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Carat

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The Carat (abbreviation ct) was a measure of the purity of gold and platinum alloys. In the w:world:United States and w:world:Canada, the spelling karat is now solely used for the measure of purity, while carat solely refers to the measure of mass weight. As a measure of purity, one karat is one twenty-fourth purity by weight:

 X = 24 \frac{M_g}{M_m}

where

X is the karat rating of the material,
 M_g is the mass of pure gold or platinum in the material, and
 M_m is the total mass of the material.

Therefore 24-karat gold is pure gold (99.99%), 12-karat gold is 50% purity, 18-karat gold is 75% purity, etc.

The most common carats used for gold in bullion, jewelery making and goldsmithing are:

  • 24 karat (millesimal fineness 999)
  • 22 karat (millesimal fineness 916)
  • 20 karat (millesimal fineness 833)
  • 18 karat (millesimal fineness 750)
  • 15 karat (millesimal fineness 625)
  • 14 karat (millesimal fineness 585)
  • 10 karat (millesimal fineness 417)
  • 9 karat (millesimal fineness 375)

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