What Is Gold Carat?

Gold carat is a unit used to measure the purity of gold, with a carat representing 1/24th part of the whole. Pure gold is 24 carats, meaning that it is 100% gold with no other metals added. However, gold used for jewellery and other applications is rarely pure, and its purity is measured in carats to determine its value. For example, 18-carat gold is 75% pure gold and 25% other metal alloys (hallmark 750), whilst 14-carat gold is 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% other metal alloys (hallmark 585). 9-carat gold is 37.5% pure gold and 62.5% other metal alloys (hallmark 375). The higher the carat of gold, the purer it is, but it also tends to be softer and more susceptible to damage or wear. It is important to understand the carat of gold when buying or selling it, as it affects its value and durability.


The word “carat” is derived from Ancient Greek and means “carob seed”. Carob beans were used to measure very small weights and they were used in weighing pure gold coins.

White Gold

White gold is a very popular precious metal for engagement rings and wedding bands. It was first introduced into jewellery making about a hundred years ago as an alternative to platinum and is created by mixing pure gold with white metal alloys, most commonly, in the UK, palladium. The US tend to use nickel and/or silver.

Over time, with wear, the natural yellow gold colour of your item can begin to show through but this is easily remedied by applying rhodium plating. The main goal of rhodium plating is to coat a piece of jewellery with a layer of rhodium, this plating finish imparts an extremely bright finish to your jewellery.

Ask us about rhodium plating which we carry out here in our own workshops.

At what temperature does gold melt?

Pure gold has a melting pint of 1064.43°.

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Why is gold often referred to as AU?

AU is the chemical symbol given to gold in the periodic table, derived from the Latin word aurum meaning 'shining dawn' and named from Aurora, the goddess of the dawn in Roman culture.


October 16, 2023 — Christopher Onslow