What’s the Difference Between 10, 14, and 18 Karat Gold?

What is the Difference Between 10, 14, and 18 Karat Gold

On your quest in finding the perfect gold jewelry you have probably run into 10K, 14K, and 18K options. Trying to figure which gold is best to buy requires quite a few factors to be taken into account. By the end of this post you should have a pretty good sense of what gold will fit your needs the best!

What does a “K” mean?

It is foremost important to know the meaning behind “K” in all the different options. The “K” is a representation of karat, a measurement of gold purity. The numbers (10, 14, 18) represent different percentages of gold composition.

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What a Softie: 24 Karats

The purest gold is 24 karats. Although this is true, gold can never be 100% pure due to impurities. 24 karat gold is not typically sold due to its tendency to bend and scratch easily. It would not be practical or ideal to wear this ring, as the soft metal would show wear and tear within a few days of showing it off!

Mix of Metals

Different metal alloys are added to gold jewelry allowing it to be resilient and more durable. Silver, palladium, platinum, and nickel are some of the metals that can be added to the gold in order to improve this durability.

10, 14, 18K Rings

18K Gold

Working down the line, 18K consists of 75% gold. The reason you do not see 18K gold being sold often is because it too easily scratches and reveals deformations within jewelry. When comparing it to 14K, it is difficult to see the difference. When deciphering the differences amongst the various types of gold, there are common stamps marked somewhere on the jewelry to assist in the process. The number 750 can be found marked on 18K which means 18/24 of the composition is actual gold. Therefore, 18K gold is .750 fine, 75.0% being gold, so 750 parts out of a 1000 are pure gold.

Miss Popular: 14K Gold

90% of all engagement rings and wedding bands sold in the United States are 14K. The reason for this is that 14K comprises of 58.5% solid gold, a perfect amount of gold and alternative metals that allow for durability and a withholding look. It consists of 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals, primarily silver and copper. 14K gold is marked with 585, because it is 58.5% gold, so 585 parts out of a 1000 are pure gold. In regards to look, price, and durability, 14K is often seen as the best choice.

10K Gold

10K is also a great choice for those who still want the durability but don’t have the funds for 14K. 10K actually contains more alloy than gold. It is comprised of only 41.7% gold and 58.3% alloy. 10K is marked with a stamp reading 416.
10K gold consists of 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metals including silver, zinc, nickel, or copper. Although 10K gold will tarnish faster than 14K, it is more durable.

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All About YOU

At the end of the day, it’s all about finding what fit is best for you. Stop in at Tenenbaum’s Jewelry, and we’ll help you find it!

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