When it comes to purchasing jewelry, the details matter. Among the plethora of gold varieties, 18k gold holds a special place in the world of fine jewelry. But what makes it stand out? Let’s delve into the depths of 18k gold to unravel its mystery.

Q: What's 18k Gold?

A: 18k gold refers to a specific type of gold alloy that is made up of 75% pure gold mixed with 25% other metals. The term "18k" indicates that out of 24 total parts (representing 100%), 18 parts are pure gold, and the remaining 6 parts are made up of other metals, such as copper, silver, zinc, or nickel. This combination strikes a balance between the softness of pure gold and the durability brought by the other metals, making 18k gold a popular choice for jewelry due to its luster, richness, and strength.

Q: How Pure is 18k Gold?

A: As stated above, 18k gold contains 25% pure gold.

Q: What Does 18k Gold Look Like? 

A: 18k gold is an alloy made of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. The appearance of 18k gold can vary based on the other metals used in the alloy. Here's a general idea of its appearance based on popular gold color variations:

  1. 18k Yellow Gold: This is the traditional gold color many people think of. It has a rich and bright yellow hue. The color is not as deep and intense as 24k gold (which is pure gold) but is noticeably more golden than 10k or 14k alloys. The remaining 25% of the alloy often consists of a combination of metals like copper and silver.
  2. 18k White Gold: This has a silvery-white color and is made by combining gold with metals like palladium, silver, and sometimes a touch of platinum or nickel. It's important to note that white gold is often rhodium-plated to enhance its brightness and whiteness. Over time, the rhodium plating can wear off, requiring re-plating to maintain its bright white appearance.
  3. 18k Rose Gold: This has a pinkish-red hue and is created by combining gold with a higher amount of copper and sometimes a touch of silver. The more copper in the mix, the redder the gold appears.
  4. 18k Green Gold: Less common than the others, green gold has a subtle greenish hue and is made by combining gold with silver.

It's worth noting that the appearance of gold can also be affected by the finishing techniques used by jewelers, such as high-polish, satin, or matte finishes.

Q: Is 750 the Same as 18K Gold?

A: Yes, 750 is the same as 18K gold. The number 750 represents the fineness of the gold, which is the percentage of gold in the alloy

Q: Can I Shower With 18K Gold?

A: While you can technically shower with 18k gold jewelry on, it's generally not recommended. Regular exposure to soap, shampoo, and chemicals found in some body washes can reduce the shine and luster of the gold. Moreover, hard water and chlorine can also potentially damage the metal over time. It's best to remove 18k gold jewelry before showering to keep it in pristine condition for longer. If you do occasionally forget and wear it in the shower, just ensure you rinse it thoroughly and pat it dry afterward.

Q: Can I Wear 18k Gold in the Pool?

A: It's advisable not to wear 18k gold jewelry in the pool. Chlorine, commonly used in swimming pools to kill bacteria, can react with gold and other metals in the alloy, leading to potential discoloration and weakening of the metal over time. Prolonged and frequent exposure to chlorine can especially deteriorate the structure of the gold, making it more susceptible to scratches and dents. To preserve the beauty and integrity of your 18k gold jewelry, it's best to remove it before swimming in chlorinated water.

Q: Can You Wear 18k Gold in the Ocean?

A: While 18k gold is relatively durable, consistently wearing it in the ocean is not recommended. The saltwater can corrode the alloyed metals in the 18k gold over time, potentially affecting its luster and strength. Furthermore, sand, gritty particles, and the physical action of waves can scratch the surface of the gold. There's also a risk of losing the jewelry during vigorous water activities. If you do wear 18k gold in the ocean occasionally, it's essential to rinse it with fresh water afterward and dry it thoroughly to help preserve its shine and prevent any long-term damage.

Q: Is 18k Gold Waterproof?

A: Yes, 18k gold can get wet without causing any immediate harm to the metal itself. Water will not damage or tarnish gold. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Chemicals in Water: While pure water won't harm gold, the chemicals or minerals present in certain types of water might. Chlorine, for example, found in many swimming pools, can weaken the gold over time if exposed repeatedly. Similarly, saltwater can be corrosive over prolonged periods.
  2. Jewelry Components: If your 18k gold piece is set with gemstones, it's essential to know how water might affect them. Some stones are porous or sensitive to temperature changes, which could be problematic if immersed in water frequently.
  3. Dirt and Oils: Over time, water combined with soap, body oils, and dirt might leave a film on your jewelry, making it look less shiny or causing a buildup in crevices. This is easily resolved with regular cleaning.
  4. Drying: After your 18k gold gets wet, it's good practice to dry it thoroughly, especially if it's a complex piece where water might get trapped.

