The purity of gold is measured in carat, the highest being 24k, however, 24-carat gold is too soft to be used for jewellery and other metals have to be added to form a suitable alloy that can be molded and shaped into the desired design. With one part silver and one part copper, 22k gold jewellry is the finest gold suitable for jewellery making. Creating 22k gold jewellery may pose a challenge but it becomes easier if you possess the necessary skills and equipment and already have the designs you want in mind.
How 22k Gold is Formed
Carat refers to the purity of gold in relation to the other metals it is mixed with. A 24k gold item represents a unit of pure 99.9% gold with no added metals. A 22k gold jewellery is made with 22 parts gold and two parts of other metals. This means 22k gold is approximately 91.3% gold with 8.6% additional metal. The hardness, durability, and colour of the jewellery often depends on the added metals or alloys. Twenty-four carat gold is the softest and not suitable for molding into jewellery, and 10k gold, which contains only 10 parts gold and 12 parts hard metal, is the hardest. The different colours of added metals affect the final colour of the gold. This results in white gold, red gold, or yellow gold.
Carat vs. Karat
Many times you find that "carat" is spell "karat". The difference between the spellings is one of language. Generally "karat" is used in American English while "carat" is the preferred British English spelling. In American English "carat" and "karat" are not interchangeable. While karat refers to the percentage of gold in the finished product, carat is a measurement that is used to weigh gemstones.
Creating Jewellery with 22k Gold
To make 22k gold alloy, jewellers start with the purest form of gold. Many persons are allergic to other metals, therefore the composition of the alloy has to be of a standard to negate this effect while still allowing the alloy to be crafted into jewellery. The gold needs to be melted and the precise amount of copper and silver, in this case one part each, is added to the molten metal. Once the mixture of metals is complete, it is cooled and an ingot is formed. The ingot can then be rolled into 22k gold sheets with a rolling mill or made into 22k gold wires by pulling it through a die with a wire drawing mill. During the rolling and pulling process, the gold is frequently heated and cooled to ensure its malleability; this helps to make it easier to work with and prevent breaking or cracking. The wires and sheets are then molded into various 22k gold jewellery.