By Sara Duck
Nine-karat, 14-karat, or 18-karat? If you carried only one in your store, which would it be? This may seem like a no-brainer. You may opt for the higher karat for obvious reasons, such as more gold content. Or maybe your customers find the shine of gold in higher karats more brilliant and eye-catching. It could be also that they just like the cachet and luxury factor these metals possess.
No doubt, many associate nine-karat gold—the lowest gold grade that can be sold in Canada—with jewellery of the past, vintage and dated. Thoughts of this precious metal may also quickly conjure visions of retail establishments like Walmart, which carries an assortment of jewellery in low karats.
For collector Stephanie Smith, nine-karat jewellery means something else. Smith explains she has a cherished pair of nine-karat gold earrings passed down from her grandmother that still look great and have stood the test of time. “I have no problem buying nine-karat gold today,” Smith chimes. “To me, the beauty lies in the detail and craftsmanship, not karat value.”
Naomi Traimer of Silver Gate, a wholesaler based in Toronto, agrees with Smith’s comments and adds that when it comes to her brand of nine-karat gold jewellery, she finds her clients care more about style and uniqueness than the number preceding ‘Kt’ stamped into the piece.