Jewellery 101: Carat vs Karat
Is it a typo? Ofcourse not!
If you were feeling embarrassed about not knowing the difference between Carat and Karat, congratulations, you’re not the first one.
We often get confused first-time buyers who have no clue about these terminologies.
So, here goes your cheat code –
Carat = Diamond weight
Karat = Gold purity
What is Carat?
Carat is the unit of weight of a diamond or solitaire or gemstone.
Carat is one of the 4Cs of diamond shopping – Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.
The cut of a diamond ensures how well light can pass through the diamond. There are three types of cuts – Shallow cut, Deep cut or Ideal cut. As the name suggests, the Ideal Cut reflects all the light into the eyes of the viewer, thus ensuring maximum brilliance.
The colour of a diamond is the shade of a diamond. FYI, colourless diamonds are rare and expensive. In order to reduce the price of your diamond significantly, it is advisable to choose a brownish or yellowish diamond such that it camouflages in the colour of the gold used.
The clarity of a diamond talks about inclusions that are formed in a diamond during its formation. The price of a diamond varies depending upon the inclusions found in it. The clarity range available at Candere is VVS EF, VS GH, SI GH, SI IJ and I2 GH, wherein VVS EF is the most expensive while I2 GH is the least expensive.
The carat of a diamond is the weight of a diamond. While buying jewellery, the overall weight is mentioned in the summary. That is why you should make sure to go through the details of the stone i.e. weight (carat), the number of stones used, etc. before making the purchase.
What is Karat?
Karat is the purity of the gold used in making your jewellery.
Gold in its purest form – 24K – is not suitable for making jewellery as it can be moulded with bare hands. That is why it is mixed with alloys to make it durable and suitable for everyday use.
You will find the purity of the gold used in your jewellery inscribed on your jewellery. Thanks to the Bureau Of Indian Standards, they have made Hallmarking mandatory. The Hallmarking consists of the following four inscriptions on your jewellery:
- The triangular BIS Logo
- Purity (Karat)
- Assay Centre Name
- Jeweller’s Identification Mark
The BIS approved Hallmarkings include 22K, 18K and 14K respectively. The purity written on the jewellery is written in three digits. Here’s how you can tell the difference:
22K: 22/24 = 916
18K: 18/24 = 750
14K: 14/24 = 583
22K isn’t suitable for jewellery studded with precious stones like diamonds, 18K is the ideal choice in this regard. You can also go for a lower purity i.e. 14K to suit your budget or preference. Irrespective of whether you go for an 18K or 14K, it’s impossible to tell the difference by the untrained eye.
Note: BIS might launch hallmarking in 24K, 23K and 20K soon; subscribe to our newsletter to never miss an update!
While buying an engagement ring for my girlfriend, which one should I be concerned about?
Your girlfriend might be concerned about carat but you should be concerned about both!!
While she might be looking forward to a dreamy 2 carat stone for her engagement, it’s important to know about the purity of the metal to be used as well. It can be adjusted as per your preference or budget.
Now that you know what is what, how ‘bout some shopping?
If you know someone who is looking forward to buying an engagement ring for their fiancee or gold jewellery for their mom, feel free to share this article with them.
Disclaimers: Images sourced from Unsplash for reference purposes only!
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