When shopping for gold jewellery, have you ever wondered what the numbers and letters stand for? Knowing how to tell the different types of gold on the market can help you to make better decisions when purchasing a gold jewellery piece.

So, how can you tell how pure that gold really is? And which one is better – 999 Gold or 916 Gold? Below, you will find our guide to help you understand more about gold purity, karats and more.


Not all gold is the same. In its pure state, gold is highly malleable. That’s why it’s common for other metals to be added to increase its durability and strength, and in some cases, to enhance the colour. Rose gold, for example, is made up of gold and copper.

As such, karat (or “k” for short) is the term used to measure the ratio of gold to other metals and alloys. In the simplest form, the higher the karat number, the greater the gold content. A piece of jewellery made with more gold means it has incredible monetary value, making it perfect to be passed down as an heirloom.


Gold bangles, bracelets, rings and other types of gold jewellery usually come in a variety of different purity levels. The most common ones are 14K, 18K, 22K and 24K – and 24K is the purest form of gold you can buy. There is also a term called ‘Millesimal Fineness’ which determines the purity of gold by parts per thousand or the percentage of gold, instead of karats. This is why it’s common to see names like 999 Gold or 916 Gold, indicating that the gold is 99.9% pure or 91.6% pure respectively.

If you would like to determine the gold purity of your jewellery piece on your own, there’s also a simple formula you can follow. Simply divide the number of karats of your gold by 24, then multiply by 100. You will get a percentage which reflects how much gold your jewellery contains. Here’s an example for a jewellery piece that is made with 22K of gold (or 916 Gold):

(22 / 24) x 100 = 91.6%

There’s no need to scratch your head if you’re a little behind with maths – apply the formula with a calculator and you’re all set.

So what does having more gold content actually mean? Well, the higher the purity level, the higher the price of the jewellery. As such, 22K gold jewellery will cost more than 18K and 14K pieces. Do note, however, that gold prices fluctuate. If you intend to buy or sell, you can drop by our jewellery stores in Singapore to check in with our staff or keep a look out for the prices on our website.

916 GOLD VS 999 GOLD

So, what is 999 Gold? In the simplest of terms, 999 Gold refers to the purest form of gold (24K), with a gold content of 99.9%. (Try the formula above and we’re sure you’d arrive at this percentage!) This means that it is not mixed with any other metal. As such, it is extremely soft, so it is more likely to bend and warp easily. It is also the most expensive, making it the best type to do a gold jewellery trade for cash.

As  gold is the traditional symbol of wealth and abundance, most couples prefer using 999 Gold on their wedding day. Families also gift 999 Gold jewellery to the couples. It’s therefore not surprising to find plenty of Si Dian Jin jewellery pieces made with 999 Gold, both as a symbol for purity in marriage and its status as a valuable asset. Read our Si Dian Jin guide online for all you need to know about the tradition.

Graceful Heart 999 Pure Gold Pendant

Celebrate the spirit of love with this glossy gold piece, designed to look like a heart is protected by another heart. Crafted from 999 Pure Gold, it comes with a complimentary 10K gold chain for you to style with your outfit effortlessly.

Deluxe Gold Bar 999 Pure Gold Pendant (Glossy)

Convey your sincerest blessings and best wishes with this auspicious pendant! A hot favourite amongst many, this pendant is designed in the shape of a gold bar that represents wealth and prosperity!

Flurry Heart 999 Pure Gold Ring

This piece offers versatility and endless ways for you to style it with. Wear it on its own or match it with other rings to spice up your look in gold!


The next best gold rating, 916 Gold refers to 22K or 91.6% gold purity. This is the most common purity for many gold jewellery pieces in stores since it is less malleable than 999 Gold, making it more suitable for intricate jewellery designs.

Because it is mixed with other metals, it can be used to produce colours like rose gold and white gold.

916 Gold jewellery also offers a rich, yellow appearance that is flattering for the skin. It is often the more popular material for engagement rings since it is more durable, especially if you are concerned about scruffs and scratches.

SK 916 Enchanted Hearts Tiara Gold Ring

Feel like a princess everyday with this delicate dainty tiara-inspired ring. Exquisitely crafted in 916 yellow gold, this enchanting ring is accented with many small hearts signifying joy and love in your life.

SK 916 Five Rod Abacus Gold Pendant

If you love your jewellery with a little more meaning, this gold pendant will definitely fit the bill! Featuring the abacus design, it is also crafted with gold beads and rods that are bound to bring abundance of wealth and success to your life.

SK 916 Sun Daisy Gold Earrings

This is an eye catching piece designed to sparkle in the sun. A fun and youthful design that will go well with floral outfits.


When it comes to selecting one over the other, there is no ‘best’ type of gold for everyone. It’s more important to shop with your budget in mind and other factors such as skin sensitivity, aesthetic taste and activity level. We map them out below:


If your skin is sensitive to artificial ornaments or pieces made from specific kinds of metal, your best bet is 999 Gold jewellery. It’s the purest form of gold, so there’s minimal additional elements that would otherwise irritate your skin.


If you’re looking for a classic gold aesthetic, 999 Gold is your ideal choice. However, for those who love a little more creativity, selecting the 916 Gold range will appreciate the variety of styles they come in. For instance, you can find rose gold and white gold jewellery made with 916 Gold. You’ll also like the rich yellow hue of 916 Gold which adds a striking statement to your overall look, if you’re on to make some heads turn, that is!


Since 916 Gold is made with other metals, it’s more durable and sturdy than 999 Gold. If you prefer jewellery that remains in shape no matter how intense your activity gets, go for 916 Gold.

As we can see, both 916 Gold and 999 Gold have their individual uniqueness – your choice will ultimately depend on your personal preference.

At SK Jewellery, we offer a range of 999 Pure Gold and 916 Gold jewellery collections, featuring classic and contemporary designs to take you through any occasion. Browse for our jewellery online or book an appointment to visit our physical showrooms and explore the best gold pieces for you!

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