Tips! Difference Between 14K and 18K Yellow Gold

Gold, of all kinds, is extremely valuable. You may be thinking to yourself, “well…duh”. But what if you’re offered a piece of jewelry in 10K and in 24K? Which would you choose? Exactly. Now let’s discuss why each karat of gold has its perks (and its quarks) and why gold is measured the way that it is. 

Gold in its most pure form (24K), is extremely soft and malleable, making it not entirely desirable for everyday wear, especially if it could be dinged or knicked. In order to provide more options for a more affordable price as well for clients who are craftsmen in their work, this is where alloys come in. To strengthen the gold for tougher use, jewelers include alloys (other metals) to add strength and resistance to its make.

Let’s do math. The fun kind. For just a sec, I promise.
18K = 75% gold + 25% alloyed metal
14K = 59% gold + 42% alloyed metal
See…painless! And very informative already.

Because of the higher percentages in gold, the higher you go in Karat, the more expensive the piece will be. Adding alloyed metals to a piece of jewelry will strengthen its durability making a less % of gold a very good option in a different way! Not only do these factors affect the cost, the gold percentage and value, it also affects the color of the gold which may matter to a client more than the rest of it! For example, 18K yellow gold is a darker yellow color than 14K yellow gold because it contains more yellow gold! Once explained…it all makes sense.

Which option is the most popular? Not only because people like its contrast with the stones in their piece, but the resistance to wear and tear for everyday jewelry (such as engagement rings, wedding bands, stackable rings or bracelets, and so on) is 14K Yellow Gold. For a very special occasion piece, 18K Yellow Gold is a fabulous option (because it increases the value of course), acknowledging that it is a softer material, but you won’t be wearing it as often so it will hold up well.

It is always most important to us to know what our clients are looking for most in their custom piece. This affects crafting decisions and allows you to pick the karat that is the best decision for you. All MFM yellow gold jewelry is crafted in 14K Yellow Gold so whether you come in completely knowledgeable on this front or just want a solid, timeless and tough piece, we’ve got you covered to provide all the jewelry that will last you a lifetime!

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