14k and 10k gold are both used in jewelry, so what's the difference between 14k gold vs 10k gold? They're similar enough that people are often confused about the terms, but there are actually some key differences. Here's a quick overview of 14kt versus 10kt gold.
WHAT IS IT?
14k jewelry is 14 parts gold mixed with 10% other metals. The specific metals used in this type of gold vary depending on the gold’s color. When you buy a 14k ring, 58.4% of the 14k ring is pure gold.
10K gold is 10 parts pure gold mixed with 14 parts other metals. When you buy an engagement ring that’s made of 10k gold, approximately 41.7% of the ring is pure gold.
In addition to being more affordable, 10K gold is slightly tougher than 14K gold. Because it’s made from a smaller amount of pure gold and a larger amount of more durable alloy metals, it is more resistant to scratches, scuffs, dents and other common wear and tear. However, both 10k and 14k jewelry are durable enough for everyday wear.
The low purity level of 10K gold creates a dull appearance in comparison with the brightness produced by 14K gold. Instead of the warm, rich color that most people associate with gold, 10K gold can appear a bit washed out and lacking in vibrancy.
10K gold’s low purity level also means that it’s more likely to trigger metal allergies than jewelry made from 14K gold. 1-2% of people with metal allergies are allergic to 10K gold, whereas 0.1% are allergic to 14K gold. If you know that you’re allergic to jewelry, or if a family member has had a problem with metal sensitivities, then you might want to stick with 14K gold.
Many people are allergic to nickel, which is commonly added as an alloy metal to the gold used for jewelry. Because 10K gold contains more alloy metals than 14K gold, people sensitive to nickel are more likely to develop a skin allergy.
In conclusion, both metals offer the same flexibility in jewelry designs and look similar when polished, but they are slightly different. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, then 10K gold is the way to go. However, if you don’t know whether you are allergic to metal, or if you want a rich color and high shine on your jewelry then 14k gold is definitely the right choice.