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14k vs 18k Gold

9 mins read time
14 and 18 karat gold bracelets hanging on a rack

In the past, you've been quick to buy any kind of jewelry off the rack, despite its contents. It's not uncommon for others to do the same. Often, the piece of jewelry in front of our eyes is much more appealing than its high-quality counterpart. 

However, each time you made one of these spur-of-the-moment jewelry decisions, you later regretted it. Why? Your jewelry contained lower-quality metal. When it comes to buying quality gold jewelry, karats make a difference. 

The Differences Between 14-Karat Gold and 18-Karat Gold

Maybe you've never fully known the distinction between 14-karat gold and 18-karat gold. You might have thought it's simply another descriptor that doesn't affect your jewelry's worth that much. 

Contrarily, this karat amount plays a significant role in the jewelry you wear, so it's worth understanding. Today, we'll learn the differences between the two and determine which option you should choose for your fine jewelry purchases. 

They Differ in Value 

You'd most likely know that a diamond with a one-carat weight is less valuable than a diamond with a two-carat weight. Similarly, there's a difference in value between these two karat amounts, which affects their respective price points as well. Perhaps you already knew that 18-karat gold holds more worth. Do you know why? Let's take a look at the reason. 

They Differ in Composition 

The reason 18-karat gold holds an advantage over 14-karat gold is because of its composition. As you may know, the purest gold is 24-karat gold because it contains no alloy metals. It's interesting to note that while this type of gold is most treasured, it's much too weak to use for jewelry. As such, harder metals are added to gold's composition to make it durable enough for use in jewelry. 

With that said, 14-karat gold and 18-karat gold are terms signifying a percentage of pure gold. We'll spare you from doing the math equation yourself; 14-karat gold contains 58.3% gold while 18-karat gold contains 75%. You might be wondering what metals comprise the rest of the alloy. Typically, these alloys will contain silver and copper, but they have also been known to contain nickel and zinc on occasion. 

You Can See the Difference in Tarnishing 

Pure gold can't tarnish or rust. That's one of the reasons why 24-karat gold is so valuable. When a metalsmith adds alloy metals to pure gold, the opportunity for tarnishing increases. With this in mind, 14-karat gold has a greater chance of tarnishing based on its higher silver and copper contents. However, 18-karat gold is much more resistant to tarnishing since it contains fewer alloy substances. 

They Differ in Durability 

There's one benefit to adding alloy metals to pure gold: strength. Since purer gold is soft, it's prone to scratching and denting over time. Thankfully, metals such as silver and copper are much more resistant to everyday scratches. 

When pure gold is alloyed with other metals, it keeps its brilliant glow while inheriting durability that helps your jewelry last for much longer. In this respect, 14-karat gold is slightly denser than 18-karat gold, meaning it's less likely to scratch over years of wear. 

One May Be More Hypoallergenic 

Unfortunately, some people suffer from allergic reactions to nickel and zinc. These reactions usually appear in the form of irritation when you try to wear jewelry that contains too high a percentage of alloy metals. If you experience discomfort with cheap earrings, rings, and necklaces, you could be reacting to the alloy metals present in its composition. To avoid high amounts of nickel, you should opt for 18-karat gold since it has a higher gold content. 

Which Is the Clear Choice? 

There are some contexts where 14-karat gold is appropriate. If you'd like to purchase a piece of jewelry for a friend, you may opt for 14-karat gold to stay within a budget. However, on the whole, 18-karat gold is the clear lead for your fine jewelry. 

Its alloy composition makes it the most durable metal with a high gold concentration. So, go for 18-karat gold. You owe it to yourself to wear pieces that contain only the highest quality materials. 

Where To Find the Best 18-Karat Gold Jewelry 

Have you been thinking of expanding your fine jewelry collection? There's no time like the present. After learning some of the distinctions between these two metal varieties, you may feel compelled to invest in a piece of fine handcrafted 18-karat gold jewelry for its unmatched strength and value combination. At Noémie, we proudly offer you a selection of fine jewelry that uses the best high-quality jewels and metals. Let's explore a few of our favorite pieces. 

The Noémie Diamond Eternity Band Ring 

Is there anything as classic as an eternity ring? This piece is ever-radiant and perfect for daily wear. Our Diamond Eternity Band features high-quality 18-karat gold with pavé diamonds set fully around the band's circumference. You can select your preferred color of 18-karat gold or platinum when customizing this ring. Wear it alone on one hand or pair it with an engagement ring to create a set that dazzles. 

The Noémie Tennis Bracelet 

There's a piece of jewelry every woman should have in her jewelry box: the tennis bracelet. While this piece has been around for a century by the name "diamond line bracelet," the nickname of the tennis bracelet has brought new life into a classic piece. When you order our Noémie Tennis Bracelet for yourself, you can select your preference of 18-karat gold in black gold, white gold, and rose gold. 

The Noémie Split-Hoop 1920s Diamond Earrings

Do you adore vintage styles? If so, our Split-Hoop 1920s-inspired Diamond Earrings may be the piece you've been looking to add to your collection. These splendid earrings feature an 18-karat yellow gold teardrop-shaped design with clusters of VS clarity diamonds suspended in the middle of each split hoop. Wear them on a night out to add a touch of historic luxury to your look. 

The Noémie Compass Diamond Pendant 

Your jewelry can be both breath-taking and meaningful. Have you recently broken free from a season of life that was filled with twists and turns? You can celebrate your resilient spirit with our Noémie Compass Diamond Pendant. This delicate piece features a compass etched into the pendant's face, with white diamonds sparkling around its perimeter. 

The Noémie Custom Name Necklace 

There's no jewelry as meaningful as personalized jewelry. Our Noémie Custom Name Necklace makes it easy to recognize the person you love or to hold a sentimental word close to your heart. You can make this piece even more personal by selecting your color choice of 18-karat gold and specifying whether you'd like your piece to be glowing with diamonds. You're free to keep it for yourself or give this piece away to someone you love dearly. 

To Sum It Up 

We hope it's more evident to you why 18-karat gold is the top-tier choice for jewelry lovers. When you shop with Noémie fine jewelry, you can be confident in the caliber of your diamonds as well as your gold. We only use the most commendable materials for your benefit, so that your only worry is selecting the 18-karat gold piece that suits you most.


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