Karat is a measure of finess-24karat is fine gold. One karat equal 1/24 (.0417). This, 14 karat gold is 14/24th fine gold and 10/24th alloy. The alloy metals are silver, copper, and zinc. Nickel is used in white gold.
% of Gold Gold Present Mark on Jewelry European Mark
100.00 24Karats 24K 999
91.7 22Karats 22K 917
75.0 18Karats 18K 750
58.5 14Karats 14K 585
41.6 10Karats 10K 416
Yellow, green, red, and white-are produced by variations in the alloy. Silver and zinc tend to give a green color, copper gives a red color and nickel gives a white color.
Gold filled is made from joining or bonding a top layer of gold alloy to a base metal alloy and then rolling it or drawing it to the thickness required. The gold content is usually less than 5% when you see something labeled 1/20th or 12kt G>G> This means that 1/20of the item (5%) is only 12kt gold. We cannot take it apart to use or melt.
Gold Electroplate is usually made by electrically depositing fine gold on a base metal like brass.
Gold solders are usually 2-4Karats less than the gold on which it is being used, unless the solder is said to be plumb.
Sterling silver is 925/1000 (92 1/2%fine)fine silver and 75/1000 (7 1/2%) copper.
Vermeil is sterling silver which has a gold plating over the surface. The gold can be electroplated or mechanically bonded, as long as the gold is 150 micro inches thick.
Coin Silver is 900/1000 (90%) fine silver, and 100/1000 (10%) copper. The same alloy is used for American Silver Coins
Commercial Silver is 999 fine or higher. As close to absolute silver as can be
Nickel Silver actually contains NO silver at all. It contains nickel, copper and zinc.
Pewter originally was a lead alloy. It is now made in tin, copper, antimony.