Gold Measurements: What Do the Terms “Karat” & “Troy Ounce” Actually Mean?

by Lorimer Wilson, munknee.com:

What’s the difference between 1 troy ounce of gold and 1 (regular) ounce? What’s the difference between 18 and 10 karat gold? What’s the difference between a .75 and a 1.0 carat diamond? Let me explain. Words: 1102

By Lorimer Wilson editor of www.munKNEE.com

Definition of “Karat”

The term “karat” is used to describe the unit of measurement for the proportion of gold (i.e. % purity of the gold content) in a piece of jewellery, coin, ingot or bar.

Gold will often be mixed with “filler metals” such as silver, palladium, platinum, nickel and even copper to combat the softness of pure 24 karat.

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  • Gold which contains a degree of silver, platinum or palladium is referred to as “white gold” and will classify with a higher amount of karats while the presence of nickel leads to a slightly lower designation of karats.
  • Copper is used to give gold durability and give it a golden rosy tone.

Below is a table outlining the karat designations at various gold purity levels plus the extent of “fineness” as is used in some countries such  as Italy.

Karat/Fineness Gold Content [Purity]

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