Gold carat grading is designed as a means to tell you exactly which type of precious metal you're buying and its exact quality. But what does the grading mean, exactly? Is there much difference between the quality of each grade? Here's all you need to know about 9ct and 18ct gold.



Does carat weight and source affect gold's colour?

18ct gold is 75% pure yellow gold and 25% other metals (usually a combination of silver and copper). In the case of white gold, that 25% is consists of varous white metals, present to contribute the silvery hue. 9ct gold, on the other hand, has a content of 37.5% pure gold and 62.5% other metals. 

The colour of gold (yellow, white or rose) is the same regardless of its source; whether Fairtrade, Fairmined, recycled or standard industry metal. However, you may notice that in the context of yellow gold, carat weight does influence the hue somewhat; with 9ct yellow gold slightly lighter than its 18ct counterpart.



Is there a difference in durability between 9ct and 18ct gold? 

18ct gold is much harder and more resilient than 9ct gold, which is why we recommend it for any jewellery that needs to withstand daily wear and tear - like engagement rings and wedding bands.


What are the differences in cost?

Pure gold is very soft and so isn't always practical to use alone in fine jewellery. For this reason, it's combined with other metals to make it more durable.

"The more gold in the mix, the higher the carat, and the higher the cost."

The types of metals the gold is mixed with will also determine its final colour; rose gold contains a high concentration of copper along with some silver, whilst white gold is a mix of gold with platinum or palladium.

Fairtrade Gold does cost more to buy, but it doesn't cost as much to the environment or those who extract it from the earth. We feel that the additional expense of Fairtrade Gold is a small price to pay to know that the jewellery we supply is ethical and environmentally friendly.

If you’re stuck choosing the right ring for your needs, or are considering a bespoke piece, get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to help.


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Love, Arabel & Team