The Mine

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precious metals

Full comparison of 10K, 14K, 18K and 24K gold

Inimitable colour and shine - As the purest type of gold, 24k gold is also the most yellow. It has a lustre and a warmth that cannot be found in lesser-karat jewellery.

When looking for the perfect gift or investment piece of jewellery, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options. Gold jewellery comes in many shapes, sizes and, most importantly, karats.

The different type of gold you choose also greatly impacts the piece's feel, appearance and durability. At 7879, we always want you to find the right jewellery for you. It’s part of our mission. Beautiful jewellery for beautiful people.

With that in mind, let us guide you through a complete comparison of 10k vs 14k vs 18k vs 24k gold. By the end of this article, you’ll understand each karat type and how that affects the price of your jewellery.

What does the karat difference mean?

All gold is categorised using the karat system. A karat count represents the ratio of pure gold to other metals. For instance, pure gold is 24 karat. This means that 24 out of 24 parts of the metal are gold. In contrast, 18 karat gold contains 18 parts gold to 6 parts of another metal.

10K vs 14K vs 18K and 24K Gold

Karat Purity Common Usages
10K 41.67% Costume jewellery
14K 58.33% Everyday fine jewellery; engagement rings, wedding bands, etc.
18K 75% Fine jewellery and electronics
24K 99.99% Fine investment jewellery, bullion bars, medical tools

Naturally, it’s easy to assume that 24k gold is the best of the best. We believe this too, which is why all 7879 gold jewellery is made out of 24k gold. However, we also know that 24k gold isn’t suitable for everything or everyone.

In the following sections, you can discover the best karat gold for each application. This ranges from investment jewellery to costume jewellery, ornaments and more.

10K Gold

10k gold, as our gold karat scale shows, is made up of 41.7% pure gold. The other 58.3% is made of one or more other metals. In terms of karat measurements, it’s 10 out of 24 parts gold.

We’re often asked, is 10k gold real? And the short answer is yes. While 10k is the lowest purity of gold, it can be legally marketed as ‘gold’ in most countries. However, 10k gold is widely used in affordable costume jewellery and is rarely used for fine jewellery.

In appearance, 10k gold is paler than other karats. This is due to the other metals it’s mixed with. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; many people prefer the light-toned look.

If you’re considering buying 10k gold jewellery, check out the pros and cons below.

Advantages of 10k gold

  • Inexpensiveness - 10k gold is the cheapest type of gold used in jewellery. This is a good choice if you’re on a budget but still want something better than high-street jewellery.
  • **Durability **- As 10k gold jewellery is fortified with other metals, it’s the most durable gold type. This makes it resistant to scratches and scuffs.

Disadvantages of 10k gold

  • Pale colour - Although some people like the muted shade of 10k gold jewellery, many think it lacks the lustre of other karats.
  • Likelihood of skin irritation - As 10k gold is mixed with other metals, it’s not suitable for those with metal allergies. If you’re allergic to nickel, zinc, copper or iron, you may break out by wearing 10k gold for an extended period of time.

When to opt for 10k gold

Although, at 7879, we only offer 24k gold jewellery, we also know there’s a time and a place for each karat. We love 10k gold jewellery for costume pieces. These pieces might not always be fashionable, so it’s not worth a more expensive investment.

14K Gold

14k gold is one of the most popular types of gold used for wearable jewellery in Western countries. It’s made up of 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy.

A high percentage of engagement and wedding rings are made of 14k gold. This is thanks to its durability, affordability, and appearance. It has a classic gold colour which looks more expensive than it is.

When asking the question, “is 14k gold good?” it’s important to consider the following pros and cons.

Advantages of 14k gold

  • Affordability - While 14k gold is still more expensive than 10k gold, affordable 14k gold pieces can be found at almost any jeweller. This makes it accessible too.
  • **Appearance **- As mentioned, 14k gold has a rich appearance which is more yellow than 10k gold. As such, it’s more recognisable as a piece of quality jewellery.

