10K, 14K, 18K and 24K Compared?
24 karat gold is the purest form of gold. In its pure form, gold is a very soft metal. It’s too delicate for everyday wear, so it’s often alloyed (or mixed) with other metals such as silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to improve its strength and resilience.The most common mixtures of gold are 14K, 18K, and 22K, but 14K and 18K are the most ideal for jewelry.
Which one is the best? 24k, 22k, 18k, or 14k?
Truthfully, there isn’t a clear answer — it depends. Your decision should be influenced by how often you’ll wear the jewelry, what you’ll be doing when you wear it, the coloring you prefer, and your budget. Gold isn’t a one-size-fits-all accessory and there are a few things to consider.
Here’s a quick guide to understanding the different karats of gold you’ll encounter when shopping for the perfect piece:
24K (100% pure gold)
People love to say something is “24 karat gold”. Being the highest karat of gold, it’s easy to assume that 24K is the “best” gold to buy, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
It can be easily scratched and bent because it is much too soft. Pure gold is most often purchased as an investment.
22K (92% gold and 8% alloyed metals)
22k gold is 91.67% pure gold. It's purity level is so high and still the softest form of mixed metal jewelry.
22k is not used for studded jewelry or complex details. It simply isn’t strong enough to hold gemstones, and is used mainly for plain gold jewelry, such as chain necklaces.
*Both 24k and 22k are considered too soft for fine jewelry, though prized and worn in some cultures.
18K (75% gold and 25% alloyed metals)
This is the most traditional mix of gold and other metals. Due to higher gold content in 18K gold, it will also yield a higher price and easier to scratch or dent than 14K gold. But it is strong enough for everyday wear. 18K pieces tend to have a deeper yellow tone than 14K.
*Considered to be the luxury end of fine jewelry.
14K (58% gold and 42% alloyed metals)
This alloy offers more resistance to wear and tear than either 18K or 22K. It’s ideal for everyday use and the most popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands. If you have an active lifestyle (sports, regular exercise, manual labor, etc.), 14K jewelry would be the best option for you.
*Ideal for fine jewelry, balancing wearability and value.
Jewelry items must be at least 10k to be considered “gold”.
Colors of Gold
The silver and copper used for these purposes can change the color of the gold according to their proportions in the alloy, this feature has long been used in gold smithery.
The following table shows the shades obtained by combining different proportions of copper and silver to gold.
Nowadays, the "recipes" for coloring gold are more elaborate and also use other metals (Palladium, Zinc, Platinum ...).
While most jewelers use commercially prepared alloys, some jewelers and major retailers also have their recipes for making their own gold coloring, a composition whose shades are kept secret.
In addition to changing the color of gold, the alloy of metals also facilitates the work of gold by rolling, casting or polishing.
It can also improve the resistance to frictional wear. Innovative gold alloys for their color or mechanical properties are therefore protected by patent registration.
The most popular shades of gold are yellow gold, white gold and rose (pink) gold.
Others that you might come across are green gold, grey gold, blue gold, black gold and purple gold.
18K Yellow Gold = 75% gold + 10-20% silver +5-15% copper
18k White gold= 75% gold + 10% palladium + 10% nickel + 5% zinc
18K Red Gold= 75% gold + 25%copper
18K Rose Gold=75% gold + 22.5%copper +2.75% silver
18K Pink Gold= 75% gold + 20%copper +5% silver
The more copper used, the stronger the pink tint.
These following shades of gold are very uncommon, but you might just want to know that they exist:
Green gold = gold + silver + cadmium (at least 14k)
Grey gold = gold, silver, manganese and copper
Blue gold = gold + indium (about 12k)
Purple gold = gold + a special type of aluminium (AuAl2) (about 18k)
Black gold = gold electroplated with black rhodium or ruthenium
Q & A (Others)
Suppose that you had two rings that are the same size but one was 10K gold and the other was 18K gold which one would feel heavier?
It would depend on the density of the other elements in the two rings.
Gold is very dense so I would expect the 18K one to be heavier but if the other one contains lead (which is heavier than gold) then it would be heavier.
