Step 2: The quality (Karats) of my gold
When we talk about karats, we are talking about the quality, or purity, of your gold. The higher the karats, the purer the gold. 24 karats is pure gold. Unless you have bullion or gold coins, you probably won't have 24KT gold. It's too soft by itself to be useful.
Your first step is to divide the gold into piles by karat. It doesn't matter what color it is - yellow, white, green or rose gold all have the same amount of gold. Karats are what count.
What karats are common for gold jewelry?
- 10 karats is very common. Rings, bracelets and less expensive pieces are often 10KT.
- 14 karats is also very common. Wedding rings and other jewelry is often 14KT.
- 18 karats isn't quite so common. This is going to be some of your finer (more expensive) jewelry.
- 20 or 22 karats is really rare, except in foreign jewelry. In countries where the banks are suspect, many people "wear their wealth" in the form of jewelry rather than deposit it in a bank.
How do I know what my jewelry is?
Most gold jewelry is marked in an inconspicuous place. Some places to look are:
- On the inside of rings.
- On the clasps of necklaces and bracelets
- On the posts of earrings
If you can't find a marking, but you are pretty sure it's gold, put it in the pile of 10 karat gold.
Figure out the percentage of gold in each type
Simply divide the karats by 24 and that's your percentage:
- 10KT ÷ 24 = .417 = 41.7% gold
- 14KT ÷ 24 = .583 = 58.3% gold
- 18KT ÷ 24 = .750 = 75.0% gold
- 20KT ÷ 24 = .833 = 83.3% gold
- 22KT ÷ 24 = .917 = 91.7% gold