Disadvantages of 14k gold

  • Skin irritation - Although 14k gold is over half pure gold, it’s still not ideal for those with severe metal allergies. The metal alloys that help to fortify 14k gold jewellery can cause itchy and uncomfortable reactions if you have very sensitive skin.

When to choose 14k gold

If you’re still wondering whether 14k gold is good, our experts are here to help. Our 7879 jewellery stylists recommend 14k gold for everyday jewellery. There’s a reason many customers choose it for rings or bracelets, as it’s less likely to bend or accumulate marks.

18K Gold

18k gold is the type of gold you’re probably most used to seeing in luxury pieces. Made up of 75% pure gold, it's usually the purest form of gold used for rings, watches and other fine jewellery pieces.

18 karat gold has a beautiful yellow appearance which is synonymous with luxury. Naturally, it’s more expensive than the other karat ratings we’ve mentioned, yet it has unique advantages that make it well worth the price tag.

Advantages of 18k gold

  • Pure yet practical - Most jewellers consider 18 karat gold as pure as possible, whilst remaining practical. It retains its lustre and is still affordable to buyers on the higher end of the scale.
  • Available shades - As 18 karat gold is part alloy, it can be used to create white gold and rose gold. 18k white gold is commonly created from gold mixed with silver and nickel, whilst 18k rose gold is gold mixed with copper.
  • Available designs - Most fine jewellers create pieces using 18k gold. You, therefore, have access to a wide range of designs if you choose this karat rating.

Disadvantages of 18k gold

  • Softness - Due to its purity, 18k gold can be easily scratched or bent. If you choose 18k gold jewellery, you must be careful to remove it during activities such as sports, cleaning, and cooking.
  • Not investment friendly - Although 18 karat gold is expensive, it’s not the best choice for investment. This is because it’s usually crafted into fashionable styles. For investment jewellery, you want to look for something more timeless.

Should you choose 18 karat gold?

18 karat gold is undoubtedly beautiful and valuable. That said, if you’re in the market for an 18k piece, we’d recommend considering 24k gold instead. Given the price tag of both materials, it may be worth investing in the purer material, which will give you a unique piece and a solid investment.

24k gold

Last but certainly not least, 24k gold is the highest karat gold available. 24k gold is 99.9% pure gold and hasn’t been mixed with any other metals. It’s the most valuable and rarest type of gold you can own.

24k gold jewellery is only offered by specialist jewellers like us, meaning you can count on its provenance, quality, and longevity. This matters whether you simply wish to own a beautiful and unique piece of jewellery or you wish to make a savvy investment.

Consider the following points when purchasing 24k gold:

Advantages of 24k gold

  • Inimitable colour and shine - As the purest type of gold, 24k gold is also the most yellow. It has a lustre and a warmth that cannot be found in lesser-karat jewellery.
  • Very hypoallergenic ** - 24k gold isn’t mixed with other alloys. This makes it perfect for you if you have allergies or sensitive skin. It’s also antibacterial which further reduces your risk of irritation. - Investment opportunities** - Pure gold has consistently increased in price over the years due to its allure and scarcity. As such, you can rest assured your 24k gold jewellery will grow in value.

Disadvantages of 24k gold

  • Easily damaged - 24k gold is much softer than cheaper alloys. This means it can be easily damaged if not looked after properly. While we consider all our 24 -karat gold jewellery suitable for daily wear, we recommend removing it before hands-on activities such as exercise or housework.
  • Consider the design - As mentioned, 24k gold is a great investment option. However, overly embellished pieces can actually be worth less in the long run. At 7879, our 24k gold jewellery designs are timeless, sleek, and minimalistic. This means they’ll retain their value and stylishness for years to come.

Invest in 24k with 7879 jewellery

Whilst we know that 24k gold may not be the best choice for everyone, if you are considering investing in a quality piece, we’re here for you.

All of our 24k gold jewellery comes with a purity promise and the option to resell or reinvest it later. We’re confident you’ll love your unique 7879 pieces, our transparent pricing, and our beautiful lustrous gold.