John and Laura Ramsey write: Karats vs. Carats

2nd get-attachment.aspxGold ingotNot too long ago we were watching a news show that used the word Karat and used it incorrectly. This got us to thinking that it might be fun to talk with our Gems at Large family about the two words—Karat and Carat. It is always fun to learn a couple new things when it is about something as fun as jewelry. Who knows? You might wind up on Jeopardy one day and need this!
The word Karat, in the United States, is used for the purity of gold. There are legal requirements for the purity of 24 Karat, 18 Karat, 14 Karat and 10 Karat gold. Each level is equivalent to a certain purity. 24 Karat gold is pure gold, 18 Karat gold is 75% gold and 25% other alloys, 14 Karat gold is 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloys while 10 Karat gold is 41.6% gold and 58.3% alloys.
The term Carat is a measure of weight. Carats refer in jewelry to the weight of gems—diamonds or colored stones that are held in the jewelry by the metal. Carats in loose, un-mounted stones are simply the weight of the stones. Here are a couple of ways to remember that a Carat is a measure of weight: 1. Lots of us know about the 4 “C’s” of diamonds—Carats, Cut, Clarity, and Color. Now we also know that this applies to loose un-mounted diamonds that have yet to be associated with gold. 2. Another way to remember that the Carat has nothing to do with gold is that many diamonds are round and are about the same size and even weight as a typical aspirin tablet—think round and round. Then think weight and weight. A one carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams and a typical aspirin tablet weighs about 230 milligrams. Round and round, weight and weight.

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