grams. This means that out of the 60 grams only 45 grams is actually gold, with the remainder being other metals that were used to tint the shade of gold colour and make it more durable.

So in future if you intend to sell gold jewellery, you can know exactly the amount of gold contained in your piece by using the table below to calculate:

·        24 K Karat: 99.9% 99.99 % x total weight of jewellery
·        22 K Karat: 91.7% 91.7 % x total weight of jewellery
·        18 K Karat: 75% 75 % % x total weight of jewellery
·        14 K Karat: 58.3% 58.3 % x total weight of jewellery
·        12 K Karat: 50% 50 % % x total weight of jewellery
·        10 K Karat: 41.7% 41.7 % x total weight of jewellery


What are alloys and why is jewellery mixed with other metals?

In the simplest term alloys are combinations of 2 or more different metals. For instance if you take some zinc and melted it with copper they become an alloy, and alloys are usually much more harder than metals in their pure form, just like the sports rims of cars which are alloys due to the fact that they a combination of metals and despite being lighter, they are much harder and sturdier, similarly gold in its pure form is too soft and thus making jewellery out of pure gold is not feasible as it would cause the jewellery to bend or go out of shape.

Another reason why jewellers use other metals into the jewellery that they make is to shade the jewellery piece, for instance adding silver or platinum to gold jewellery makes it shinier, whereas adding copper to gold jewellery gives it a red hue (rose gold).

What is Assaying?

The term assaying basically means testing the purity level of an item that is claimed to contain gold in order to determine its karat.

Selling Gold Jewellery

For more information on selling gold jewellery, please visit the Brisbane Gold Buyers website.

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