Coins, bars, and trade units are made from a variety of karat (KT) purities. A karat is simply a measure of purity, not to be confused with the gemstone carat, which measures size. There are many reasons coins and other precious metal products come in a variety of karats, but the main reason is strength. Silver, Platinum, and Palladium are much stronger metals and there is usually no need to strengthen them. Gold on the other hand is a much softer metal. For centuries Jewelers and Mints have used alloys to strengthen Gold to keep jewelry and coins from being damaged or worn down with daily use. Most investment quality Gold coins and bars are either 24KT or 22KT Gold.
A lower karat does not mean the coin contains less Gold. Remember karat measures purity, not weight. The weight is the AGW (actual gold weight). The AGW is the amount of Gold in a coin regardless of the purity. Consider the 1 oz Gold Eagle (22KT Gold) and the 1oz Gold Buffalo (24KT Gold). Both have a 1oz AGW meaning they both contain 1 full ounce of Gold. If melted down, in addition to 1oz of Gold, the Eagle also has an additional 8.33% of other alloys such as Silver and Copper to add strength. If you were to compare a 22KT Gold Eagle (.9167 purity) to a 24KT Gold Buffalo (.9999 purity) (refer to chart below for karat purity) you would immediately notice that the Eagle feels larger and heavier. This is because the Eagle is also mixed with Silver and Copper, making it more durable than the Buffalo.
The Buffalo and the Eagle are only two types of Gold coins available at Mint State Gold. We also carry smaller fractional Gold coins like the French Roosters (21.6KT and .1867oz AGW) and British Sovereigns (22KT and .2354oz AGW). If melted down, a French Gold Rooster would contain .1867 ounces of Gold (remember the AGW is the actual amount of Gold in the coin) with 10% other metals, and a Gold British Sovereign would contain .2354 ounces of Gold with about 8.33% other metals. However, these fractional Gold bullion coins have an additional investor value based on more than just the Gold content.
For more information regarding karats, AGW, precious metals, bullion, rare or investment coins, please contact a Mint State Gold representative today by calling (888) 454-0444 or CLICK HERE to send us a message.
For your convenience, the chart below shows the purity for various karat amounts. Remember for AGW no chart is needed since AGW is simply the Actual Gold Weight in a product, such as 1oz Gold Eagles have a 1.0 AGW. Tip: Like AGW means Actual Gold Weight, ASW means Actual Silver Weight.
24 Karat Gold = 100.0% Gold
22 Karat Gold = 91.67% Gold
20 Karat Gold = 83.33% Gold
18 Karat Gold = 75.00% Gold
16 Karat Gold = 66.67% Gold
14 Karat Gold = 58.33% Gold
12 Karat Gold = 50.00% Gold
10 Karat Gold = 41.67% Gold