If you have purchased or are thinking of investing in gold then the karat rating of this metal is a critical consideration. This metal can be found in many purity levels and karat ratings and this refers to the quality and value of the product that is purchased. The karat rating is just one of the factors that affect price by the gram but it is the most important factor involved for most investors.
A bar that is rated as 24K will be as pure as possible, with a purity level that is at least 0.999. If the karat rating is less than 24K then the gram spot price on the market will not apply because the product is not pure gold but only has a percentage of this metal as the total weight.
If you own gold that is 18k then these products are only 75% pure. If the spot price is $80 then the product you own will be valued by the market at about $60, which is 75% of the spot price to reflect the 75% purity that product has.
If the karat rating of a product is less than 18K than it is even less pure. A 12k rating means a 50% purity level. The market price will need to be divided in half with these products. The lower the purity rating the less demand and lower liquidity a product will have because of this factor.
In many cases scrap metal has a very low quality rating, and this type of gold is not normally considered investment grade. If you are not sure what karat rating your products have then this should be identified on the product in many cases. An independent appraisal or testing may be needed to verify just how pure your gold really is.