Karat with a K

By Michael Gilstrap

For those who don’t already know me, I am the owner of Rainbow Jewelers LLC located in Penn Plaza in downtown Dunnellon. At the urging of several people. I have decided 5o try my hand at writing (thank God for spell check). Jewelry is what I have done for the last 27 years and therefore I will stick to what I know in my writing. In future editions of Village Crier, I will discuss such topics as the value of gold and silver in comparison to paper (fiat) currency, the 4 C’s of diamonds, care or your Jewelry, and I will share some of the secrets of my trade. Subjects for future articles will always be welcome.

Okay, now on to my first article titled “Karat with a K.” Karat is a measure of purity. When you look at the big board on the comex commodities market and you see the price for example at $1,700.00, they are selling one ounce of 24k gold bullion, which is considered pure gold. You may also see bullion gold marked .999 Fine, which means the guarantee that 999 parts out of 1000 parts is pure gold.

Pure gold is very heavy but soft, a very malleable metal and is considered by most people to be much too soft to wear as jewelry. In gold’s gold pure form a simple handshake could crush the shank of ring, and chains and bracelets would be much more more likely to break with even a small amount of force. So, to make the jewelry more durable it must hardened with other metals, this process is called Karating. If 24k is pure gold, than 18, means that it is 18 parts of gold and 6 parts hardening metals or 75% gold. Likewise, 14k 14 parts gold and 10 parts gardening metals or 58.5% gold and 10k is actually only 41.7 gold. The hardening metals used will determine the color of the gold. If you use Nickel Silver to Karat the gold it will be white gold. Brass will make the traditional yellow gold and Copper used as the hardening metal will become Rose Gold.

It is my opinion that for most purposes that 18k is the best all around. 18K, whole m is pure gold, is still a bit soft, and 10k is considered to be low end of the market, sometimes not very well made with so much hardening metals it can become brittle.

I hope that you have found my first as trickle interesting and informative. If you have a questions, comments, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to contact me at the store.

Michael Gilstrap
Rainbow jewelers LLC located in Penn Plaza 20372 E Pennsylvania Ave suite F Dunnellon