All that glitters isn't gold! When buying gold jewelry, always look for a karat mark, such as 18K, 14K, 10K, etc. plus the manufacturer's trademark. Stamped somewhere on each piece, this mark of quality indicates you are buying real gold.
The karat mark refers to the purity of gold. Gold in its purest state, 24 karat, is generally considered too soft for practical use in jewelry.
It must be alloyed with other special metals to increase its durability and workability.
Twenty-four karat is 100% pure gold, or 24 parts gold; 18K is 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metal; 14K is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metal; and, 10K is 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metal.
Nothing less than 10K can legally be marked or sold as gold jewelry in the
Summing up, with gold an ever more precious and fashionable metal, the karat mark on a piece of jewelry is becoming increasingly significantly. Only karat gold jewelry is real gold, offering the lasting characteristics of this precious metal.