Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Carat of Gold.

 Caran D’Ache.Caraway. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Carat of Gold.
 
So called from the carat bean, or seed of the locust tree, formerly employed in weighing gold and silver. Hence the expressions “22 carats fine,” “18 carats fine,” etc., meaning that out of 24 parts, 22 or 18 are gold, and the rest alloy.   1
       
“Here’s the note
       
How much your chain weighs to the utmost carat.”
       
Shakespeare: Comedy of Errors, iv. 1.
 


 Caran D’Ache.Caraway. 

 
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