The specific gravity of a metal or alloy is merely the weight in grams of one cubic centimeter. When it is more convenient to work in troy weights, the number of ounces per cubic inch of any metal or alloy may be found by multiplying its specific gravity by the constant 0.52686. For example, the specific gravity of 14K yellow gold is 13.07. Multiply this by 0.52686 = 6.88606 which is its weight in troy ounces per cubic inch.
Does 18k gold damage easily?
18k gold is about 75% pure gold, which makes it less durable than 14k gold because it contains more pure gold. ... This is why 24k gold is the softest option and is prone to scratches and dents. 18k gold, unfortunately, is also susceptible to scratches and dents due in part to this higher purity level.
Pros: Rich gold hue, no skin irritation. Perfect for everyday wear.
Cons: Scratches more easily.
Can You Wear Gold Jewelry In The Pool?
No, and not just for gold jewelry alone.
Chlorine is commonly found in most, if not all, swimming pools.
This hard chemical can tarnish your jewelry pieces if it comes in contact with them.
Avoid wearing your gold pieces in the pool to preserve them for as long as possible.
Can You Shower With A Gold Chain Or Necklace?
While gold does not react with water, other metals mixed in with it can.
Soapy water can leave residues on your gold pieces causing them to become dull and lose their shine.
Repeated exposure to water can eventually result in rust forming on the gold piece.
Additionally, 24k gold is much softer than all other forms, so wearing it in the shower is not a good idea.It scratches pretty easily too.
If you want it to be as bright and shiny as it was when you first purchased it, taking your jewelry off before a shower will help it last even longer.
What is the best way to care for gold jewelry pieces?
The best way to care for your gold jewelry is to keep it dry.
Water tarnishes gold, and this causes it to lose its shine.
You should only put on your jewelry after you have dried off and applied all your lotions and perfumes to be safe.
Conversely, you can get it professionally cleaned frequently to bring back its shine when it starts to dull.
What is Solid Gold?
Solid Gold jewellery (colloquially referred to as 'real gold') is the most valuable form of jewellery you can buy.
Burma Jars's jewelry pieces are made using 18k solid gold, stamped 18k (750), which means that they are 18 parts (75%) pure gold and 6 parts (25%) other alloys. In some cases, we also have 21k gold jewelry that collected from the market.
We are not making any gold plated, gold vermeil or gold filled jewelry.
We can fully guarantee on the gold content of our jewelry.
What is gold plated/ Gold Vermeil jewelry?
Gold plated jewelry is made up of a base metal, usually silver or copper, and covered by a very thin layer of gold. Its gold content is usually less than 1%.
If gold is plated over sterling silver, this is also known as “Vermeil” (pronounced ver-may).
You'll often see Gold Plated jewellery expressed as a number of karats as well. E.g. '14k Gold Plated'.
In this example, the number of karats (14k) refers to the very thin layer of gold that is plated over a base metal or sterling silver.
What is Gold Filled?
Similar to gold plating, gold filled jewelry is also made of a different base metal. The difference here lies in the process. In filled jewelry, the gold is melted onto the base metal through a mechanical process. By law, gold filled jewelry must contain 5% gold by weight to be categorized as such, which means the gold coating is generally much thicker than that of plated jewelry. Because of this, the inside of a gold filled jewelry piece will still be stamped with a karat number, however, this is only for the filled coating. While filled jewelry will maintain its gold cast for longer, it will inevitably undergo discoloration and tarnishing after time.
Clean your jewelry with just a few ingredients you should find around your house.
What you need,
1) Aluminum foil
2) Baking soda
3) Dish detergent
The salt, baking soda and aluminum foil together create ion transfers (a chemical exchange) that naturally help clean the metal.
To start, line a small bowl with aluminum foil.
Then, add 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon dish detergent.
Last, add 1 cup of hot water and stir. You’ll see some fun little bubbles form.
Let the jewelry sit in the cleaner for about 10 minutes.
Remove and rub excess debris/tarnish with a soft cloth.
Rinse with warm water (with the drain closed).
Dry with soft cloth.
Don't forget to heat your water first!
Don't soak it for longer than 10 minutes, especially if you have any stones in the gold.
Depending on the make and how the stones are attached, the solution may loosen them as it is cleaning the jewelry.