Gold is a preferred household asset in India. Whether it is simply to purchase an appreciating asset, or whether it is to invest in Indian wedding jewellery that serves a specific purpose. Most families in India set aside a portion of their income to buy yellow metal.
If you are also keen on buying gold for any such purpose, you may find that there are different types of gold karat categories to choose from. Then again, there are also different types of gold and various kinds of Indian wedding jewellery made from yellow metal.
Here is a handy guide to decoding all these different types of gold, so you can make an informed purchase decision.
The Different Types of Gold Karat Categories
The karat is the universal unit of measuring the purity of gold. Each karat represents 1 portion of gold in 24 parts of the alloy or the material. So, for instance, 10 karat gold has 10 parts of pure gold in 24 parts of the alloy. The remaining parts are typically composed of other metals such as silver, nickel, and zinc, among others.
Check out the primary types of gold karat categories that you can find in the yellow metal market.
14 Karat Gold
This kind of gold consists of 14 parts of the yellow metal and 10 parts of other metals used to make gold jewellery. On a percentage basis, it is 58% gold and 42% other alloyed metals. Since the gold content is lower, 14 karat gold is fairly more resistant to wear and tear. Although it is not widely used in Indian wedding jewellery, 14K gold is quite popular in making engagement rings and wedding bands.
18 Karat Gold
18 karat gold is 18 parts (or 75%) gold and 6 parts (or 25%) other metals. While this kind of gold is only sparingly used in Indian wedding jewellery, it is more widely used to make fancy jewellery instead. Owing to the higher concentration of gold, the 18K variety is more expensive than 14K gold jewellery. Furthermore, it also has a more yellowish tinge due to the increased yellow metal content.
22 Karat Gold
Composed of 22 parts gold and 2 parts other metals, 22K gold is tougher and stronger than pure gold. This is why it is most widely used in making wedding jewellery as well as other common types of heavy jewellery in India. Since its composition includes 92% gold and only 8% other alloyed metals, 22K gold is the most expensive type of gold karat category, excluding pure gold.
24 Karat Gold
24K gold is 100% pure gold, with no other alloyed metals thrown into the mix. While it may be easy to assume that this is the best kind of gold, it is quite far from the truth. This is because pure gold is quite malleable in nature, making it a poor choice for use in making jewellery.
Since 24K gold tends to lose structural integrity with time, it is rarely used in making ornaments. However, if you wish to buy gold for investment purposes, 24K gold may offer the most value for money.
The Different Colours of Gold
Depending on the metals used in the alloyed mix, gold used for making jewellery can come in different colours, as outlined below.
- Rose Gold – The use of copper in the alloy mix lends a pinkish hue to this kind of gold. Rose gold is widely used in the making of everyday ornaments as well as fancy Indian wedding jewellery and engagement jewellery.
- White Gold – White gold includes the yellow metal in combination with nickel, palladium or zinc. These metals lend the signature silvery-white hue to the alloyed mix, which is often considered a more affordable substitute for platinum.
- Yellow Gold – Yellow gold, as you may have guessed, is made by simply using the yellow metal in its naturally occurring state. This pure gold is mixed with sterling silver, which improves the strength and durability of the mix without interfering with its signature yellow colour.
Common Types of Gold Jewellery Available in India
If you’re shopping for Indian wedding jewellery, you also need to know the different types of ornaments available. Take a closer look at the most common options you can choose from.
- Gold Plated Jewellery – This kind of jewellery is made from base metals like copper or brass and covered in a very thin layer of the yellow metal.
- Gold Filled Jewellery – Here, the actual ornament is first made from a base metal like brass, and it is then layered with a thick layer of solid gold (often 100 times thicker than gold plated jewellery).
- Solid Gold Jewellery – This kind of jewellery is made from solid gold and is available in the various types of gold karat categories explained earlier.
This sums up the main types of gold karat categories that you should be aware of if you’re shopping for Indian wedding jewellery. Knowing the different forms of gold and their classification can also help you assess the total worth of the jewellery you own.
So, the next time you’re out shopping for gold jewellery, keep these different classifications in mind and make a smart purchase decision.