Understanding the Different Grades of Gold: What Should You Karat About?

First things first: carrots are for bunnies, carats are for diamonds, and karats are for gold.

So how many karats are enough? How many are too many? Keep reading to learn a little about gold and to find out why we’ve chosen to make our gold collection out of 14kt (or 18kt by request).

Pure Gold

Pure gold is stunning. It shines a brilliant yellow, is hypoallergenic, and is accepted as international currency. However, pure gold is extremely soft. With regular use, it would be dented and scratched in no time at all. For this reason, cultures who prize gold save it for the most important ceremonies.

Gold in Cultural Ceremonies

Chinese brides prize their gold gifts, a traditional offering, from an ornate dragon and peacock pendant to the simplest bangle. For their ceremony, they are absolutely laden with gold, earrings, bracelets, pendants and rings. The value of these gifts will endure even if the relationship doesn’t.

For Indian brides, gold is said to bring good blessings from the goddess Lakshmi. When brides enter their new home their gold jewelry brings them good luck. For their wedding, they are covered in gold adornments, including her head and her feet. In a more practical sense, giving gold to your child before they marry is an investment in their future.

Fun Facts About Colored Gold:

  • Green gold is made alloyed with silver
  • Rose gold is made alloyed with copper
  • White gold used to be alloyed with nickel, now palladium

What is a Karat?

Since pure, 24kt gold is so soft, it makes really delicate jewelry. For more durability, jewelry makers create alloys by adding other metals into the mix. Silver, nickel, palladium, and platinum are the usual suspects mixed with gold to create a more robust piece of jewelry.

A karat refers to the measurement of gold in the jewelry. 14 karat gold is 58.5% gold, 18kt is 75% gold, and so on. The more gold in a piece the more bright and yellow it will be but conversely less durable.

Finding The Sweet Spot

Jewelry is typically sold in the 10kt, 14kt, or 18kt. To the naked eye, these pieces of jewelry will look very similar. 10kt gold is sometimes referred to as “discount gold” because while it appears to be gold it is actually more alloy. It should not be completely ignored, as it creates extremely durable jewelry. The gold color is paler than 14kt or 18kt and it will tarnish easier, but it is still a good option for those on a budget. A good example of 10kt gold is a class ring; fine jewelry is made with 14kt or 18kt gold.

If you look at 18kt gold, you will immediately register its bright yellow color. This is because it is 75% gold and only 25% alloy. Used in high-end jewelry, this type of gold tends to be more expensive and will not tarnish. However, a great disadvantage to 18kt gold is its tendency to become scratched or dented. 

14kt is the first rating sold with more gold than alloy. They shine a brighter gold than 10k while demanding less care than 18kt. This blend of gold and alloy looks like fine jewelry but can withstand the rigors of being worn often. In a cost comparison, nothing beats 14kt, in fact, this makes up 90% of engagement and wedding rings!

Ultimately, it’s About You

We have chosen 14kt for our gold collection because it allows us the opportunity to make you beautiful cannabis-inspired jewelry that will last. You can wear our cufflinks, pendants, or bracelets without the stress of damaging them. Plus, we sell them at a reasonable price-point so anyone can show their support for marijuana culture.

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