Karat vs. Carat:

What You Need to Know When Selling Gold Online


If you’re looking to sell unused, unworn, or antique jewelry online the first thing you need to know is the value of what you have to sell. If your gold jewelry is marked with a 14K or 18K tag, that is a good indication that the item is made from a large portion of real gold and may be worth a lot of money in trade-in value. If your gold jewelry does not have a visible tag, you can still get it assessed for value by a professional to learn what it is worth. Old jewelry, including antique items, may have their stamp worn off, so it’s best to have your items assessed by a professional before you decide to sell.

What does Karat mean in gold terms?

Image representing purity and assay marking on a gold ring.

Before you get your jewelry or other gold items assessed to learn their value, here are some important terms to understand. A karat, sometimes referred to as a Carat outside of the U.S., is the unit of measurement for gold. This measures the purity of the gold, or how fine it is. This system of measurement dates back to medieval times, when a coin called a mark weighed 24 carats.

One gold karat is 1/24 or 4.1667% pure gold. Using this scale, 24-karat is pure 100% gold with no other metals mixed in. This type of gold is not commonly used to make jewelry, however, because it is soft and easier to scratch and bend. More commonly found in your jewelry box is 14-karat gold, which is 58.5% pure gold, combined with one or more other metals. You can also commonly find 18-karat gold items, which are 75% pure gold, at the jewelry store. More affordable gold jewelry is made from 41.7% pure gold, which is called 10k or 10-karat gold.

At the jewelers you’ll often see yellow, white, and rose gold for sale. Yellow gold is made by combining gold with another metal, like zinc or copper. White gold jewelry looks closer to silver, but it is a mix of gold with either nickel or palladium. Rose gold is also a mixture of about 25% copper to give it that memorable color tone.

What does the term Carat mean in terms of Diamonds?

Loose diamonds in different sizes.

If you are selling diamonds or gemstones, as well as gold jewelry, you also need to know the definition of Carat in terms of diamonds. A carat is the measurement of the weight of the gemstone or diamond, not its size. One carat is equal to .20 grams, and diamonds can be measured all the way down to 1/1000th of a carat.

The weight of a gemstone can vary depending on its cut, which is why diamonds are measured in terms of weight, not size. For instance, diamonds can come in princess, pear, oval, heart, and other cuts. The cut of a diamond impacts how the light interacts with it - and makes it sparkle. The cut of a diamond is also measured in quality, from excellent down to poor, affecting its worth as well.

Two diamonds with the same carat can have different sizes when they are cut differently. The carat value doesn’t ultimately determine the price of a diamond. Diamonds with the same carat can have widely different values based on their cut, color, and clarity.

If you’re looking to sell gold and diamonds online, Sell Your Gold provides a quick, free, and professional valuation of each item. Whether it’s a princess cut diamond or a broken gold necklace, we’ll provide you with the price each item is worth. Then, you can decide to sell your items, or have your items returned to you for free.

Request your FREE appraisal kit today to get started.

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