24 Karat gold is a dense, malleable precious metal that is bright yellow in color and can be polished to a high luster. In its pure form it is considered too soft and not suitable to use in jewelry. Gold is commonly mixed with other metals, or alloys, to create a wide range of color variations and working properties.
White gold is a silvery-looking gold alloy that contains gold mixed with palladium, nickel, or sometimes zinc to achieve its color. White gold has yellow undertones and is commonly rhodium-plated to create a whiter appearance. The plating will eventually wear away at which time it can be replated.
• 24 Karat gold fine (99.7% gold).
• 18 Karat gold is 18 parts gold or 75% pure gold content, which may be marked as 750.
• 14 Karat gold is 14 parts gold or 58% pure gold content, which may be marked as 585.
• 10 Karat gold is 10 parts gold or 41% pure gold content.
Platinum is a dense, malleable metal that is white in color with cool undertones. It is almost always used in its purest form in jewelry, 95%. Platinum is substantial in weight. Comparatively, a ring in platinum will weigh almost 60% more than the same ring in 14kt gold. For these reasons a platinum ring is significantly more expensive than the same item in a gold alloy.