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What is the difference between carat and karat?

"Carat" and "karat" are two terms that are often confused due to their similar pronunciation, but they have entirely different meanings and are used in different contexts:

  1. Carat (ct):

    • Carat is a unit of measurement used to express the weight of gemstones, particularly diamonds and other precious gemstones.
    • One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams, or 0.007 ounces.
    • The carat weight of a gemstone has a significant impact on its value. Larger gemstones typically have a higher carat weight and are more valuable, assuming all other qualities are equal.
  2. Karat (k or kt):

    • Karat is a unit of measurement used to denote the purity or fineness of gold in jewelry and other gold items.
    • It is expressed as a fraction of 24 parts, so 24-karat gold is pure gold (99.9% gold), while 18-karat gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metal alloys.
    • The karat system is used to describe the gold content in gold jewelry, with higher karat numbers indicating a higher percentage of pure gold.

In summary, carat measures the weight of gemstones, while karat measures the purity or fineness of gold. It's important to distinguish between these two terms when dealing with jewelry and gemstones to avoid any misunderstandings.