Carat or Karat, what is the difference?

Diamond Ring in Gold
Carats and Karats in jewelry should not be confused with the orange-colored root vegetable carrot or the symbol caret on your computer keyboard. 

Carats are the weight measure for gemstones.  The correct abbreviation is CT, yet it is often displayed as CTW (for carat total weight of all similar gems in a piece of jewelry).  Size of gemstones is typically measured in millimeters (MM) instead of USA inches (IN).  Although many American TV sellers will hold up a ruler to give the total inches of a pendant or ring setting so viewers have a better idea of the size without having to do mental MM to IN conversions. Sometimes you will see an on-line seller giving measurements and another showing only carat weight, so how do you compare values? You may use a gemstone carat weight estimator to help.  

Karats (KT) are used to indicate the mix of gold with other metals in 24 parts.  Mixing with different metals produces different variations of yellow (YG) or other popular colors.  Silver mixes are denoted by a percentage.  The most common mix number is 925 for sterling, which is, which means it is 92.5% silver and 7.5% some other metal alloy. Metal weight is typically measured in grams (GM) or ounces (OZ).  See tool for GM to OZ conversions. 

For more fun jewelry facts, see posts on anniversary gems/metals, birthstones, and zodiac stones.

No comments: