What Is 22K Gold?

by Kent Ninomiya ; Updated July 27, 2017
22K Gold

The term 22K gold refers to the purity of gold. The "K" in 22K signifies karats. There are 24 karats in pure gold. 22K gold is very close to pure gold but has more practical uses.

Purity

22 karat gold is 91.3 percent pure. That means that a 22K item contains 91.3 percent gold and 8.7 percent other metals, which are usually silver or copper.

Alloy

22 karat gold is considered an alloy because it is a mixture of two or more types of metal. The 22K alloy is made so that the gold is hard enough to work with. 24 karat gold is very soft.

Jewelry

22 karat gold is commonly used in fine jewelry. It is the purest form of gold that can be used since 24K gold is too soft.

Coins

22 karat gold is commonly used in gold coins and gold bullion. It contains the maximum amount of gold possible without undertaking expensive purification techniques.

Appearance

22K gold is heavier than other commonly used alloys like 18K, 14K and 10K gold. It contains more luster and has a deeper gold color.

About the Author

Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of The ChainMaille Lady Andersen