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What is the Difference Between Gold 14K vs 18K?

 Can jewelry be made out of pure gold? How similar are gold 14K vs 18K? 18K gold and 14k gold have different alloys. 18-karat gold and 14-karat gold differ in terms of purity. Gold jewelry is always combined with other metals for durability. The amount of gold in an alloy is the determinant of gold purity. Karat is the unit of measure for gold. Gold is mixed with other metals because it is a soft metal that can quickly wrap up and dent. Looking at them, most people cannot tell the difference between gold 14K vs 18K.

What is the difference between gold 14K vs 18K?

Gold 14K vs 18K – Purity:

 18-karat gold is purer than 14-karat gold; thus more expensive: 1-karat gold is equivalent to 1/24 gold. Therefore 14-karat gold is 14/24 or 58.3% gold, while 18-karat gold is 18/24 or 75% gold.

Gold 14K vs 18K – Hardness:

14-karat gold is harder than 18-karat gold and is softer because 14-k gold contains more metals and less gold, which provide resistance to wear and tear. Lower quality gold has the most rigid alloy. 

Gold 14K vs 18K – Durability:

18-karat gold will wear out more quickly than 14-karat gold because it has more gold and gold is a soft metal. This hardness makes 14-k gold more durable, and the softness of 18-k gold makes it prone to bending. 18-k gold jewelry can last up to 2 years before it starts to wear out, especially if worn daily.

Gold 14K vs 18K – Colorful:

More gold content in metal makes the jewelry appear more colorful. There is a visible color difference between 18-k gold and 14-k gold. 18-karat gold is warmer and more saturated, while 14-karat gold has an intense yellow hue. Sometimes, 14-k gold can look much similar to 18-k gold, depending on other metals combined in the jewelry. Someone who wants a more romantic feel can go for rose gold.

stackable gold rings

Gold 14K vs 18K – Allergy:

Allergic individuals can be more sensitive to 14-k gold and less likely with 18-k gold. Allergic reaction is caused by nickel metal, which is used in gold alloys in lower karat gold. Individuals who are sensitive to nickel need higher karat gold.

What other metals are used in gold? In its pure state, gold is a dark yellow-colored metal. Gold metal is much darker than 14k gold and 18-k gold. Other metals such as copper, nickel, palladium, and silver are mixed with gold to appear lighter. Gold is used in jewelry because it can be shaped easily into different designs. 

Between gold 14k vs 18k, which one should you pick for your wedding band?

  • Lifestyle/ occupation: 18-k gold is more likely to wear out quickly than 14-k gold. Your career and lifestyle will determine your selection, especially if your wedding band is a piece of everyday jewelry. For example, if you perform manual labor, or play a sport, consider investing in a 14-k gold band, but if you are a computer geek, then 18-k gold will serve you. 
  • Cost: 18-k gold is pricier than 14-k, gold-approximately 200% as much as 14-k gold. More gold in jewelry makes the jewel more valuable and thus more expensive. The 18-k gold band is heavier, about 15% heavier than 14-k gold, costs more labor to make, and will feel denser on your finger. 14-k gold is more famous for engagement rings because of its affordability. If you are trying to buy jewelry on a budget, 18-k gold is not the perfect choice.
  • Your skin tone and sensitivity: If you are prone to allergic reactions, then a choice of higher gold quality will suit you. Gold metals come in various colors: white, yellow, and rose gold. Both 14-k and 18-k gold are beautiful pieces, and your choice based on color is a personal preference. For example, white gold looks better with cooler skin tones, and yellow gold matches warmer skin tones.
  • Value and pride: Is it necessary for you or your partner to wear a ring made out of the highest purity of gold? Wearing an 18-k gold ring will give you more bragging rights. If you intend to resell the ring, it will have more value. 

Can you mix both 14k and 18k gold?

You can wear both. Some people prefer to have separate wedding rings and engagement rings. In addition, it is very thoughtful to have 14-k and 18-k rings, one offers durability, and the other is more visually appealing. Most people prefer their engagement rings in 14k and their wedding rings in 18k. When wearing both, have the 18-karat gold sit higher. What about the color difference? Would you wear rose gold and white gold together on the same finger? It depends on your personal preference and sense of style. Alternatively, you can wear rose gold on one hand and white gold on the other.

How can you keep your gold jewelry looking good?

Your gold jewelry will maintain its rich, timeless luster if adequately cared for properly. When gold is exposed to dust, sweat and moisture can lose radiance. Top tips to keep the shine and beautiful brilliance of your gold jewelry;

  • Clean with a two-part mild dish soap solution and ten parts warm water using your fingers and a soft cloth. After cleaning, leave to air dry.
  • Regularly professionally polish to remove scratches. 
  • Remove your jewelry before showering.
  • Clean your gold jewelry separately from other gemstones.
  •  Proper storage; store your jewelry separately in individual bags or wrapped in a tissue. Proper storage will prevent your pieces from scratching. You can add silica packets to absorb excess moisture,
  • Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals such as chlorine and cleaning agents- do not wear your jewelry in the pool.
  •  Remove your ring before you handle challenging tasks to avoid scratching.

If you are uncertain about cleaning your gold jewelry, don’t do it yourself; take it to a professional jeweler.


18-Karat gold and 14-karat gold are among the most popular selections of precious metals. They are beautifully distinct and have unique qualities- none outweighs the other. Your choice should be based on your personal preference, and you can always have both. However, 14-karat gold bands and jewelry are widely available and easy to find as they are the popular type of gold for engagement rings.

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