Pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, so it is alloyed with other metals. Karatage, denoted by a number followed by "k" indicates purity, or how much of the metal in a piece of jewellery is gold.
- 24 karat = 100% gold Too soft for fine jewellery
- 22 karat = 91.7% gold Too soft for fine jewellery
- 18 karat = 75.0% gold Ideal for fine jewellery
- 14 karat = 58.3% gold Ideal for fine jewellery
- 9 karat = 37.5% gold The minimum standard in the UK
See also: Gold Education, Rose Gold, White Gold, Karat.