Understanding Karats of Gold Jewelry

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Jewelry wearers love gold jewelry for its beauty, durability, versatility, and affordability. While there are several gold karat options to select from, 14K gold is among the most commonly used gold alloys you’ll find in jewelry, such as white gold necklaces and yellow gold earrings.

The popular precious metal is perfect to wear for any occasion. You can easily pair your gold earrings with everyday attire or a stunning diamond gold necklace for an extravagant event. As you shop for gold jewelry to add to your collection, we’d like to help you understand the difference between karats to help you select the option that meets your jewelry needs and expectations.

How is Gold Measured?

Roberto Coin Diamonds by the Inch 18K Yellow and White Gold Diamond Necklace

Gold’s purity is measured in karats and considers its weight, durability, and richness in color. The karat measures the purity of gold that is alloyed with other metals.

When we compare karat weights, we begin to see why 14K gold jewelry is often preferred over 18K gold or 24K gold jewelry. This is because 24 karats are the purest on the karat scale, which may sound most ideal but has drawbacks. While it looks richer in color, 24K gold can wear down quicker, dent faster, and lose shape more quickly than other gold jewelry pieces. This is because the purer the gold, the softer it is. It also accounts for the higher price tag you will encounter.  

How Much Gold is in 14K Gold, 18K Gold, and 24K Gold Jewelry?

When we take a closer look at the differences in 14K gold, 18K gold, and 24K gold earrings and other jewelry items, we can begin to understand the differences in price and durability. The most common gold karat jewelry weights you will hear about include:

  • 14k gold
  • 18K gold
  • 24K gold

14K Gold

Fink's 25mm Custom Classic Monogram Necklace

Gold that is referred to as 14K gold is made up of 58% gold and 42% alloyed metals. 14K gold offers your jewelry more resistance to everyday wear and tear. You’ll find most gold wedding bands and engagement rings are offered in 14K gold for their incredible durability, keeping your forever rings in excellent shape. It’s also ideal for those who may work with their hands or are active outdoors. 14K gold jewelry can keep up with your active lifestyle and leave you worry-free as you go about your daily activities.

Why Should You Consider 14K Gold Jewelry?

Although 14K gold contains less pure gold, it is the most preferred. This is because 14K gold jewelry offers the most durability for everyday wear at an affordable price. In addition, its bond with different metals helps form a strong metal alloy, providing durability to last a lifetime in your jewelry collection. Metals that alloy to create 14k gold include:

  • zinc
  • nickel
  • copper
  • silver 

18K Gold

IPPOLITA Chimera Sterling Silver and 18K Yellow Gold Jumbo Jet Set Dangle Earrings

18K gold is the most traditional blend of gold and other metals, it is made up of 75% gold and 25% alloyed metals. 18K gold jewelry tends to have a deeper yellow hue than 14K gold due to the higher gold content. That higher content accounts for it being less durable than 14K.

24K Gold

24K gold is the highest karat gold and made of 100% pure gold. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the best choice for most gold jewelry wearers. 24K gold requires delicate care and may not be ideal for daily wear.

Some exceptions may be shorter 24k gold necklaces for women that are less likely to get pulled or caught. Or when selecting metal for your earrings, 24K gold stud earrings are not likely to be in harm’s way and are therefore a more suitable choice than a ring made of 24K gold.

The proportion and type of these other metals may vary. However, the amount of gold always remains 58% to be certified as 14K gold.

What Gold Jewelry Color Options Will I Find?

IPPOLITA Classico 18K Yellow Gold Mini Wavy Circle Pendant Necklace

Whether you’re gifting a 14K gold necklace to a loved one or searching for the ideal pendant to complement your neckline, you may also wish to consider your gold jewelry color options. The combination of various metal alloys accounts for the creation of lighter yellow, white, and rose gold jewelry tones. As a result, you'll find an array of stunning gold earrings and bangles and bracelets in yellow, white, and rose gold. Of course, selecting the color of your gold jewelry may simply come down to personal taste, so try them on, consider your current collection, and select the color that appeals to your taste.

If you’re shopping for a present and unsure which hue to select for a pair of gold earrings or a lovely gold necklace, we invite you to come in and talk with our gold jewelry specialists. If you’re purchasing online, take a look at a few of our experts’ favorites.

Our Favorite 14K Gold Jewelry

A pair of 14K gold earrings should be a staple in every woman’s collection. From diamond stud gold earrings to birthstones set in gold, there’s a pair that is ideal for everything she owns.

Roberto Coin Perfect Gold Hoops 18K Yellow Gold Petite Oval Hoop Earrings

One of our most popular earring styles is the gold earring hoop. While running errands or having a romantic dinner for two, the Roberto Coin Perfect Gold Hoops are the ideal choice for every woman’s jewelry collection. The classic gold earrings add a touch of elegance to any outfit she wears.  

We also love recommending personalized jewelry like our gold necklace keepsakes. Our Custom Classic Monogram Necklace makes a unique gift and can be found in various metals, including yellow, white, and rose gold necklace options. 

Our Favorite 18K Gold Jewelry

A timeless piece we can’t recommend enough is the stunning Pearl Boule 18K Gold Necklace. Inspired by the Sahara’s soft dunes and tribal-style jewelry, this beauty would be a cherished addition to her collection.

For the lady who loves elegant, everyday pieces, we suggest the IPPOLITA Classico 18K Yellow Gold Necklace with Mini Wavy Circle Pendant. Whether paired with casual or dressy attire, its versatility is limitless.

Pair her pendant with the circular two-tone Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Earrings. The multi-metal design will allow her to mix and match with various jewelry pieces as they dangle from her lobes in style.

Whether you’re adding gold jewelry to your own collection or shopping for a loved one, we invite you to stop by and view our incredible selection. No matter the occasion, we have the perfect gold jewelry piece to help you celebrate all of life’s special moments!