All about 10 karat gold

Gold has been a precious metal since its use in the beginning of recorded history. People used it for personal adornment and decorations to their temples and religious artifacts. It was and still is used as coins, ornaments, jewelry and in industrial applications. Gold is valued for its beautiful sheen, rarity, conductivity, malleability, ductile (electrical wire processing ability) and indestructible nature. It has served as the world monetary system until recently. Gold has different karat assignments which identify its purity. Ten Karat gold is the lowest on the purity scale and also the densest, while at the other end of the scale 24 karat represents the softest density, purest and most costly version. However, 10 karat gold has some distinct advantages over the more purer forms while still maintaining its appeal and popularity. For example, the 10 karat price will always cost less than the 14 karat gold price. The scientific classification of gold is identified by the abbreviation Au.

Karat Designations

The difference in karat designation involves the percentage of real gold used in a piece or item. Depending upon the gold color which uses different alloy metals that produce different hues, 10 karat gold has a 41.7 concentration of gold mixed with other alloy metals. The alloy metals give soft gold more durability and strength without sacrificing appearance. Karats are determined by part numbers out of 24. This means that 10 karat gold has 10 parts of gold out of 24 parts, hence the 41.7 gold percentage factor. With 14 karat gold the gold concentration increases to 14 parts out of 24, or 58.3 percent gold. Eighteen karat gold, an even higher percentage grade than 14 karat gold, has 18 parts out of 24 and contains 75 percent pure gold. The lowest purity is 10 karat, then it increases as the numbers approach 24. Common karats from lowest to highest are 10, 12, 14, 18 and 24. The purest gold is 24 karat (100 percent) and it contains no mixed alloys. Karats are routinely stamped on most jewelry pieces. The mark “14K” is used for 14 karat gold price and identification and a “10K” is used for 10 karat gold.

There are some countries that hallmark their gold by assigning it with a three-digit number that shows the parts per thousand. With this system, a “750” translates to 750 parts of gold per 1000, which is equivalent to 18 karat or a 75 percent gold concentration. A “500” digit indicates 500 parts per 1000, or 50 percent, which identifies 12 karat. A 14 karat gold price will still be equivalent to that of a hallmark that indicates the same purity, as will a 10 karat gold value vs a hallmark digit.

Other Differences

When comparing 10 karat gold to 14 karat gold, the 14 karat will retain a richer yellow color than the 10 karat. This results because of the additional alloy metals used in the 10 karat which have a slight diluting effect on the hue. The higher 14 karat gold will also weigh heavier since it contains more base gold which is heavier than the alloys within it. The higher karat will also be softer and more malleable because it contains less concentrations of the harder metal alloys. In all cases, 10 karat gold value is diminished because of its lower gold concentration and will cost less than the higher 14 karat gold price. Ten karat gold also has a tendency to tarnish more easily.

Gold Types

The most common or popular types of gold are white gold, yellow gold and rose gold. White gold contains any white-colored metal, such as silver, nickle, tin, manganese or platinum. The whitish alloys lightens the gold's appearance. Yellow gold commonly contains a combination of sliver and copper in equal proportions, and these metals allow the deep yellow hue to dominate. Copper is added to gold to produce rose gold which gives it a pinkish hue. Other gold types include blue and gray which contain some percentage of iron. Green gold typically uses cadmium or silver as an alloy. Since 10 karat gold contains more alloy metal percentage-wise, the alloys and their combinations will have more effect on the color change.

About the price and the value of 10 karat gold

A 14 karat gold price will be higher than the 10 karat gold value which makes the lower karat selection more affordable to the masses. This applies to the most popular pieces of jewelry, like rings, earrings, broaches, pendants, watches and cufflinks. Even with the increased alloy content, 10 karat gold value is still relatively high because it retains most of the deep yellow hue of natural gold, and at a glance it is almost indistinguishable from the higher karat versions. A 10 karat ring will also be less prone to bending, scratching and marring because of its harder nature. In addition to jewelry, 10 karat is used in the manufacture of electrical components such as connectors, relay contacts, wire strips, soldered joints and computer board jacks and loom fasteners.