Why can’t we make jewellery out of 24 karat pure gold? - Times of India (2023)


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(100 percent) or 24 karat gold is way too soft for a metal. This softness allows gold’s ductility (ability to be drawn into wires) and malleability (ability to be hammered into sheets). In fact, Gold is the most malleable metal that humans know of, and it could be hammered into sheets so thin that a pile of them an inch high would contain more than 200,000 separate sheets.
While gold’s softness allows it to be easily beaten into sheets and drawn into wires, it also has its downsides. Yet another common use of gold is in making jewellery, wherein intricate designs of golden ornaments are studded with precious jewels. It is almost impossible that a jeweller would use 100 percent gold in an ornament that needs to tightly grasp onto a diamond or some other precious stone. The reason for this is the exceptional softness of gold. 24 karat gold is so soft, that it could easily be deformed and lose its firm grip on a jewel and allow it to slip or fall out of your ornament. Hence, order to have an ornament that is stronger. Most jewellers use 22 karat gold which is an alloy.
Gold comes in varying levels of purity; from 10 karat gold – is the lowest purity to 24 karat gold, which is 100 percent pure. Gold of less than 24k is always an alloy with other metals, such as copper, silver or platinum.
An alloy exhibits properties of all the component metals within it. For example, mixing 2 parts of silver with 22 parts of gold would give us an alloy that is 22 karat or 91.67 percent pure gold and would be a lot harder than 100 percent pure gold as it would take upon the harder properties of the silver. as the percentage of gold decreases, the strength/hardness of the alloy increases, according to the properties of the other metal (s) in the alloy.

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Gold alloys for jewellery are created both to create a harder, more durable metal to work with and which will better withstand the rigors of daily wear, so you can be assured your jewellery will still be as beautiful many years later.

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  1. Is 24-karat gold used for making jewellery?
    Since ornaments in their making are required to be held tightly onto a diamond or allied precious stones, 24-karat gold is not used for making jewellery because of its softness. Thanks to the ductility and malleability of 24-karat gold, it can easily be deformed and lose its grip on a jewel.
  2. What is gold less than 24-karat made up of?
    Typically, gold of less than 24-karat is an alloy with other metals like silver, copper or platinum. This type of gold is perfect for making jewellery.
  3. Which is more durable, a 22-karat or a 24-karat gold?
    Apparently, 22-karat gold is considered more durable than 24-karat gold. This is due to the blending of harder metals like copper or silver in 22-karat gold.
  4. What is the composition of 24-karat, 22-karat, and 18-karat gold?
    24-karat is 100% pure gold. 22-karat is 92% gold and 8% alloy metals. 18-karat is 75% gold and 25% alloy metals.
  5. Is 24-karat the best gold to buy?
    If you are interested in making long-term investments, 24-karat gold with 99.99% purity is undoubtedly the best option to go with. However, if you are looking to jewellery, 22-karat gold is more preferable owing to its sturdiness and durability.
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