Ever wondered why you see ’18k gold’ in some jewellery shops and ’18ct gold’ in some others? Well, there’s a huge misconception here and if you’re looking for an answer, read on because we’re going to define and solve it, once and for all!
First things first, let’s look at the actual words behind the abbreviated ‘k’ and ‘ct’.
Karat is a measurement system for the level of purity or fineness in gold. There are 24 increments starting from 1k for the least pure gold to 24k which is pure gold. It’s also notable that 24k gold is not used for jewellery making because it’s too soft to stay rigid as a piece of jewellery under the wear and tear of normal use. That’s why we add other elements to the pure gold to make better, more durable and of course more affordable pieces of jewellery. Take our Braid Leather & Gold Bracelets as an example. 18k gold is considered to be the jack of all trades when it comes to jewellery. It is pure enough (75% purity) to not change any colour or oxidise over time while maintaining reasonable rigidity under mechanical stress.
Next is Carat, while it is pronounced same as Karat, the letter ‘C’ makes all the difference. It is a totally different story, Carat is a weight unit, just like kilogram, pound, stone etc. 1 Carat or 1ct is equal to 0.2gr so it usually represents significantly lighter objects such as precious gems, nevertheless, it can also be used to demonstrate the weight of an elephant as well, though the number is likely to be in 7 or 8 digits so it makes sense to say/write that an average elephant is 5 tonnes rather than 25,000,000 Carats for the sake of paper, ink, time and perhaps wrist muscle strain!
So when you see a jewellery shop advertising their new collection of earrings or necklaces and 18ct gold is written in the product descriptions, it technically means that all the pieces weigh 3.6gr, while we can now conclude it is an incorrect attempt to explain the purity of their gold.
Unfortunately, this small but very important misconception is on the rise and the mistake can be seen in some quite well-known brands. Here at TruFlair, we are not pedantic but we do care a lot about the accuracy of the information we provide along with our products.
p.s. In case you need to know more about similar words:
Carrot: A tapering orange-coloured root eaten as a vegetable.
Caret: A mark placed below the line to indicate a proposed insertion in a text.