Karat vs Carat: Difference and Comparison

Humans are social animals, and we have been upgrading ourselves for thousands of years. Apart from learning and developing life-saving skills, we also like to decorate other things as well as ourselves, and jewellery is one of the things we have been using for many years.

In jewellery, its purity and weight are the two most essential features, and Karat and Carat are two unique words used to denote those two things, respectively.

Key Takeaways

  1. Karat and carat are two units of measurement that are often used interchangeably but refer to different things.
  2. Karat is used to measure the purity of gold, with 24-karat gold being pure gold, while carat is used to measure the weight of diamonds and other precious gemstones.
  3. Karat is abbreviated as “K” or “KT”, while carat is abbreviated as “ct”.

Karat vs Carat

The spelling “carat” can refer to the weight of diamonds or the purity of gold. When referring to diamonds, the term “carat” describes how much weight they have when measured on professionally calibrated scales. While “karat” only applies to gold purity. Karat is not used for diamonds.

Karat vs Carat

Karat is used mainly for denoting the purity of Gold, 24 Karat gold is the purest, and to make jewellery, gold is mixed with other metals like copper. If it is 18 Karat gold, that means in 24 parts, gold is 18, and another 6 pieces of different metal are mixed.


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Gold can be mixed in different ratios with other metals. Karat denotes this ratio.

In contrast, Carat is a unit for measuring the weight of gemstones. Gemstones, like diamonds, are precious and measured in a small units. This small unit is known as Carat. In one Carat diamond, there are only 0.2 grams of diamond.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKaratCarat
Definition It is a measurement unit to measure the purity of Gold.It is a measurement unit to measure the weight of gemstones.
Used ForIt is mainly used for Gold.It is mainly used for gemstones like diamonds.
AimTo measure purity.To measure weight.
Range Its highest value is up to 24 Karat in gold.It does not have any such limit.
Example18 Karat of gold means 18 part gold with 6 parts other metal.5 Carat diamond means 1 gram of diamond.

What is Karat?

Whenever you buy Gold, you check its weight, colour, purity, etc.; in this process, you must have encountered 18K, 14K, or something like this. It denotes 18 Karat and 14 Karat, respectively. Karat denotes the purity of Gold.

14 Karat denotes that the jewellery is made using 14 parts of Gold and 10 pieces of other metal like copper.

Gold is a soft metal that can not be used to make jewellery, so it is mainly mixed with copper in fixed ratios to prepare jewellery. Karat denotes this ratio.

The higher the value of Karat pure, the more gold. Gold is bright yellow, but the decrease in Karat value results in a reduction of the brightness of pure Gold.

A decrease in Karat value results in a reduction of the brightness of pure Gold, but it increases the durability of Gold. As pure gold is soft, mixing with other tough metals makes Gold more challenging, and Karat’s value also affects the jewellery price.

As the Karat value increases, the price of jewellery also increases.

Karat’s term evolved from the term Carat to measure the purity of Gold. It denotes the fineness of jewellery and is represented by ‘K’ and sometimes as ‘Kt.’


What is Carat?

Carat is a measurement unit for measuring the mass of gemstones. Gemstones like diamonds are precious, and jewellers use a tiny part of these stones to work on; this small unit includes Carat.

One Carat is the 5th part of 1 gram. It is the standardized form of weighing jewellery in most parts of the world.

It gets its name from a seed named ‘carob.’ In the mid-15th century, people used to weigh jewellery using this seed, as they believed that the weight of this seed was the same for every other source. The importance of one carob seed was around one Carat.

It was standardized in 1907 that one Carat equals 200 milligrams. Before that, many parts of the world used similar units to measure gemstones.

Initially, Carat was also used for measuring Gold, but as it is used to measure mass, another term Karat came into existence to measure purity.

When buying jewellery like a diamond, people have the 4Cs in mind: Cut, Clarity, Colour, and Carat. With the increase in Carat, all other 4s also increase; hence the price of jewellery also increases exponentially because of a bit rise in the value of Carat.


Main Differences Between Karat and Carat

  1. The main difference between Karat and Carat is that Karat is a unit to measure the purity of Gold, whereas Carat is a unit to measure the weight of gemstones.
  2. The highest value in Karat that can be measured is 24K. On the other hand, Carat can have any value.
  3. Karat evolved from the word Carat to measure the purity of Gold, but Carat is made from a seed named ‘carob.’
  4. The term Karat is mainly used for Gold. On the other hand, Carat is mostly used for diamonds and other gemstones.
  5. The term Carat can be used in place of Karat in the case of Gold, but Karat can not be used in place of Carat.
Difference Between Karat and Carat
  1. http://www.beaconsociety.com/uploads/3/7/3/8/37380505/beacon_tour_-gems___stones_of_sherlock_holmes.pdf
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02843332

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