- 24-Karat Gold
Being the purest form and the brightest yellow, with about 99.9% gold, 24K gold is used as the measuring point for gold purity. Unlike other less pure types which are mixed with other metals (i.e. alloys), 24-karat gold is easier to bend and, therefore, scratch. For this reason, it’s not used as jewelry as much as it is for investment, medical purposes and electronic devices.
- 22-Karat Gold
The gold where 22 parts of it are gold and the remaining two are alloy. Therefore, 22K is not as easy to bend or scratch as pure (24K) gold, but it’s still 91.7% pure gold, which doesn’t leave much room for other metals. Therefore, it’s still not widely used as gemstone jewelry, and especially not for diamonds.
- 18-Karat Gold
Made of 75% gold mixed with other metals, which means that it has the value of gold and the sturdiness to support gemstones. Of course, having less gold in it means its yellow is not as bright as 22K and 24K gold, but this is rarely a problem since 18K gold is the most valuable type that can be safely used to support gemstones, including diamonds.
- 14-Karat Gold
With around 58.3% gold, this type is used for cheaper jewelry. It is also a much better choice for those with an active lifestyle as well as those allergic to gold due to having more alloy and less gold, which makes it sturdier and a lot less likely to scratch than 18K and purer types of gold.
- 10-Karat Gold
While clearly far from being the most valuable, 10K gold is the best choice for many who can’t afford purer forms of gold. With 41.7% gold, this type happens to be highly durable and practical, thanks to having less gold and more alloy.
Knowing the different types of gold is the first step to explaining how gold comes in various colors. To learn more about how white, rose, and even purple gold are made, make sure to check this article.