Your cart
Close Alternative Icon

Gold, Karat and Carat

Arrow Thin Left Icon

Gold is a precious metal; the chemical element number 79 with the symbol Au, from gold's Latin name "Aurum." In Nature, pure gold is bright, dense, soft, malleable, ductile, and red-yellow colored.

Nature's most precious metal, gold, has been used in jewelry making, currency, gold medals, and various arts. Many winners' medals, trophies, and awards are also made in gold or plated with gold, like the Nobel Prize, the Gold medal for sports events, the Academy Awards, Golden Globe, Emmy, etc. 

In jewelry-making, pure gold is usually combined with other metals (silver, copper, palladium) to create a harder alloy that will become the jewelry piece. Pure gold is generally too soft and would bend too easily if used in jewelry. The percentage of pure gold in the alloy determines how pure, precious and expensive the jewelry is. Goldsmiths use karats and 1000/1000 percentage units to measure the pure gold in jewelry.

Pure Gold in Nature is 24 karat (24K), or 1000/1000 (it means it is just gold, without any other metals). The jewelry produced in Italy, like VIA OREFICI JEWELRY, is made of 18 karat gold or 750/1000 (it means that it is mainly pure gold, with a small part made of other metals -silver and copper-). 

The goldsmiths hallmark their finished pieces; the 18karat jewelry made in Italy has two identification marks: the number 750, indicating the 750/1000 percentage of pure gold, and the goldsmith/factory registered number, made of two letters for the producer's city, and a number. 

Our goldsmith workshop number in Genova was GE212. A well-known jewelry factory in Arezzo is called UnoAErre(1AR) from its registered number AR (the city of Arezzo) and its number 1 (since it was the first jewelry factory opened in Arezzo!).

In the United States, 14karat and 10karat jewelry are also available; the percentage of pure gold in this jewelry is 580/1000 and 410/1000. Since pure gold is an expensive metal, jewelry made with less gold has a lower value, and its price is lower.

Carat (not karat) is the unit measuring a gemstone's weight. It's written Carat with the c; not karat with the k, although the twos are sometimes confused and misused. The Carat is one of the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat weight) used for diamond classification.