A lot of people might not know a lot about gold, and I myself was on the list of those who didn’t really understand what the 10k, 14k, and 18k gold meant. Of course, I could immediately assume that the bigger the number, the more expensive the product was, but why? I could never tell.
With research and years of experience, understanding the basic meaning behind the numbers and the letter K was pretty easy. So in this article, I’m going to provide information about the three types of metal you can find, the meaning behind the K, and some alternatives you can try out if gold is not an option for you.
Also known as the fineness of the gold, the K behind 10, 14, 18, and 24 are also known as Karats, the official measure used to determine the purity. It is also the standard measurement system used in the United States federal law.
The more karats, the purer the gold is, and although it is impossible to obtain a 100% pure gold piece, you can achieve around a 99.9% piece of gold, which is known as 24k.
The reason why it is virtually impossible to obtain a 100% piece of this rare metal, is because you need an alloy metal along with gold to provide resistance to the piece. Otherwise, a 100% piece wouldn’t be as durable and resistant. Thus, the purer the piece is, the more expensive, but less resistant.
Still, it’s not like you can’t find pieces of this metal that are 100% pure. In fact, it is actually present, but very rare, expensive, and only used on very special occasions, often related to ceremonies, important people among certain groups, and are cautiously taken care of.
A piece that is completely pure wouldn’t be recommended for daily use because of its softness and lack of durability, since it might be damage with simple movements and even by the atmosphere.
Just so you know, when it comes to metal alloys, they can be described as a combination of two or more metals, for the sake of achieving a particular purpose, often related to the resistance of the final product. Thus, a 10k piece is well known as probably the cheapest form of this precious metal as well as the most durable one, since it contains only 41.1% of gold and 58.3% of alloys.
It is also the most affordable piece you can find, but it may be one of the reasons for allergies related to gold because of the level of impurities found in the result.
Although it is the cheapest form you can find of this precious metal when it comes to wearable jewelry, it is still a very likable option for many. When it comes to pieces measured by karats, you can’t actually tell which one is better than the other one. It would be wiser to determine their value by answering this question: which one fulfills your needs the most?
With that in mind, there are people who like the light color of 10k jewelry, and because of their line of work, they like to have very durable pieces because they want to make sure they are not going to get damage. It is also better to have pieces like that for people who like to wear them all the time.
Now, the next step to a 10k piece is a 14k piece, which as you might have imagined, is purer when it comes to its gold levels, reaching 58.3% of the piece while having a 41.7% of alloys.
This one, although it has a higher price in the market in comparison to a 10k piece, it is often remarked as the highest gold-piece considering value/durability. And a lot of enthusiasts consider it the most affordable optimal piece of jewelry you can obtain, granting its level of popularity all around the world.
Its color is, of course, more noticeable than the previous category, and a lot of people have a hard timing finding color differences between a 14k piece and an 18k piece, still, it is well known for being much more durable than the next category.
The downside of a 14k piece, though, in comparison to an 18k one, is that it is more likely to cause allergies because of the 41.7% level of alloys found in the pieces found in this category.
This one is the purest form of jewelry you can find, considering that it contains 75% gold and only 25% alloys. It is also the most expensive one and the less durable and resistant.
18k pieces tend to be used for very special occasions or by people who know that they won’t put the jewelry in danger by doing activities that might threaten their safety. It is also used for decorative pieces of jewelry, and rings, watches, necklaces, and earrings that are meant to be used for ceremonies and be saved instead of used.
It’s a Matter of Needs
If you are curious and want to learn more about it, you can visit the next link portraying very detailed information 10k gold vs 14k gold vs 18k gold.
With that said, it is more a matter of needs than anything else. Someone who often engages in physical activities or outdoor hobbies might prefer a 10k piece instead of a higher-quality one because of their durability, whereas a regular office-person might want a 14k piece because they want a more noticeable color with very present durability. An older couple or young marriage might want to give themselves an 18k gift that they know will be taken care of for a long time.
So the question is not about which one is better, once again, but which one fits your needs the most. If you can answer these questions, deciding between all the options will be much easier and you won’t have problems after you’ve made your purchase.