When talking about gold, a "karat" is a measure of purity, that is to say how much gold there is in an item. The internationally used range is 0-24.
As an example, a 24 karat ring is pure 100 % gold, a 12 karat ring is only 50 % gold. The most commonly used purities are 21 karat, 18 karat and 14 karat. The scale goes like this:
24 karat = 100 % gold
21 karat = 87.5 % gold
18 karat = 75 % gold
14 karat = 58.3 % gold
12 karat = 50 % gold
10 karat = 41.7 % gold
A "carat" is used to measure the weight of a diamond or other precious and semi-precious stones, such as emeralds, rubies, opals, etc.
A Carat weighs 200 milligram (0.2 gram) that is to say that a diamond of 5 carats weighs 1 gram.
Gold Silver Creations only sells gold items that carry a stamp guaranteeing its purity. The stamp is extremely small and does not mar the item and requires a magnifying glass to see it.
In countries that take gold and silver jewelry seriously, the stamp is highly regulated and monitored and the governments in those countries impose severe penalties for any tampering, ensuring that the items are indeed what they are advertised to be.
All gold and silver items sold on our web site are stamped with the karat rating for gold, and are so indicated for each item.
Pure gold, or 24 karat gold, is an extremely soft metal. In fact, it is so soft that it can be hammered down to an almost transparent sheet of metal.
In order to make durable items, gold is mixed with other metals to give it more strength, and to make it more workable during the process of making jewelry. This is particularly important in items such as chains, that must endure some pulling without breaking, and in items of intricate design that need to be protected from being accidentally dented or deformed.
Also because of the high cost of gold, a 24 karat item would cost about twice as much as an equivalent 14 karat item, and about 35% more than an 18 karat item.
Some are manufactured with hollow inside in order to reduce the weight, and hence the price. These are usually 18 karat to make them less susceptible to denting, and should be handled with care. If these items were solid, they may cost over 10 times as much.
Gold plated items are made of inexpensive metal then covered with a very thin coating of gold, measured in micron (0.000039 inch). In other words, it has no gold value.
Gold does not rust as brass or other metals. Simply wash gold with mild soap and water.