Professional Jeweler Archive: High Interest in High Karat

March 2001

Precious Metals/New Products


High Interest in High Karat

Woo fine jewelry customers away from the big guys with higher purity gold


Quality. That’s what attracts customers to high-karat gold jewelry. The most popular version is 18k, which has good purity (75% gold) and versatility (it’s denser than 14k and still tough enough to be used in any jewelry category).

Higher karatages – such as 22k or 24k – require greater care because they dent, bend and scratch more easily than 14k and 18k. Often 22k is reserved for granulation and intensively designed ethnic jewelry where the high karatage is a cultural expectation.

High-karat gold has a hidden benefit to point out to customers: The higher the karatage, the fewer natural impurities that may react to the wearer’s skin. But there’s also a chance high-karat gold is strengthened with alloys that could affect allergies. Ask your customer about allergies and offer a return policy if she finds she can’t wear the jewelry.

When displaying high-karat gold jewelry, protect it from the heat of high-intensity bulbs, which can tarnish certain alloys. Fill shot glasses with water and hide them behind displays; the water evaporates, adding humidity and reducing oxidation.


– Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Earrings and rings are crafted in 18k yellow or green gold. They each have 0.10-0.20 carat of round diamonds. Suggested retail, $750-$800.

Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, Ann Arbor, MI; (734) 668-6670, fax (734) 663-6632.

18k yellow, white and rose gold rings, some with diamond or yellow sapphire accents, are $1,200-$8,000 suggested retail.

La Nouvelle Bague/Howard L. Grant Inc., New York City; (212) 750-5554, fax (212) 750-0033.

“Wrap” bracelet holds 0.50 carat of round brilliant diamonds in in 18k gold. Suggested retail, $1,480.

Ed Levin Jewelry, Cambridge, NY; (518) 677-8595, fax (518) 677-8597.

18k yellow or green gold pendants hold 0.10-0.21 carat of round diamonds. Suggested retail, $380-$1,500.

Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, Ann Arbor, MI; (734) 668-6670, fax (734) 663-6632.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications