10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, AND 24K: 

WHICH ONE IS THE BEST FOR YOU?


When it comes to picking out the perfect piece of jewelry, the options can feel endless. But if you're narrowing your focus to gold, you might be wondering what the difference is between 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, and 24K gold. And more importantly, which one is the best for you?


Here's a quick guide to help you understand the differences between each type of gold and decide which one is right for you.



WHAT'S IN A KARAT? HOW TO MEASURE GOLD PURITY


The numbers 10K, 14K, 18K, and 24K are used to indicate the purity of gold and are expressed in terms of "karat," thus accounting for the abbreviation K. The terms karat and carat are often used interchangeably. But, carat is the measurement of a gem's weight, not a metal's purity. The highest karat grade for gold is 24K, which indicates that it is 100% pure. 18K has a purity level of 75%, 14K has a purity level of 58.3%, and 10K has a purity level of 41.7% pure gold.


As you can see, the higher the karat number, the more pure gold is included in the metal. Anything other than 24K is mixed with metals such as copper, nickel, and silver to create an alloy. Because of the variety of metals used to create an alloy, it has different hues, weights, brittleness, and malleability.


 

GOLD DURABILITY:


Pure gold is too soft for jewelry use because it is a very malleable metal. This means that it can easily bend, scratch, and mold, which makes it prone to damage. In addition, pure gold does not provide a secure setting for gemstones because it is too soft to hold them in place. When other metals are mixed with gold to create an alloy, the resulting mixture is more durable and less likely to be damaged.


The higher the karat of gold, the closer it is to pure gold's natural properties, hence: the softer the metal is. In contrast, the lower the karat of gold, the harder it is because the other alloy metals harden it. For example, 14k gold is harder than 22k gold.


In contrast, the higher the karat of gold, the least likely it is to tarnish because it is closer to pure gold, and pure gold doesn't tarnish. For instance, 14k gold will tarnish quicker than 18k or 22k gold (which will last the longest).



GOLD COLOR:


Gold color variations exist because the color of gold depends upon the type of metals used in the alloy. Pure gold is a very rich yellow-orange, but when other metals mix with it to create an alloy, the resulting mixture can have a range of different colors. The most common gold color variations are yellow, white, and rose.


Yellow gold is the traditional color of gold that most people think of when they think of gold jewelry. It is created by mixing pure gold with copper and silver. White gold is created by adding palladium or nickel to the alloy. Rose gold is created by adding copper to the alloy; the higher the karat of gold, the richer the color will be.



GOLD PRICE:


The price of gold is determined by the purity of the gold (measured in karats). The higher the karat weight, the more expensive the gold will be. 24K gold is the most expensive because it is 100% pure. 18K gold is less expensive because it contains less pure gold. Likewise, 14K and 10K gold are the least expensive because they contain even less pure gold.


The price of gold per karat is also affected by the current market value of gold. The price of gold per karat fluctuates all the time, so it is important to keep an eye on the market if you are interested in buying gold jewelry.



GOLD JEWELRY WEIGHT:


The weight of gold is affected by the karat weight of the gold; the higher the karat, the heavier the gold will be. 24K gold is the heaviest gold type because it is 100% pure. 18K gold is less heavy because it contains less pure gold. 14K and 10K gold are the lightest because they contain even less pure gold.


Gold jewelry weight is also affected by the size and shape of the jewelry. For example, a larger ring will weigh more than a smaller ring, and a necklace will weigh more than a pair of earrings.



WRAPPING UP:


As you can see, there are a few different things to consider when it comes to picking out the right karat for your jewelry. It really just depends on what you're looking for and what's most important to you. If you're looking for something that's going to last a lifetime, then you might want to go with a higher karat. But if you're looking for something that's more affordable, then a lower karat might be the way to go. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which is the best option for you. Thanks for reading!