Carat number / Carat

What is meant by carat number / carat? © Own image

Carat, or the number of carats, is traditionally used to indicate the fineness of gold.

Pure gold is extremely soft and therefore unsuitable for the production of jewelry, for example. To make the gold more dimensionally stable and scratch-resistant, it is mixed with other precious metals, such as copper or silver. The karat number indicates the pure gold content of a coin or piece of jewelry and is therefore a decisive criterion in the valuation of a piece of gold.

The unit of measurement carat has been used to measure gold for thousands of years and indicates the gold content of an alloy in 1/24 parts. Thus, pure gold is equivalent to 24 karats - it has 24/24 parts gold by weight. 1-carat gold, on the other hand, is only 1/24 pure gold, which is only about 4.167% more.
The indication of a carat number as fineness is still common for gold jewelry and watches, but often you can find the alternative indication of the fineness of the gold alloy in thousand parts. So a piece with 14/24 parts by weight of pure gold can be hallmarked as 14 karat gold as well as 585 (585/1000 parts) gold.

Not to be confused, however, is carat with carat. The metric carat is the unit of measurement for diamonds and other precious stones: 1 carat is equivalent to the weight of 0.2 grams. The weight of gold and other precious metals, on the other hand, is expressed in troy ounces.

Gold carat table

Carat Designation Gold content (percent)
0,7 carat gold plated 30 < 3 %
2.4 carat Dublee/Gold filled 100 10 %
6 carat Gold 250 25 %
8 carat Gold 333 33,3 %
9 carat Gold 375 37,5 %
12 carat Gold 500 50 %
14 carat Gold 585 58,5 %
18 carat Gold 750 75 %
20 carat Gold 833 83,3 %
21 carat Gold 875 87,5 %
21,6 carat Gold 900/coin gold 90 %
22 carat Gold 917 91,7 %
23 carat Gold 950 95 %
23,6 carat Gold 986 (e.g. ducats) 98,6 %
24 carat Gold 999/Fine gold 99,99 %

How can you tell the square number?

Since time immemorial, valuable art objects, fine jewelry and status symbols have been made of gold. To make it easier to value the various items when they are sold, for example, they are usually marked with a stamp - the so-called "repunze". This indicates the different carat values worldwide in the same form. These stamps usually use the abbreviation "kt" for the term "carat". Since the international spelling is "carat," the abbreviation "C" is also possible, which is found mainly on wristwatches and other watches made of gold.

Examples of square numbers

The highest value that gold can have is 24 carat. Then it is pure gold, also called "fine gold", whose gold content is 99.9%. Fine gold is mainly used for investment gold, i.e. coins, bars or medals. Coin gold also often has a gold content of 21.6 carats.

In Austria, jewelry is mostly made of 14 carat gold (585 gold), which corresponds to a gold content of 58.5%. If you go further south - for example to Italy - you will more often find jewelry made with 750 gold i.e. the gold content is 75%, which corresponds to 18 carats.
333 gold has 8 carats; the gold content of the alloy is then only 33.4%. In Austria, jewelry with a gold content of less than 9 carats may no longer be sold as gold jewelry under the Hallmarking Act.

How to calculate the value of gold jewelry?

The price of gold jewelry is calculated depending on the carat (stamp or hallmark = carat number), weight and the current gold rate. So the higher the gold content of a piece, the more money it is worth. If you want to sell your old gold jewelry, you can find our current purchase prices for common 18 carat and 14 carat gold jewelry on our price overview page.

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