Have you ever gone through an old jewelry box and found some pieces you may believe to be gold? Did you find some markings on those pieces and were unsure of what they meant? Those markings determine the karat weight of the gold piece. Gold is measured by 24 parts. If you have a piece that has a 14k mark, you have a piece that is 14 part gold, and 10 parts of other various metals. However gold is also measured in parts per thousand. If you see a 3 digit number like, 916, you have a piece that is 91.6% gold. What does karat mean?
Karat- a measure of the purity of gold
What type of gold do you have and how do you find out?
All of your gold will be marked with some type of identifier which will determine the fineness. Markings can look like-
10K, 14K, 18K, 585, 750, 916 (See photos below)
The percentages listed state how much gold is present in each karat weight
- 99.90% = 24 karat
- 91.60% = 22 karat
- 75.00% = 18 karat
- 58.50% = 14 karat
- 41.70% = 10 karat
Other metals make up the rest of the item like silver, copper, zinc.
You can find these markings on the back of the item, inside the band, or on the clasp.
Your gold will always be marked. Check on your piece for numbers, it may be VERY small, but it’s there! Gold is very consistent and will have no fluctuations. If you see any discoloration on your piece, this could be an indicator of a piece that is gold filled or not gold at all. Discoloration can be any color present besides gold as in green or dark spots.
If you still haven’t been able to locate markings on your gold, you can bring it in to Houston Gold Merchants and we can run various tests on your piece. We can determine what karat your gold is and how much it is worth.