What is the difference between 14k gold and 18k gold

When it comes to gold jewelry, the two most popular types are 14k gold and 18k gold. This article mainly discusses their differences and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

The purest gold is usually a soft metal with great ductility and it is not suitable for crafting jewelry and everyday wear.  For this reason, all gold jewelry on the market today is made of alloys or metal mixtures in which gold is mixed with other metals such as zinc, copper, nickel, silver and other metals to increase its resistance and strength.


This is where the karat system comes into play, referring to the percentage of gold in the mixture. 100% of the gold is marked as 24k gold, of which all 24 metal parts are made of pure gold.  

14k Gold

In 14k gold alloy, there are 14 parts of pure gold and the remaining 10 parts contain other metals. As for the percentages, 14k gold contains 58% pure gold and 42% alloy metal. 

Depending on the color of gold, it can be yellow, white or rose gold, and alloy metals may contain palladium, copper, nickel, zinc and silver. Each metal affects the final color of the gold.  


The Advantages of 14k Gold Jewelry

Durability: Due to the higher proportion of alloy metal, 14k gold is more durable than 18k gold and has better wear resistance. Therefore, it is ideal for everyday use, and this type of gold is the first choice for wedding rings and engagement rings. 14k yellow gold jewelry can withstand manual labor and other rigorous activities and is suitable for those with a more active lifestyle.

Availability: In the world of gold jewelry, 14k gold is widely popular. When it comes to engagement rings, rings in 14k gold are currently the most popular choice, accounting for nearly 90% of ring sales in the United States and other Western European countries.

The Disadvantages of 14k Gold Jewelry

Appearance: While 14k gold jewelry looks stunning, it doesn't have the luster of 18k gold jewelry. 14k gold may appear slightly darker and will not have that rich and vivid gold color.

18k Gold

When it comes to 18k gold, it refers to 18 parts of pure gold and 6 parts of alloy metals, which is equivalent to 75% of pure gold and 25% of other metals. 


The Advantages of 18k Gold Jewelry

Purity: The biggest advantage of 18k gold jewelry is that its level of pure gold is higher. Thus, 18k gold jewelry offers the appearance of almost pure gold, the practicality and benefits of almost all gold alloys. Its purity is particularly noticeable in yellow and rose gold, resulting in warmer and more vibrant colors and an incredible glow.

Hypoallergenic properties: Although 18k gold jewelry contains allergy-triggering metals such as nickel, these alloys are only present in trace amounts. Therefore, 18k gold jewelry is unlikely to cause any metal allergies or contact dermatitis.

The Disadvantages of 18k Gold Jewelry

Durability: It turns out that the biggest advantage of 18k gold jewelry is also its biggest drawback. High purity pure gold will make the jewelry look stunning, but 18k gold is softer than 14k gold and is more susceptible to scratch or dent.

The Hallmarks of 14k and 18k Gold

Jewelers typically engrave karats on the inner band of the ring, the clasp of a necklace and bracelet, or other inconspicuous parts of the jewelry to mark the gold purity of the jewelry. 

14k gold jewelry is usually labeled as 14kt, 14k, or. 585, while 18k gold jewelry is available at 18kt, 18k, or. 750 mark. 


The Strength and Durability of 14k and 18k Gold

Since 14k gold contains more mixture of metal alloys, it is substantially stronger and more durable than 18k gold. In diamond rings designed to be more delicate, the strength of the alloy is especially. More stable prongs will make the diamond safer, and other intricate details won't bend or dent easily.  

In terms of durability, it is also easier to scratch and wear than 14k gold due to its softness closer to pure gold. Therefore, you may need to polish your 18k gold ring or other jewelry more frequently.

In terms of durability, 18k gold is also likely to scratch and scuff than 14k gold due to its softness closer to pure gold. Therefore, you may need to polish your 18k gold ring or other jewelry more frequently.


The Color of 14k and 18k Gold

The color of pure gold is vivid yellow with a hint of red and orange. As for this result, the higher the purity of the gold in the alloy, the warmer the color of the jewelry.

When comparing the colors of 14k gold and 18k gold, it can be difficult to notice the difference at first glance. However, 18k gold has a richer and more saturated yellow with a warm orange base color. This rich and warm color in 18k gold will look great with dark skin tone and olive skin.

14k gold has a cooler hue, and depending on the other metals in the alloy, it can be made into beautiful pink rose gold, pale yellow gold and harder silver-white gold.

As we have already mentioned, whether you choose 14k gold or 18k gold for jewelry will depend on your personal style choices and daily habits.

Post time: Jul-25-2022