Q: Can 18k Gold Tarnish?

A: 18k gold is less likely to tarnish compared to lower karat golds or other types of metals, but under certain conditions, it can show signs of tarnishing or discoloration. Here's why:

  1. Composition: 18k gold is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. It's these other metals, such as copper or silver, alloyed with gold that can react to moisture, sulfur, or even certain acids present in the atmosphere or on the skin, leading to slight tarnishing or discoloration over time.
  2. Environmental Factors: Gold can be affected by compounds in the air, especially sulfur-containing compounds. Prolonged exposure to more polluted environments may increase the chances of tarnishing.
  3. Personal Factors: Everyone's skin pH is different, and sometimes, metals can react to a particular individual's skin, causing discoloration of the jewelry or even the skin itself (a greenish hue, for example). This isn't necessarily tarnishing, but it's a reaction that can be misinterpreted as such.
  4. Care and Maintenance: Improper storage, such as keeping 18k gold items in a moist environment or allowing them to come into contact with certain chemicals (like household cleaning agents or cosmetics), can contribute to tarnishing.

It's worth noting that while tarnishing is possible, it's not a common issue with 18k gold, especially when compared to metals like sterling silver. Simple preventative measures, like regular cleaning and proper storage, can further reduce any chances of tarnishing. If tarnish does occur, it can often be easily cleaned with a soft cloth and a gentle cleaning solution suitable for gold.

Q: Can 18k Gold Rust?

A: No, 18k gold cannot rust. Rusting is a process that involves the corrosion of iron when it comes into contact with moisture and oxygen. Gold, including 18k gold, does not contain iron and therefore is not susceptible to rusting. However, 18k gold can tarnish or discolor over time, especially if it's alloyed with certain metals, but this process is different from rusting. Proper care and regular cleaning can help maintain the luster and appearance of 18k gold jewelry.

Q: Can 18k Gold Cause Skin Irritation?

A: Generally, 18k gold is less likely to cause skin irritation compared to lower karat golds or other types of metals, especially for individuals with metal sensitivities. However, there are instances when 18k gold could cause skin irritation, and here's why:

  1. Alloy Metals: 18k gold is composed of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. Depending on the composition of these alloy metals, there could be potential irritants. For example, nickel, a metal sometimes used in gold alloys, is a common allergen for many people. If 18k gold contains nickel, it might trigger reactions in individuals sensitive to it.
  2. Personal Sensitivities: Some people may have specific sensitivities or allergies to metals other than nickel, even if these metals are typically considered hypoallergenic. The body's reaction to foreign substances varies from person to person.
  3. Environmental Factors: On rare occasions, an external environmental factor, like a particular type of soap, lotion, or detergent residue on the skin, might react with the gold and cause irritation.
  4. Impurities: If the 18k gold jewelry is not from a reputable source, there's a chance it could contain impurities or be inaccurately labeled regarding its composition. Such impurities might be the cause of skin reactions.  

Q: Can 18k Gold Turn Green?

A: 18k gold itself should not turn your skin green. However, under certain circumstances, the metal alloys combined with gold can react with elements (like acids in sweat or chlorine in swimming pools) and produce a greenish tint on the skin. Here's a more detailed explanation:

  1. Metal Alloys: 18k gold is 75% pure gold combined with 25% other metals, such as copper, silver, or zinc. If the alloy composition contains copper and it reacts with the body's sweat and natural acids, it might produce a greenish hue on the skin. This reaction is more common with lower karat golds but can occasionally occur with 18k.
  2. Body Chemistry: Everyone's skin pH and sweat composition are unique. Some people may produce more acidic sweat, which can react with metal alloys more intensely. If you have a particularly high body acidity, it might increase the chances of this reaction.
  3. Environmental Factors: Exposing 18k gold jewelry to certain chemicals like chlorine or specific cosmetics can sometimes cause a reaction leading to discoloration.
  4. Impurities: If the 18k gold jewelry contains impurities due to poor craftsmanship or is not genuinely 18k, it might be more prone to discoloration.

