14k vs. 18k: Which One Is Better?

14k vs. 18k Which One Is Better

What Sets 14K Gold Apart from 18K Gold?

Contrary to popular assumption, most gold jewelry you purchase isn’t produced entirely of pure gold. Instead, an alloy formed by fusing pure gold with a variety of other metals is used to make practically all gold jewelry.

Because pure gold is incredibly soft, this is the case. If engagement rings, earrings, and other jewelry were composed entirely of gold, they would bend, scratch, scuff, and dent very easily—often merely from brushing up against something else.

Petite Twist Diamond Eternity Band in 14K Yellow Gold Petite Twist Diamond Eternity Ring in 14K Gold
Modern gold jewelry uses gold that has been alloyed with other metals as a result. The karat system, which indicates what proportion of any sort of gold is made up of pure gold, is used to determine the purity of this gold.

Parts out of 24 are used to express the karatage of gold. For instance, pure gold is 24K because pure gold makes up all 24 of the parts.

18 parts pure gold are combined with 6 parts other metals to create 18K gold. These metals may include nickel, silver, copper, zinc, and palladium, depending on the type of gold (for instance, white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold). 18K gold is 75% pure gold when expressed as a percentage.

The ratio of the other metals varies depending on the color of the gold. In contrast, 14K gold is made up of 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts of another metal. In terms of proportion, the pure gold makes up 58.3% of the total metal in a piece of 14K gold jewelry.

Advantages and Drawbacks of 14 and 18 Karat Gold

Both 14K and 18K gold are frequently employed for engagement rings; in fact, both metals are very well-liked choices for engagement ring settings. Both offer particular benefits and drawbacks, including differences in cost, durability, and look. These are listed below.

Benefits of 14K Gold

There are various benefits to 14K gold. The first benefit is the price. An engagement ring made of 14K gold would often cost slightly less than an equivalent ring made of 18K gold since pure gold takes up 58.3 percent of the metal content of 14K gold.

For instance, when 14K gold is selected as the metal, this 2mm solitaire engagement ring from James Allen costs $560. The similar ring from James Allen costs $680 in 18K gold.

Engagement ring with a bezel-set diamond in 14K yellow gold
Engagement Ring with Bezel-Set Diamonds in 14K Yellow Gold – Secure Beauty.
Second, 14K gold is comparatively robust. Gold is a soft, pliable metal that is prone to nicks, bends, and warps. This means that a gold engagement ring will be more easily scratched on door frames, desks, tables, the ground, and other surfaces the purer the gold.

Although 14K gold isn’t as strong as platinum or palladium, the ordinary individual can easily withstand it. Additionally, it is substantially more resilient than 18K gold, making it a better option if your future bride has an active lifestyle or a manual occupation.

Third, although not being as pure as 18K gold, 14K gold preserves the warmth and deep hue that people associate with gold due to its relatively high pure gold percentage. Even though it can appear a little boring next to 18K gold, 14K gold is gorgeous on its own.

Finally, 14K gold is widely used and accessible in the engagement ring industry. About 90% of all rings sold in the US, the UK, and other Western nations are made of this sort of gold, making it by far the most popular choice for engagement rings. It is therefore a simple option to find.

The drawbacks of 14K gold

For the majority of people, 14K gold is the greatest option, which is why it’s so popular.

First of all, 14K gold may not be as aesthetically pleasant to some as 18K gold. Due to its lower gold purity level, 14K gold’s appearance isn’t quite as robust as that of 18K gold, while having a rich and stunning color.

Second, 14K gold is somewhat more likely to cause skin allergies than 18K gold, even though this is unlikely with either grade of gold. This may work in 18K gold’s advantage if your future spouse has an allergy to iron, nickel, copper, zinc, or silver.

Benefits of 18K Gold

The main benefit of 18K gold is its purity. An 18K gold ring gives the stunning beauty of nearly-pure gold with the majority of the practical advantages of an alloy. It is the purest kind of gold that is practical to utilize in an engagement ring.

With 18K yellow or rose gold, which exhibits a warmer, more brilliant tone than 14K gold, this added purity can be especially noticeable.

In comparison to 14K or 10K gold, 18K gold is less prone to cause skin reactions due to its higher purity level. Although nickel and other alloy metals are still present in 18K gold in trace amounts, the likelihood of developing contact dermatitis or other allergic responses is quite low.

The drawbacks of 18K gold

The main benefit of 18K gold, its purity, unfortunately doubles as its largest drawback. Because it contains more pure gold than 14K gold, 18K gold is significantly softer and more prone to dents and scratches.

This implies that an 18K gold ring might not be the greatest option if your future spouse works with her hands or leads an active lifestyle.

The cost of 18K gold is another drawback. As we just noted above, 18K gold is somewhat more expensive than 14K gold, with the majority of 18K gold engagement rings costing between 150 and 200 percent more than their 14K equivalents.


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