Recycled or reclaimed gold is made from existing jewelry, industrial metals or electronic and is refined or re- refined to remove any impurities and the result is chemically identical material to newly mined metals.
24 karat gold is considered “pure” gold meaning that it is the finest gold available. This nomenclature stems from ancient Roman coins. Introduced in 301 AD the gold Solidus coin was minted out of pure gold and became the most commonly used gold coin and the official currency of the Roman empire.
Each Solidi was equal in weight to 24 Siliqua, a small, thin silver coin that weighed 1 carat (.2g) each. Therefore, each pure gold Solidus weighed 24 carats. Over time in American English the “K” karat became the standard for gold as it has come to be a measure of fineness while the “C” carat remained the standard for diamonds as it refers to weight (1ct=.2g) in Europe carat is used when referring to both gold and diamonds.
24 karat gold is not well suited for jewelry as it is too soft hold up to everyday wear. Therefore for jewelry usage fine gold is mixed with other metals to in order to make the gold harder and more durable. These other metals also allow gold to be different colors, not just yellow. Most commonly gold can be white, pink or green. The ratio of gold to the other metals is what determines the karat.
14kt gold is 14 out of 24 parts gold which equals 58.5% gold
18kt gold is 18 out of 24 parts gold which equals 75.0% gold
20kt gold is 20 out of 24 part gold which equals 83.3% gold
22kt gold is 22 out of 24 parts gold which equals 91.6% gold
So, if 14kt gold is 58.5% gold what’s the rest of the ring made out of? The exact formula varies depending on the final color and karat but most commonly alloys include silver, copper, zinc. Small differences in the exact proportion of all the metals involved create the rainbow of hues available for jewelry use.