What Is 18ct Gold?
Curious about the different types of gold? Find out everything you need to know about 18ct Solid Gold and 18ct Gold, including what sets them apart.
At Auric Jewellery, we create our jewellery with either 18 carat gold (18k Gold) or also commonly known as ‘solid gold jewellery’. Our fine jewellery is not plated, filled or layered with vermeil (2.5micron layer of gold).
We can proudly say 100% of our jewellery is made with 18ct solid gold so you do not need to worry about it tarnishing – some pieces are ever so special which we love wearing every day, everywhere. We get lots of questions about ’18ct solid gold jewellery’ and why it is different from 18ct Gold – we would like to break these down for you, so you can better understand the jewellery you wear every day.
What is gold and how is it measured?
To understand what is 18ct solid gold, let’s begin with understanding what solid gold is. Gold is an alloy which is commonly found in rivers, tunnels, minning.
Gold is measured in numerical values followed by karats (k) or carts (ct). The carat or karatage is the value which tells us what the percentage of the pure gold your jewellery contains.
Purest gold is made up of twenty-four parts ( 24 carts / 24k) which is 99.99% pure gold. However, pure gold is too soft to use to make jewellery from. For this reason, other alloys are mixed to pure gold to give strength and structure (not forgetting to create different gold colours – white gold and rose gold). Once combined, the material is known as ‘solid gold’ or ‘yellow solid gold’ ‘ Rose Gold’ White Gold’ or famoulsy known as ‘Pink Gold‘ hence don’t get this confused with gold filled, vermeil or plating).
Let’s break down elements of what is 18ct gold for you.
To make jewellery 24 parts of mixed alloys is required meaning 100% alloys are required. If you look at pure gold in 24 parts which is seen as 999. gold, from there 18 parts of pure gold is placed in an element along with 6 parts other alloys to give it strength.
A little maths breakdown for you
75% pure gold ( 18 parts of real gold)
25% of other alloys such as silver (6 parts of silver, platinum, copper)
This will equal to 100% jewellery = 18ct Gold Jewellery
Higher the carats or Kt in your gold jewellery more pure gold it will have and sure to be more valuable.
How do you tell if 18k gold is real?
18ct or 18k jewellery which is made from pure gold of 18 parts should be stamped with the number ‘750’ and hallmarked from the assay office in the UK. This assures the purity of the gold in the jewellery is 18parts and nothing else.
Gold jewellery over 1g must have an assay office hallmark, the hallmark consists of three marks; one is the markers mark, the second 750 stamp, and lastly, the assay office validates the jewellery.
Can you wear 18ct gold every day and would it tarnish?
You can absolutely wear 18-carat jewellery every day, the reason being higher the gold content in this case 18ct solid gold jewellery has 18 parts of pure gold would mean;
• Very unlikely it would react to lotions and creams and cause a reaction to the skin.
• Made with 18k solid gold also mean it will not tarnish or corrode like plated 18k, 18ct vermeil or 18-carat gold filled jewellery.
• Much more durable and less likely to be scratched or marked.
• Also, pure gold is very valuable in these fine jewellery pieces.
‘Would your 18k gold jewellery that is made from 75% of pure gold tarnish?’ the simple answer will be ‘NO’ – pure gold jewellery is not like vermeil, plating or plated gold jewellery which will tarnish.
Gold is one of the most sought after metals in the world. It has an attractive colour and many desirable qualities like durability to corrosion which makes it so valuable. You can learn more about gold here on our blog ‘What chemical symbol for gold?’
What is the difference between Solid Gold, Gold Filled, Plated and Vermeil?
Solid Gold Jewellery is pure solid gold and other alloys. 18ct Solid gold jewellery is 18 parts of real gold and 6 parts other metals such as silver and copper.
Gold Filled is made by using a mechanical bonding process that melts a thicker layer of gold onto the base metal, which is normally brass or copper.
Gold Plated means when a base metal such as brass or copper has been rapidly dipped in gold the gold percentage will be less than 1%.
Gold Vermeil is similar to gold plating however the base metal will be silver rather than brass or copper.