Exploring Gold Karats: What Are They and Why Are They Important?
Buying gold karat jewelry can be confusing. Is one better than the other? Let’s explore gold karats and find out what they are and why they are important.
Keyword(s): Gold karats
Gold has been worshipped for almost as long as people. Gold symbolized royalty and divinity as far back as Ancient Egypt.
To this day, gold inherently represents luxury, power, and success. It also radiates a sense of warmth and compassion, like the glowing rays of the sun.
That's not even mentioning the timeless elegance and effortless style that gold possesses.
Of course, not all gold is created equal. If you're in the market for some new gold jewelry, or just want to know more about your cherished collection, keep reading for our guide on everything you need to know about gold karats!
What You Need to Know About Gold Karats
We started off by saying how not all gold is created alike. The first thing you need to know about gold karats is that different types of gold have different applications. Some are better suited for certain circumstances than others.
24K gold, which is considered "pure gold", is very soft for instance. This means it's not appropriate for items requiring precious metals that are more durable. These include engagement rings and wedding bands.
This is just one example of how "the best" gold isn't always the best for every occasion. It's also an example of how "pure gold" isn't pure. Even 24K gold is blended with other metals to make it more durable and useful.
Now let's take a look at each of the gold karats so you'll have a better idea how to tell them apart and to pick out what you're looking for.
10K gold is 41.7% gold and 58.3% alloys. This means it's the least pure of the gold karats and the lowest karat that can be advertised as gold in most countries. It also means it's the most durable and least expensive.
Even though 10k gold is very durable, it's still not a popular choice for special items like wedding bands or engagement rings. 10k gold also has a paler color than other more pure variants like 14K and 18K. This gives 10k gold more of a white gold appearance than the more traditional radiant gold.
10K gold can be a good choice for wearable gold if you tend to be in rougher environments. If you're regularly in places with a lot of hard, flat, or sharp surfaces where a ring might be damaged, 10K gold might be a good option.
14K gold is 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloys. 14 karat gold is the most popular type of gold for wearable jewelry in the United States and the UK.
Almost 90% of engagement rings and wedding bands are made with 14 karat gold. If you're not sure what kind of gold to get, 14K is a good choice.
14K gold has a richer, more saturated color than 10K, giving it a more classic look. If you're looking for a classic gold appearance that's still a little more subtle than 18K gold, 14K makes for a fine balance.
14 karat gold also finds the perfect balance between style and affordability. It's less expensive than 18k and 24k gold, while still having a classic, iconic look.
18K gold is 75% gold and 25% alloys. It's usually the purest form of gold that's available for wearable jewelry like rings and watches.
18K offers a rich, lavish color that is luxurious. If you're looking for an item that makes a statement without becoming gaudy, consider 18k gold.
Due to its purity, 18K gold is also a good choice if you have sensitive skin or allergies to other kinds of non-precious metals like copper or nickel.
Seeing as how it's so pure, it also means that 18K gold can be scratched fairly easily. Keep that in mind when you're picking out what kind of gold will meet your circumstances.
White and Rose Gold
There are some types of gold that have less to do with karats and more about the alloy. White gold is a mixture of pure gold with several other precious metals, including silver and palladium. Its pale color is due to rhodium plating
White gold can come in different karats, just like regular gold.
Keep in mind the rhodium plating will likely wear away over time. Rhodium plating can be restored, though, even through a local jeweler. It's a relatively inexpensive process, as well.
Rose gold is similar to white gold. Rose gold just features a mixture of gold and copper, instead, to give it its distinctive hue.
Choosing the Right Gold Karats
There's no such thing as the "right" or "best" type of gold. It all boils down to your particular style and how you're planning on using your gold jewelry.
As a general rule of thumb, if you're looking for a good, well-rounded gold karat for everyday use, 14K gold is a popular choice. It's got that perfect blend of durability and iconic gold coloring.
If you're looking for something with a richer, even-more-classic gold appearance, 18k gold shines like the sun!
And, of course, if you're looking for the purest of pure gold, 24K gold is what you're after.
You should also think about how you're going to be using your gold jewelry. If you're planning on wearing your new piece every day, you're going to want something more durable. If you're looking for a timeless heirloom piece, however, 24K gold is richer and more elegant.
Whatever gold karats you're looking for, you'll find something to make your jaw drop in our collections! You can browse our clearance collections, as well, to see our extensive array of daily deals.
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