The purity of gold is measured in karats. If gold is 100% pure, then it is 24 karat gold (24K). In its pure form, gold is soft and malleable, but scratches easily and is unsuited for jewelry wear. Consequently, it must be alloyed with other metals to give it strength.
- 18K Gold - 18 parts gold, 6 parts other metals by weight (75% pure)
- 14K Gold - 14 parts gold, 10 parts other metals by weight (58.3% pure)
- 10K Gold - 10 parts gold, 14 parts other metals by weight (41.7% pure)
Made from yellow gold and various alloys and is not a true white metal. It is often plated with Rhodium, a white and reflective metal that provides an excellent protective coating. Rhodium plating will gradually wear off and require re-plating.
Auragento Bonded Gold by Aurafin uses patented technology to permanently fuse (solder) a thin layer of 14 k gold to sterling silver at a thickness at least 30x that of gold plated jewelry. The amount of gold used will range from 5% to 10%, depending on the piece.
*some information sourced from www.americangemsociety.org/all-that-glitters