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Types of Gold vs Gold Prices

Gold can be divided into several types based on its content or composition. If you have ever shop for gold, you may be familiar with the term "carat." The higher the carat, the more expensive it is. But have you ever wondered why? The short answer is that a higher carat means a higher gold density. However, knowledge about gold goes beyond just that.

Please note that ‘Karat’ should not be confused with ‘Carat’, which is a unit of weight used for precious gemstones (e.g., diamonds).

So, what is Karat?

Karat refers to the type of gold and the actual gold content in a particular piece of gold jewellery.

What Karat is Pure Gold?

Pure gold is 24-karat, meaning 24 out of 24 metal parts in Pure Gold are gold. With this, karat basically signifies how many parts out of a total of 24 parts (or percentage: refer to “millesimal fineness” below) in any gold product are gold (pure gold).

A high-karat gold signifies a high gold purity, or in other words, a high gold content.

In summary:

  • Karat is a measure of the ratio of gold to other metals or alloys.
  • Karat is measured on a scale of 0 to 24.
  • The higher the karat number, the more gold content and the less other metal content.
  • Other metals and alloys (or alloys) can include copper, nickel (now no longer common), silver or palladium.

While karat refers to the ratio of gold to other metals in the gold piece, “millesimal fineness” refers to the percentage of gold in the gold piece.

Confusing? Don’t worry, we’ve produced the table below to make it simple and clear.



24K 999 99.9%


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22K 916 87% ~ 91.6%*
20K 835 83.5%
18K 750 75.0%
14K 583/585 58.3%
9K 375 37.5%

* Depending on the type and design of gold jewellery

** Please consult any pawn shop in the Pawnzon network to get the current offer price for your valuables


In Malaysia, the most popular types of gold are 24K (999 Gold), 22K (916 Gold) dan 18K (750 Gold).


Why Mix Gold with Other Metals/Alloys?

The higher its purity, the higher its value. So why mix pure gold with other metals? Why not use pure gold only (24K) for all jewellery? Here's why:

  • Pure gold is very soft, so it is easy to bend and warp, making it a poor metal choice for jewellery that needs to maintain its shape. In addition, pure gold is easily scratched, causing it to become unattractive quickly.
  • Pure gold is also very bright in colour, up to the point that it is arguably too bright from an aesthetic perspective. Pure gold is actually brighter and more orange than people’s perception of typical gold jewellery.
  • Mixing pure gold with other metals has its advantages. For example, mixing enhances the colour or even changes the colour of pure gold. A good example is – mixing gold and copper produces “rose gold”, a unique and attractive colour on jewellery.
  • Pure gold is very expensive, which means higher costs are required to produce pure gold jewellery. So, by reducing the pure gold content and replacing it with other metals/alloys, the price of jewellery can be lowered.

However, pure gold is the best type to sell or pawn for cash in the future. And it should be noted that 24K Gold is still used to make jewellery. This type of gold jewellery, however, is usually considered a collectable, kept as a memento or for its future value. In short, 24K Gold jewellery is impractical to wear every day, unless you are extremely wealthy and can afford to change your jewellery frequently.


18K, 22K And 24K Gold: A Brief Comparison

Now that you know the types of gold, their corresponding value and why gold is mixed with other metals/alloys, let's look at a comparison of the three most common types of gold in Malaysia – 18K, 22K and 24K Gold.

24K (999 Gold):

The purest form of gold on the market with the highest value. 24K Gold has a distinctive unique bright yellow colour. It is resistant to stains, but is not very strong or scratch resistant. Therefore, 24K Gold is usually not used in making regular-shaped jewellery. Instead, 24K Gold is usually sold and bought in the form of coins or ingots, which are kept for value increment and investment purposes.

22K (916 Gold):

The next best gold rating after 24K Gold. A purity that is common to many jewellery stores because it is less malleable and more durable than 24K Gold, making it more suitable for intricate jewellery designs. 22K Gold jewellery also offers a rich yellow colour appearance and is highly flattering to the skin. Furthermore, its price is lower than 24K pure gold.

18K (750 Gold):

18K Gold consists of 75% gold and 25% of other metals or alloys. While maintaining high purity, 18K Gold has easy processing softness and suitable hardness, making it very suitable for jewellery. It is much more durable than the higher karat types, and more affordable as well. In a nutshell, it looks amazing, and by comparison, won’t be as easily dented or scratched. An obvious choice when it comes to engagement or wedding rings with diamonds. The rose gold and platinum variations in this category are also very charming.



The price and value of gold depend on its “purity”. Whether for investments, mementoes, gifts or even for daily use, understanding the basics of gold types and prices will prove very useful and helpful.

Choose the level of purity that makes the most sense for your purpose of use, for instance, whether it is prone to a lot of wear and tear, as well as based on your personal priorities.

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At Pawnzon, we accept all types of gold with the highest pawn price offer.

Interested in finding out how much you can earn with your gold “Pawn”, call us now at 03-7496 8788 / 03-7890 4132 or visit our nearest pawn shop for a FREE price appraisal!