Most of us have a vague idea of what karats and carats are—and we hope you’ve seen carrots recently! Many people are under the impression that bigger is better, at least when it comes to carat size and karat weight. Knowing how and why these measurements are calculated can help when you buy and sell fine jewelry or gold at a pawn shop in Olathe, KS. Here’s an overview of the difference between karats, carats and carrots.
Karats are a measurement of gold purity, while carats are a measurement of weight. The Germans had a solid gold coin called the mark, which weighed 24 carats. 24 karat (abbreviated as kt) gold became the standard for “purity” over time.
Pure gold is an incredibly soft metal, which is not suitable for use in jewelry—it’s prone to scratching and dents. Pure gold is often mixed with other metals to strengthen it as well as change the color. For example, white gold is yellow or “pure” gold mixed with palladium and silver, while rose gold is pure gold mixed with copper and silver. These are called “alloys.”
24kt gold has no percentage of alloy, while 18kt gold is 25 percent alloy. 14kt gold is 41.5 percent alloy, and 10kt gold is 58.3 percent alloy. As you can see, the bigger the alloy percentage gets, the less pure the gold—and therefore, the less expensive it will be.
Carats are a way of determining weight for diamonds and other precious gemstones. The word originally derives from the carob seed, which were thought to be more uniform in size and weight than any other natural seed. (Incidentally, they’re not.) Today, “carat” means 0.2 grams. Using carats as a weight measurement for diamonds began in the late 16th century, and then entered into use as a unit of measure for other gemstones and pearls.
That’s why the size of a three-carat diamond can vary significantly from a three-carat gemstone of a different variety—not all stones weigh the same.
Carrots, of course, are the bright orange root vegetable we often eat as a side dish, in salads or as a vehicle for ranch dressing. They’re high in beta carotene, which is good for your eye health, and centuries ago, they were commonly found in purple, yellow and ivory varieties. Orange carrots are a genetic mutation that were bred for the color.
Now that you know the difference between carats, karats and carrots, stop by your local pawn shop to look at the former two.
Pawn shop in Olathe, KS
Pawn shops are a great way to buy or sell gold and diamond jewelry at great prices. Harrison Street Pawn has been helping customers learn the difference between carats and karats since 1985. We sell a wide variety of jewelry, collectibles, tools and gold. Our store is also a licensed full-service gun shop that is available to sell, clean and repair your guns. Call or stop by today to discuss buying and selling fine jewelry and more.