Gold jewelry is classic, sophisticated, and shows off a luxurious sense of style. However, not all gold is the same. Since gold is a malleable and delicate metal in its most pure form, it is mixed with other alloys to produce a more durable and wearable shape. Common alloys used to blend with gold include copper, nickel, zinc, and silver. These alloys help strengthen pure gold, but they also influence gold jewelry's overall purity and karat number.
The term gold karat is used as a measurement to identify the purity of gold jewelry. Gold's purity is assessed and given a karat number to help customers find the best gold jewelry to suit their style. This blog will discuss the differences between gold karats to identify how gold's purity is rated and what to know when buying different gold karats.
The purest form of gold with the highest rated clarity is 24 karat gold. With 100 percent purity, 24k gold has a high-quality shine and a luxurious reputation. Since the clarity of this gold is so pure, the price of 24k gold jewelry is often the highest compared to other karats.
However, there are downsides to investing in 24k gold jewelry. Despite its clear brilliance and clarity, gold in its purest form is incredibly fragile and tender. Wearing 24k jewelry during everyday tasks will inevitably lead to scratches and nicks in jewelry, making it a risky investment. When buying 24k jewelry, always consider the maintenance and repairs needed to keep this jewelry in peak condition. It is also recommended to avoid wearing 24k gold jewelry during everyday tasks where jewelry is more likely to become worn and damaged. Instead, wear 24k jewelry to special events and occasions to show off their luxurious shine and style without any risks of damage.
The next highest clarity rating for gold jewelry is 22 karats. Jewelry with 22k gold contains a mixture of an estimated 92 percent gold and 8 percent alloyed metals. The alloyed metals used to mix with 22k gold vary, but the most common combinations are silver, zinc, and nickel.
Gold of this karat purity carries the best of both worlds for luxury and wear. The added alloys in this karat solidify and protect the pure gold's fragile exterior and prepare jewelry to withstand more wear than 24k jewelry. However, while 22k jewelry is less fragile than 24k gold, both these karats are two of the most delicate types of gold to be used in jewelry. Jewelry with 22k gold should also be worn for events or special occasions to prevent damage from everyday wear.
Jewelry with 18 karat gold is the most sought-after gold by customers because of its high quality, reasonable pricing, and durability. Gold with 18 karats is mixed with 75 percent gold and 25 percent alloyed metals. The hue and shine of 18k gold jewelry are also more traditionally yellow than karats of lesser clarity.
The more formidable quality of 18k gold karat jewelry also makes it easier for shaping and designing intricate jewelry pieces. For example, 18k yellow gold or white gold can be plated and shaped into long-wear necklaces and pendants. The rare combination of high-quality brilliance and resilience in 18k gold jewelry makes this jewelry the best for styling and showing off with your best outfits. Statement pieces like gold link chains with cross pendants can shine and show class without the stress of damaged or delicate metal.
When looking for jewelry with high durability, 14 karat gold jewelry is an optimal karat grade to find jewelry that will suit your style and last a lifetime. If you're looking for a ring or necklace to wear every day through thick and thin, 14k gold will give you long-lasting jewelry without a poor-quality shine.
Gold with 14 karats is made up of 58 percent gold and 42 percent alloyed metals. This even split between and gold and metals help to create the classic look and appearance of gold with higher resilience and wear. The coloration of 14k gold is more likely to be a lighter hue of yellow than 18k jewelry because it has less pure gold present in its composition.
The lesser purity of 14k gold jewelry does not mean it is of more inferior quality, though. In fact, 14k gold is commonly bought and used in luxury items such as engagement rings and wedding bands. Jewelry with this karat grade makes a recognizable and luxurious gold shine accessible to everyday tasks and life events.
The main difference between gold karats above and below 14 karats is the gold’s overall quality and clarity. Jewelry with less than 14k gold will often appear blurrier in coloration and shine. When buying gold less than 14k, always check the metal for a certified stamp to indicate the precise karat quality number. Gold with 10k and above should have a certification to show its quality before purchase. Since there is a higher percentage of alloyed metals present in 14k gold jewelry, it is recommended to check what alloyed metals are mixed with the gold to prevent possible skin reactions and conditions. High percentages of nickel and zinc are more likely to cause allergic reactions, whereas silver and copper-alloyed mixtures are less often irritating to sensitive skin.
While gold karats are categorized and defined by their metallic makeup, these types of gold mainly serve different functions. Customers browsing for formal jewelry with a bright brilliance and shine will be more suited for 24k and 22k jewelry. Customers who prefer intricate designs and wear their jewelry to accessorize more of their everyday style are more likely to gravitate toward 18k jewelry. Those who need quality gold jewelry that will last a lifetime will pair best with 14k jewelry. Each type of karat will help customers find the best gold to suit their style.
Here at Gold Presidents, we offer a wide array of high-quality gold jewelry available in different karats to help you find the best jewelry to elevate your style. Browse our website to learn more about different trends in fashion and jewelry, and shop for custom jewelry and designs.
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