Do you know what is the difference between 24K, 22K and 18K gold? Today, at JFM, we will tell you about the differences of gold karats and the importance of these differences. If you want to learn more, continue reading our article.

The Different Karats of Gold - 18K vs. 22K vs. 24K

Karat is the term used to measure the gold content or purity. Before we understand the difference between 24k, 22k and 18k gold, you must know what karat stands for.

Karat is basically a unit used to measure the purity of gold. The higher the karat, the purer the gold. Here’s a simple guide to understanding the difference between 24k, 22k and 18k gold.

What is 24K Gold? (vs. 18K & 22K)

24k gold is also called pure gold or 100% gold. This means that all 24 parts of the gold are all pure gold without traces of any other metals. It is known to be 99.9 percent pure and takes on a distinct bright yellow color.

There is no higher form of gold than 24K and you must be aware of this before you go to a dealer who might tell you that they’re selling you 25K or 26K gold. Since this is the purest form of gold, it is naturally more expensive than 22K or 18K gold.

However, this type of gold is lesser in density as compared to gold of a lower karat, which makes it soft and pliable. Hence, it is not suited for regular forms of jewelry.

Coins and bars are mostly bought of 24K gold purity. 24K gold is also used in electronics and medical.

What is 22K Gold? (vs. 24K & 18K)

22K gold jewelry implies that 22 parts of the jewelry amount to gold and the balance 2 parts are some other metals. This kind of gold is commonly used in jewelry making. In 22K gold, of the 100 percent, only 91.67 percent is pure gold.

The other 8.33 percent comprises metals like silver, zinc, nickel and other alloys. It is this addition of metals that make the texture of gold harder thereby making the jewelry durable.

However, you must know that although this can be used to make plain old jewelry 22K gold isn’t preferable for diamonds and heavily stud jewelry

What is 18K Gold? (vs. 24K & 22K)

18K gold is 75 per cent gold mixed with 25 per cent of other metals like copper or silver etc. Usually studded jewelry and other diamond jewelry is made in 18K gold.

This kind of gold is less expensive compared to 24K and 22K. This one has a slightly dull gold color. Recognizing 18K jewelry is rather simple – you will see the item stamped with 18K, 18kt, 18k or a variation similar to these.

At times, 18K gold is marked by 750, 0.75 or a stamp similar to these in order to symbolize that the jewelry contains 75 per cent gold.

The Different Colors of Gold

24 karat gold has the natural warm color of pure gold and its color cannot be changed without changing the purity to less than 24 k. Other colors of gold can be made by changing the composition of the alloy in the making of the jewelry.

  • Pink or Rose Gold: Pink gold is made by adding more copper in the alloy composition of the gold
  • Yellow Gold: Gold is given a yellow color by adding more of zinc and silver
  • White Gold: The white color of gold is achieved by adding nickel or palladium

A surface color can also be given to gold articles by electro-plating. However, this can only be a surface finish and will be worn off over a period of time.

Buyer's Tip

24 karat = 99.5% pure gold and above
22 karat = 91.7 % gold
18 karat = 75.0 % gold
14 karat = 58.3 % gold
12 karat = 50.0 % gold
10 karat = 41.7 % gold