Gold is a precious metal. When buying gold jewellery, two important aspects should be considered: which gold carat to choose and second, colour of gold or the combination of gold colours.

Gold Carat

Carat is the measurement unit of gold content or purity of gold in jewellery article. The carat measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with other metal alloys (copper, silver, palladium etc). The metal alloys are added to give strength, colour and texture to the gold jewellery. The carat of gold is represented in many countries by the abbreviation ct. Carat can also be called karat, represented by kt or K.

The term “carat or ct” is also used to measure the weight of diamonds and gemstones. Although the same name is used, one measure content of gold and other measure weight of gemstones.

Gold Purity and its value:

The jewellery or gold article will be more valuable and expensive, when it has higher proportion of pure gold. Ideally, fine jewellery is manufactured in 18 ct gold, because its give perfect durability, colour (yellow or white) and texture. Following table shows different carat used in jewellery worldwide.

Gold Carat

Gold Contents %

Hallmark Stamp


9 ct



9K is the minimum standard used in UK and is widely used for making profound jewellery to minimize the cost

14 ct



Mostly used in North America and Far East

18 ct



Perfect and highly recommended for fine jewellery.

21 ct



High gold contents, mostly used in Middle East

22 ct



Higher gold contents, popular in Asian. Not suitable for fine jewellery

24 ct



Gold in 100% purity is extremely soft and cannot be used in fine jewellery

For more information of precious metal hallmark, check the assay office website.

The stamps only indicate the carat of metal. They do not indicate the colour of the metal. So for example an 18ct yellow gold ring would have a stamp of 750 as would an 18ct white gold ring.

Gold Colours:

Gold, when mixed with different alloys can give different colours and shades. The most popular gold colours are white and yellow. Combination of white and yellow is also popular in fine jewellery, also know as two tone or multi coloured gold jewellery.

Yellow gold is made by mixing pure gold with alloy metals such as copper, silver and zinc, whereas, white gold is made up by mixing white metal alloys such as silver and palladium.

Care of Gold Jewellery:

Keep your gold jewellery away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning fluids. This will reduce daily abrasions and prolong shine and colour.

To clean gold jewellery, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap and wash gold gently with a soft-bristled brush.  Store it in a box away from other pieces to preserve it from getting scratched.