Welcome to Ask Shop LC, a series created for you, the shopper! Our team is answering questions that real Shop LC customers are asking, ranging from the common to the obscure. This week, we are addressing a great customer question: “what is solid gold?”

Irene asks, “Why do you call it solid gold when it is 10KT gold? 10KT gold only has about 42% real gold. Wouldn’t 24KT gold be considered solid gold?” *


Gold jewelry is made from a gold alloy. An alloy is a combination of two or more metals. Common metals used in gold alloys are zinc, silver, and copper. Higher levels of copper produce rose gold. Palladium or nickel is often used to produce white gold.

LUXORO 10K Yellow Gold Earrings

The fineness, or total gold content, is a definition of the metal’s purity. This is expressed through the term karat (K). This is a rating of 1 to 24 karats. In the United States, 10 karats is generally accepted as the minimum fineness for gold jewelry. In some European countries, like the United Kingdom, 9 karats is the accepted standard. Other countries may have different standards than these.

LUXORO Criss Cross Ring in 10K Yellow Gold

Solid gold is generally produced in three karatages to denote the gold content – 10 karats, 14 karats, or 18 karats. The higher the number, the more gold is present. Pure gold is 24 karats. 24KT gold is 99.99% pure.

24K gold is typically not used for creating jewelry. Gold is a soft metal, and alloying it with other, stronger metals is what makes it suitable for use in jewelry.


Karat is the term used to express the fineness of gold. Carat is a term used to indicate a gem’s weight. In some countries, karat may still use a “c” to write the term when referring to gold.

Snake Pendant in 10K Yellow Gold


Some gold jewelry is plated with gold, instead of being gold throughout. Common methods are ion plating or vermeil. When gold jewelry is plated, a thin coating of gold is applied the surface. The gold fineness of the coating is expressed in the same way – with karats.

Discover incredible Simply Gold jewelry from Shop LC.

*Shop LC may edit customer comments for grammar and clarity.

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