As a Jewellery Sales Consultant, I’m often met with the question “Is this pure gold?”. This question is not an easy one to answer from a technical standpoint. Let me try and show you why I say that.
Let’s start with some basic maths. Gold purity is measured in karats. This is just the unit of measurement. Not to be confused with “carrot”, the vegetable. It may seem very technical and daunting, but, trust me, it is not very.
24 karat gold
Gold in its purest form is 24 karat. Just as you would say Mazoe has a certain percentage concentrate, gold has varying degrees of purity. The problem with pure 24 karat gold is that it is very soft and malleable; think of it as undiluted Mazoe juice. The purity or concentration is very high but it of no good to use in its purest form. You will need to dilute it.
Some clever people, many years ago, came up with a way of hardening the gold without compromising its integrity. This is why you will hear of 22 karat, 18 karat, 9 karat, 5 karat – and every other karat in between.
When something is said to be 22k it means it is 22 parts pure gold, which is almost 92%. However, it’s still rather soft and easy to scratch and bend. Lower karatages contain less gold; 18 carat gold contains 75% pure gold and 25% other metals, often copper or silver.
Karat and price
The minimum karatage for an item to be called “gold” varies by country. The level of gold purity also has a bearing on price. A 22k chain will be pricier than the same style in 5k. In Zimbabwe 9k is currently the most popular karat.
There are several ways to tell if gold is ‘real’. Any genuine gold piece will be stamped with a hallmark stating the content of pure gold that it contains. Always check for the hallmark.
Gold plated jewellery
Karat gold jewellery is, however, different from plated /coated products. Gold coated products have a thin film of gold which fades over time and the base metal then tarnishes. It is no good if you are seeking durable quality.
There is no best karat
So, simply put, it is all real gold – from 5k to 24k – with varying measures of purity. When it comes to buying gold jewellery, there’s no right or wrong answer. It is all personal preference. For store of value and that vibrant yellow hue go for higher karats but for durability go for slightly lower karats.
I hope this clears up some of the confusion.
Go ahead and order something in 9k, 18k or 22k from us here https://aurex.co.zw/contact-us/