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MFA# 2006.46


MFA# 2006.47

Originally a unit of weight, karat is now used as a unit of purity or quality of gold. Pure gold is 24 karat or 1000 fine and a gold alloy that contains 75% gold is 18 karat or 750 fine. The term karat was used in medieval times as a measure of the proportion of gold in a German coin called a mark that weighed 24 carat.

Synonyms and Related Terms

k; carat (secondary spelling for gold purity); carat (Fr.); Karat (Deut.); karaat (Ned.); carate (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998