Whatever happened to 15carat gold ?

Now and again even within the cash for gold wilds of Hertfordshire and Essex  I do come across pieces of 15 carat gold. 15 Carat Gold I hear you say! don’t you mean 14 carat gold? Nope I mean 15 carat! It was actually discontinued in England as a gold standard in 1932 with Commonwealth member countries soon following.  It is usually marked 15ct but sometimes 625 (sometines both!) which outlines the gold content percentage of 62.5% gold.

So prior to 1932 this was a British Commonwealth standard for a high carat, strongly yellow (but worn to a lovely radiant copper colour these days I find) and reasonably hard gold that was used in pieces that had a lot of wear like bracelets, chains, but where high quality gold was still required.


Why did 15 carat Gold disappear then? Well it seems that during the early 1930’s the USA's 14K gold standard started to predominate throughout the world. 14K gold is slightly harder than 15ct as it had more alloy mixed in so is superior in daily wear characteristics.

Many people including myself are of the opinion is that it was not worth the sacrifice of colour. Although the difference between 14ct and 15ct in gold content is very small ( 4%), the colour difference is quite substantial. 15ct still has a strong yellow colour while 14k has a paler yellow colour with a very slight greenish tinge. If you look at a 15 carat Gold ring for instance the outside has often matured into a darker colour as mentioned above but on the inside you will indeed see the lovely bright yellow colour of yester year!

The joy is that as there is not a lot around and was generally used in high quality pieces, it is well worth collecting. 15ct reproductions are rare if purchasing make sure of the condition because wear can be an issue.

So weather you have a 15 carat piece tucked away under the mattress or you have some to sell then remember Top Dod Gold is here to advise you of the value of gold and buy!

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