About Carats, Karats and Carrots

Posted on January 11, 2010 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments

The correct use of the words karat and Carat can be confusing. Both derive from the word carob because carob seeds were used as counterweights on ancient balancing scales. Although other types of seeds were also used for measuring, the carob seed was preferred for its precision in weighing gold and gemstones because its mass varies so little.

Here's a quick overview of the differences:

CARAT is a unit of weight used specifically for gemstones and pearls. One carat is equal to 200mg or 100 points. Therefore, a .70 carat stone may also be referred to as being 70 points. This unit of measurement was adopted by the United States in 1913.

KARAT describes the quality or purity of the gold in and item. Pure gold is 24 karat and is rarely used for jewelry in its pure form because it is so soft and also very costly. Gold is normally alloyed with other metals such as silver and copper and the resulting blend is harder and more durable for jewelry. Reducing the percentage of gold and increasing the amount of other alloys has another added benefit. It reduces the cost and makes the piece more affordable. The lowest karatage that can be sold and marketed as Gold jewelry in the United States is 10 karat.

Here are common karatages and their relative gold purity by weight:

24K = 100% pure gold

18K = 75% pure pure gold

14K = 58.33% pure gold

10K = 41.66% pure gold


CARROT The yummy vegetable most often orange in color was originally grown for its aromatic leaves and seeds. Fortunately, we've found some delicious uses for the root part. I thought it would be fun to share this old family recipe given to me by friend Naomi. This carrot pudding has graced the table of many fun holiday dinners we have shared together and I hope you enjoy it too. :)

Aunt Selma's Carrot Pudding

Carrots - 2 bags peeled and chopped

Butter - 2 sticks at room temperature

Flour - 4 Tablespoons

Sugar - 4 Tablespoons

Eggs - 4

Vanilla - 1 Teaspoon

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil carrots until mushy (25 min?) Let carrots cool to room temperature Mash and mix all ingredients together (I like leaving the carrots a little lumpy so there's some texture). Pour into lightly oiled pan. Bake at 350 for about an hour until brown on top and enjoy.  


Image of Carob plant and seeds Svein Erik Larsen Via Flickr.


Posted in carat, diamond weight, DIY, gold content, Informational, karat



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