Gold has gained popularity as the most in-demand metal over the centuries. As the craze for the yellow metal has grown, so have the various different ways of purchasing the same have entered the market. From Bullions like bars and coins, to jewellery or stocks and ETFs, gold is a highly invested commodity. There are various options in gold purchase, namely 24 karats, 22 karat, 18 karat and so on. It is essential to understand the characteristic of each, mainly the more popular 24 and 22-karat gold options, before making an investment.
Before comparing 24karat gold with 22karat gold, it is important to understand what is a karat. A karat is basically the unit used to measure the purity of gold. Higher the karat, purer the gold.
How to calculate fineness?
Karat is an expression of fineness, calculated by a simple formula, i.e. 24-karat gold is 1000 parts out of 1000 pure or fineness 1.000. 22-karat is calculated as 22 divided by 24, multiplied by 1000, which will provide you a fineness of 0.9166, and so on.
There is basic guideline to understand the difference between 22 karat and 24-karat gold,
24-karat gold: 24-karat gold is also known as pure or 100% gold, this form of gold has no trace of other metals and known to be 99.9 to 99.0 percent pure gold. This benefits investors with higher amount of gold purchase for their money. The purer gold, being superior to 22-karat gold, is slightly more expensive. Gold bullions at reputed bullion retailers, like Bullion India are available in 24-karat pure gold bars and coins. Each of which can be purchases from as low as 0.1 gold bars per purchase. 24-karat gold bars are recognised globally with a guarantee resale, due to the high demand and liquidity of gold.
The color of 24-karat gold is pure yellow and untainted, all other mixed metal variants have slightly changed colors due to their composition of alloys.
The shortcoming of 24-karat pure gold is brittle in its pure form and hence cannot be used directly in making jewellery. It is not pliable in its pure form.
22-karat gold: This gold is more commonly marketable in ornamental form. Due to its pliable nature, 22-karat gold can easily be moulded into jewellery. The 22-karat stands for 22 parts of gold and 2parts of another metal, which is mixed to make the gold more malleable. This means when purchasing 100% 22karat gold bar 91.67 per cent is pure gold; remaining 8.33 per cent comprises additive metals like silver, zinc, nickel and other alloys. Hence, unlike 24-karat gold, 22-karat gold may be cheaper but is lesser weight of gold for once money.
The shortcoming of 22-karat gold jewellery is that even though, this tough gold is great in jewellery making, it is still not recommended for diamond and gemstone settings. As it is still brittle for precious stone settings for such cases a lower 18-karat or 14-karat gold is preferable.
24-karat and 22-karat gold are undoubtedly pure gold in the percentage of gold they offer. When buying gold bullions as an investment, 24-karat gold makes more sense, from a reputed retailer like Bullion India, whereas jewellery in 22-karat gold is undoubtedly durable and has a resale on the market value of 22-karat gold.