10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, AND 24K:
WHICH ONE IS THE BEST FOR YOU?
Welcome to our blog post, where we'll compare 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, and 24K gold. We'll go over the pros and cons of each karat so that you can make an informed decision about the best gold type for you.
WHAT'S IN A KARAT? HOW TO MEASURE GOLD PURITY
Everyone is different, so the best gold type for you should be based on a breakdown of various factors. For example, when selecting gold for everyday wear, several factors such as your activity level, personal taste, budget, and skin sensitivity all come into play.
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. The highest karat level 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%.
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 utilized to produce an alloy, it has different hues, weight, brittleness, and malleability. These non-gold metals are generally less expensive, more durable, and lighter in weight than gold.
Pure gold is too soft for jewelry because it is a very malleable and ductile metal. This means that it can be easily bent, scratched, and molded, 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 most common metals in gold alloys are copper, nickel, and silver. These metals are less expensive than gold, more durable, and lighter in weight.
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 more durable it is because the other alloy metals harden it.
Gold color variations exist because the color of gold depends upon the type of metal 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.
The price of gold is determined by the purity of the gold (measured in karats). The higher the karat, 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. Therefore, 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 purity of the gold; the higher the karat, the heavier the gold will be. 24K gold is the heaviest 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.
The 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.
LET'S COMPARE: 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, AND 24K
- 24 KARAT GOLD
- 100% gold purity makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin since there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
- It has a gorgeous, lustrous color. Although, some find the color to be overly saturated.
- Excellent choice if you want your engagement ring to have an "heirloom" quality since it will never tarnish.
- Pure gold never tarnishes, corrodes, or rusts.
- Too soft for everyday wear – will scratch and dent easily.
- Bends and warps easily, so not a good choice if you are active or have a job that is hard on your hands.
- Gemstones set in 24K gold rings are not as secure since the metal is so malleable.
- It is very expensive since it is pure, high karat gold.
- 22 KARAT GOLD
- 22k gold is stronger than other kinds of gold, such as 18k gold, and thus, less likely to scratch, ding, or dent.
- The rich yellow color of 22k gold is more intense than 14k or 18k gold. Although, some people find the color to be too saturated.
- 22k is high karat gold, yet more affordable than 24K gold.
- It is 91.7% pure gold, with the remaining amount comprised of metals like silver, zinc, or nickel. This can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
- It is quite soft, so it can scratch and wear down over time.
- The main downside of 22K gold is that it is not suitable for setting gemstones. The metal is too soft to hold a stone in place securely, and the prongs could easily bend or break.
- 18 KARAT GOLD
- 18k gold features a bright golden color, unlike the dullness of 10k gold.
- It is also more resistant to scratching and wear, as the harder metals used in the alloy make it less prone to being bent or damaged than 24k gold.
- 18k gold is less likely to cause skin irritation than lower karat golds, which contain a higher amount of alloys.
- It is less likely to tarnish than other kinds of gold (lower karats) because it contains a higher percentage of pure gold (which never tarnishes, corrodes, or rusts).
- It is less costly than 24k gold, making it a good middle-of-the-road choice for those who want the look of pure gold without the high price tag.
- 18k gold is not as strong as 14k or 10k gold, so it is more likely to bend or break with rough wear.
- This gold type is also more expensive than 14k or 10k gold because it contains more pure gold.
- 14 KARAT GOLD
- 14k has a gold purity level of 58.3% gold, with silver, zinc, and/or nickel as the remaining metals.
- It's harder than 18k gold, so it will resist scratching and denting more.
- It is still a yellow color but not as rich as 18k gold, but not as dull as 14k.
- This gold type is less expensive than 18k gold because it contains less pure gold.
- 14k gold is not as strong as 10k, so it may bend or dent more easily because it contains a lower percentage of gold, which softens the metal.
- It may also cause some people skin irritations or allergic reactions because it contains more nickel and other alloy metals than 18k gold.
- 10 KARAT GOLD
- 10k gold is a hard and durable metal, much more resistant to scratching and denting than pure gold because of its alloying with other harder metals, typically zinc, copper, and nickel.
- 10k gold is less expensive than other higher karat options, making it a more affordable choice because it contains a lower percentage of gold.
- 10k gold has a muted yellow color that is not as bright as 18k or 24k gold, making it more versatile and easier to match with other jewelry.
- It is the least pure gold on the market that is still permitted to be referred to as "gold" in the US and the majority of other countries, with a gold purity level of 41.7%.
- Due to its low gold content, it is not very popular for usage in wedding bands, engagement rings, or high-end jewelry.
- It looks like a pale yellow that is caught between being white gold or yellow gold. This gold color is dull and not as popular as 18k.
- Additionally, it contains 58.3 percent alloy metal, which increases the likelihood that it will irritate or otherwise react with someone sensitive to nickel, silver, copper, zinc, or iron.
In the end, it is ultimately up to you to decide which karat weight is best for you. For example, if you are looking for a yellow gold color, 18k or 14k gold would be your best bet. However, if you are looking for a white gold look, then 10k gold would be a good choice. And if you are looking for a more affordable option, then 10k gold would also be a good choice. But, ultimately, it is up to you to decide which karat weight is best for your needs.