It's essential to note that if your 18k gold jewelry is causing your skin to turn green, it doesn't necessarily mean it's of low quality. It's more about the interaction between the metal alloys and your unique body chemistry or external factors. Proper care, like cleaning your jewelry regularly and removing it during activities like swimming, can minimize the chances of this happening.

Q: Can 18k Gold Bend?

A: Yes, 18k gold can bend. While it is more durable than purer forms of gold, such as 24k, it's still relatively soft compared to many other metals. The exact malleability of 18k gold depends on the metals alloyed with the gold. For example, 18k gold alloyed with copper or nickel will be harder and less likely to bend than 18k gold alloyed with silver. However, in general, any gold jewelry, including 18k, should be treated with care to avoid bending or misshaping, especially with items like rings or bracelets that might experience more physical stress.

Q: Can 18k Gold Be Worn Daily?

A: Absolutely; 18k gold can be worn daily. In fact, many people choose 18k gold specifically for daily wear items like wedding bands and engagement rings. Here's why:

18k gold is a blend of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals, such as copper or silver. This combination provides a good balance between the softness of pure gold and the strength conferred by the alloy metals. As a result, 18k gold is less prone to scratching and bending than its softer counterpart, 24k gold.

Q: Will 18k Gold Wear Down?

A: Yes, 18k gold will wear down over time. 18k gold is an alloy of gold and other metals, such as copper, silver, and zinc. These other metals are added to make the gold harder and more durable, but they also make it more susceptible to wear and tear.

The rate at which 18k gold wears down will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The thickness of the gold: The thicker the gold, the more durable it will be.
  • The type of metal used in the alloy: Some metals, such as copper, are more likely to wear down than others.
  • The way the gold is worn: If the gold is worn against rough surfaces or is exposed to chemicals, it will wear down more quickly.

Q: Is 18k Gold Better Than 14k?

A: Whether 18k gold is "better" than 14k gold largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here's a comparison of the two:

Gold Content:

    • 18k Gold: Contains 75% pure gold and 25% alloyed metals.
    • 14k Gold: Contains 58.5% pure gold and 41.5% alloyed metals.


    • 18k Gold: While still durable, it's a bit softer than 14k gold due to its higher pure gold content.
    • 14k Gold: Generally considered more resistant to wear and tear because of the higher alloy content. It's often recommended for daily wear items like wedding bands.


    • 18k Gold: Tends to be richer and more vibrant in color since it has a higher gold content.
    • 14k Gold: Slightly less vibrant in color, but still retains much of gold's natural luster.


    • 18k Gold: Generally more expensive due to the higher pure gold content.
    • 14k Gold: More affordable in comparison.

Allergies & Sensitivities:

    • 18k Gold: Because it has a higher gold content, it's less likely to cause metal allergies or sensitivities. However, reactions can still occur depending on the metals used in the alloy.
    • 14k Gold: Might have a slightly higher risk of causing allergic reactions, especially if the alloy includes certain metals like nickel. However, many jewelers offer 14k gold pieces made without nickel for those with sensitivities.

Q: How Long Does 18k Gold Last?

A: 18k gold can last for many years with proper care. The exact lifespan of 18k gold jewelry will vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The thickness of the gold: The thicker the gold, the more durable it will be.
  • The type of metal used in the alloy: Some metals, such as copper, are more likely to wear down than others.
  • The way the gold is worn: If the gold is worn against rough surfaces or is exposed to chemicals, it will wear down more quickly.

Q: How to Clean 18k Gold?

A: Cleaning 18k gold is simple and can be done at home using gentle materials to maintain its shine and luster:

Mild Dish Soap and Water:

    • Prepare a solution with a few drops of mild dish soap in warm water. Avoid hot water as it might cause some gemstones to fracture.
    • Soak the 18k gold piece in the solution for about 20-30 minutes.
    • Gently scrub the jewelry with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any dirt or residues.
    • Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

    • Steer clear of using bleach, chlorine, and other abrasive chemicals as they can damage the gold and any gemstones it may have.

Store Properly:

    • After cleaning, store your 18k gold jewelry separately in a soft cloth pouch or a lined jewelry box to prevent scratches.

Q: How to Polish 18k Gold? 

