The Gold Guide

When it comes to purchasing gold jewelry, an important factors to consider is the karatage of the gold. Karatage refers to the purity of the gold, with higher karatage indicating a higher percentage of pure gold in the piece. But what exactly is the difference between 14k and 18k gold?

What does the "k" stand for?

The "k" in 14k and 18k gold stands for karat, which is a measurement of the purity of the gold. Pure gold is 24 karats, so 14k gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals, while 18k gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals.

What is the difference in purity?

14k gold is 58.3% pure gold, while 18k gold is 75% pure gold. This means that 18k gold is more valuable and more pure than 14k gold. The higher the karatage, the more pure the gold is.

What is the difference in color?

Another key difference between 14k and 18k gold is the color. 14k gold is slightly less yellow in color compared to 18k gold, which has a richer, more vibrant yellow hue. This is due to the higher percentage of pure gold in 18k gold.

But did you know that in order to achieve different color golds other than yellow (white, rose, and green), it is mixed with different alloys to achieve the various hues? White gold is generally yellow mixed with nickel (which is why it can sometimes be tricky if you have a nickel allergy), rose gold is yellow mixed with copper, and green gold is yellow mixed with silver. 

So the same goes for the shades in 14k versus 18k for the colored golds. 14k rose gold will be more pink compared to 18k. 14k green gold will be more green, and 14k white will be brighter versus their 18k counterparts. 

What is the difference in durability?

Due to the higher percentage of other metals in 14k gold, it is more durable and less likely to scratch or bend compared to 18k gold. 18k gold, being softer and more pure, is more prone to damage and may require more frequent maintenance.

So, when choosing between 14k and 18k gold jewelry, consider your priorities. If durability is a key factor for you, 14k gold may be the better option. However, if you value purity and color, 18k gold is the way to go. Both options have their own unique qualities, so choose the one that best fits your style and preferences.