Whether you’re buying a new piece of gold jewelry or the ring of your dreams, you’ll be considering which type of gold to get and which is the better choice for you. Join us as we explore the differences between 14k gold and 18k gold!
Anyone who has uttered the old adage, “All that glitters is not gold,” didn’t have a sparkly diamond attached to it! As beautiful as gold is, between colors and karats, it can be hard to comb through all the options. Read on to figure out which one is right for you.
Table of Contents
What Is A Karat?
K is for Karat and represents the purity of gold used in a piece of jewelry. (Not like carats – which are used when referring to diamonds. For this K, the higher the K, the purer the gold. But be careful; a higher K does NOT necessarily mean a better or nicer piece of jewelry.
In fact, there are multiple factors to consider when deciding what type of gold to use for what piece of jewelry. We will break down the difference between 14K and 18K gold. How does it affect the color, the piece, and if one is better than the other? Why or why not? (Spoiler alert? The answer is no!)
Read on to find out which gold and which “K” is right for you!
14K Gold vs. 18K Gold
Gold is the most popular metal used for all jewelry for a reason. It is strong, flexible, and in its purest form, soft. In order to make the metal usable for jewelry, an alloy (or a mix of metals) is added. Jewelers determine the amount of “K” by the amount of alloy present.
For example, 24K is pure gold and, therefore, too soft for jewelry and everyday wear. 24K gold easily dents and scratches and is simply too fragile for even the most careful jewelry expert. 18K and 14K, which still have a high ratio of gold but enough alloy to be workable, are the most popular choices for jewelers and purchasers.
The higher durability of 14K gold makes it an ideal choice for jewelry worn every day, for those with an active lifestyle, and for jewelry with intricate detail and added or placed stones, such as in gold engagement rings.
18K gold can be preferable for those with allergies or who are very sensitive to alloys since 18K is pure gold. 18K gold is also advantageous because although it is more delicate when it IS scratched, it does so in a way that appears vintage.
Is 14K Gold Or 18K Gold Better For Engagement Rings?
So, is 14K gold better than 18K gold? The short answer is no. Each metal offers different advantages. Therefore the better metal depends on you. 14K gold might be a better choice if you are very active, whereas 18K gold can be better for more delicate pieces of fine jewelry.
The differences in appearance are often relatively minimal and a matter of personal choice; whichever karat you go with, you will surely shine!
Which “K” & Color Is Better For You?
Consider the following four factors when picking the right karat and color for your new piece of jewelry:
- The difference in color between 14K and 18K yellow gold, while a factor, is not terribly strong and a matter of personal preference.
- Overall, yellow gold is universally flattering but can enhance wearers with warmer skin tones. Both 14K and 18K yellow gold pair well with gemstones.
- White gold, in both 14K and 18K, like its yellow counterpart, looks great on everyone. Yet it ever so slightly amplifies those with cooler skin tones.
- White gold also pairs well with gemstones. While yellow gold can pair better with more earthy tones, white gold can pair better with more vibrant colors.
What Is The Difference Between 14K Gold vs. 18K Gold?
|14 K Gold||18K Gold|
|Very Durable||Purer Gold|
|More Affordable||Better For Those With Metal Allergies|
|Softer Yellow Color||Brighter Yellow Tones|
Rose gold is a gold that gets its soft pink color from a mixture of gold and copper. It is also available in 14K and 18K, and similar to its yellow and white counterparts.
- 14K rose gold is more durable, while 18K rose gold is more pure.
- The romance of both 14K and 18K rose gold allows it to pair well with colors for both casual and fancy occasions.
- Rose gold is a great choice for those who love vintage-style jewelry
- It complements both cool and warmer skin tones
It is a wonderful choice for engagement rings, wedding rings, and any other piece of fine jewelry.
Which Gold Is Best For Engagement & Wedding Rings?
14K gold is the most popular choice for engagement and wedding rings. Whether yellow, white or rose, 14K’s mix of purity and durability makes it an ideal choice for these rings since they are geared for everyday wear. The affordability of 14K gold makes it a very popular choice for both engagement and wedding rings.
18K gold is also an excellent choice for engagement and wedding rings for those who prefer hypoallergenic metals, as 18K gold has more gold and less alloy.
Which Gold Is Best For Fine Jewelry?
Both 14K gold and 18K gold work great for fine jewelry. 18K gold is often a popular choice for fine jewelry rings, as the color is considered more “true,” and its delicacy makes it ideal for pieces meant for special occasions.
So whether you want a gold ring you can wear to the gym every day, or you want a ring you can save for anniversaries and holidays, we have the metal and the ring for you!
What About Earrings, Bracelets, & Necklaces?
Whether you prefer a more durable 14K or a more gentle 18K, white gold, yellow gold, or rose, James Allen has the right gold, at the right K, for any event.
As you have probably guessed by now, the perfect gold for you depends on you. Whatever your needs, preferences, and budget, we at JamesAllen.com are here to help you make the best choice!
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With over 10 years of experience writing and editing on a wide variety of subjects, Sarah is a veteran of the content world. Since joining James Allen, she has focused on all things diamonds and fine jewelry with the goal of educating and empowering consumers.