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 jewelry is gold.
- 24 karat = 100% gold Too soft for fine jewelry
- 22 karat = 91.7% gold Too soft for fine jewelry
- 18 karat = 75.0% gold Ideal for fine jewelry
- 14 karat = 58.3% gold Ideal for fine jewelry
- 10 karat = 41.7% gold Not acceptable for jewelry
See also: Gold Education, Rose Gold, White Gold, Karat.