A: Polishing 18k gold helps to maintain its luster and remove small scratches or scuffs that can accumulate over time. When polishing (not cleaning), it's essential to use materials and techniques that are gentle to prevent any additional scratches or damage. Here's a step-by-step guide to polishing 18k gold:


  1. A gold polishing cloth or a soft, lint-free cloth.
  2. Gold polish or liquid polish formulated for gold (found in jewelry stores or online).
  3. Rubber gloves (optional, but they can help protect your hands from the polish).
  4. Soft-bristle toothbrush.


Preparation: Lay out all your materials on a clean, flat surface. It's a good idea to work on a cloth to prevent the gold piece from accidentally getting scratched.

Inspect the Gold: Before you begin, inspect your gold jewelry or item to identify any major scratches, dents, or issues. While polishing can eliminate minor scratches, deep scratches might require the expertise of a jeweler.

Apply the Gold Polish:

    • If you're using a liquid polish, shake the bottle well before use. Dab a small amount onto your cloth.
    • For a paste-type polish, use just a tiny amount – a little usually goes a long way.

Gently Polish:

    • Using the cloth with the polish, gently rub the 18k gold in a back-and-forth motion. It's essential not to use circular motions as this can cause swirl marks.
    • Apply even pressure, but don't press too hard.

Reach the Nooks and Crannies: If your gold item has intricate designs, you can use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Dab a little polish on the brush and gently brush the intricate areas.

Check Your Progress: Every few minutes, check your progress. You'll start to see minor scratches disappearing and the gold regaining its shine.

Wipe Away Excess Polish: Once you're satisfied with the result, take a clean section of your cloth and wipe away any excess polish.

Final Buffing: Using a clean, lint-free cloth, give the gold a final buff to enhance its shine.

Storage: Store the polished gold item in a soft pouch or lined jewelry box to prevent future scratches.

    Q: How Can You Tell Real 18k Gold?

    A: Determining the authenticity of 18k gold involves several methods and tools, often used in combination to ensure accuracy. Here's how you can tell if your gold is real 18k:

    1. Hallmark/Stamp: Most genuine gold jewelry will have a hallmark or stamp that indicates its purity. For 18k gold, common stamps include "18K", "18KT", "750" (indicating 75% gold), or similar markings.
    2. Magnet Test: Gold is non-magnetic. Hold a strong magnet up to the item. If it sticks, it's likely that the piece isn't pure gold but a gold-plated metal. However, this method isn't foolproof, as non-magnetic alloys can still be mixed with gold.
    3. Acid Test: This is a more conclusive method but may cause a slight mark on the gold. Gold testing kits come with different solutions for karats. Apply a small drop of the 18k testing acid to a scratch test stone, then rub the gold piece on the stone to leave a streak; if the streak dissolves, it's not 18k gold. If it remains, it likely is.
    4. Professional Appraisal: The most reliable way to determine the authenticity and karat of a gold piece is to have it examined by a reputable jeweler or get it professionally appraised. They have specialized tools and experience to accurately gauge the gold's purity.
    5. Electronic Gold Testers: These are modern tools available that can test the purity of gold electronically without causing any harm or mark to the jewelry piece.
    6. Ceramic Test: Dragging the gold piece across unglazed ceramic (like the underside of a ceramic tile) can be an indicator. If it leaves a gold streak, it's genuine gold. If it leaves a black streak, it's more likely a gold-plated piece. Note that this method can scratch your jewelry.

    Always proceed with caution if you're testing gold at home. Using some methods, like the acid test, without proper knowledge can lead to inaccurate results or even damage to the gold piece.

    Q: Is 18k Gold a Good Investment?

    A: Yes, 18k gold is a good investment for many reasons.

    1. Gold Content: 18k gold is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. This means it holds 75% of the value of pure gold, making it valuable but not as much as 24k gold, which is 100% pure.
    2. Durability: 18k gold is more durable than higher karat options like 24k gold. If you're considering jewelry as an investment, this might be favorable since it's less prone to scratches and damage.


    18k gold offers a harmonious balance between purity and strength. Whether you're looking for an heirloom piece or an everyday statement, understanding the properties and benefits of 18k gold can help guide your decision. Remember to prioritize quality, ethical sourcing, and personal preferences when making a jewelry purchase. Thanks for reading!