When someone starts shopping for gold jewelry, they will see several varieties, which can make the decision somewhat confusing. This is why it is essential to learn more about 14K jewelry and how it differs from some other gold jewelry options available today.
What Does it Mean if Jewelry is Labeled 14K?
When something is marked 14 karat gold, it means it is an alloy that contains 58.3% yellow gold. The rest is other metals, such as zinc and copper. These metals make the gold harder, and they influence the color. Gold with higher purity levels is softer than the lower purity gold. This means that 14k Gold jewelry is not as hard as 10K, but it is considered an option that will withstand wear and tear more than 18K, 22K, or 24K.
Now that the basics are understood, it is smart to learn about why 14K gold may be better than 24K jewelry options. For this, some context may be needed.
Is This Jewelry Real?
14K is real gold, but it is not pure gold. As mentioned before, pure gold is a soft metal. It is not suitable for jewelry, in most cases, because it would get scratched very easily and wear out quickly. Other metals are added to solve this issue in set amounts to increase the durability for gold used for earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry pieces.
Remember, though, just because 14k Gold earrings are not completely gold, it doesn’t mean this is fake jewelry. The other metals are added to help make the pieces more durable for day to day wear.
How is 14K Gold Made?
Gold is mined from the Earth. All gold begins as yellow gold. Rose gold, black gold, and white gold are all created through plating or metal mix-ins.
Pure gold is called 24 karat gold, and there are no other metals mixed in it. Gold with less purity, which has other metals mixed in it, has a purity expressed as the total number of parts (with the highest being 24) made of gold. With 14K gold, there are 14 parts pure gold along with 10 parts of other metal. This makes it 58.3% pure gold.
In 14K gold, the second largest ingredient is copper. While zinc is another common metal mixed in, it is added in smaller quantities. Now it is time to learn more about why 14K gold is the best option for jewelry.
Some jewelry is much more than a fashion accessory—it has true sentimental value. For example, a jewelry fashion trending among celebrities is wearing a chain, bracelet, or necklace with initials. Usually, the initials represent someone that is special to them, such as a child or partner.
If these were made of 24K gold, it would be extremely soft and scratch easily. When 14K gold is used, the jewelry pieces are much harder. If someone wants to get the beautiful look offered by quality gold, but they also want a high level of durability, 14K is the best option. Even for those who have enough money for the 24K option, they will choose 14K because of the extra level of durability that it has.
14K Gold Provides Better Durability and Safety
Since 24K gold does not have any other metals mixed in, it is the safest type of gold for people with sensitive skin. However, it is too soft for some jewelry applications. This is why people who have metal sensitivity will choose 18K or 14K gold options. Even though these options have other metals in the mix, they are not at a high enough percentage to cause serious reactions for most people.
An added advantage offered by selecting 14K instead of 18K is that it is much more durable. Again, when it comes to jewelry, having the highest level of durability possible is essential.
Take note, though, that white gold is something many people with sensitive skin will try to avoid, no matter the karat value. Sometimes, white gold has nickel added which may often cause skin reactions. If someone is aware that they have metal allergies, they should try to stick to either rose or yellow gold.
Rose Gold and White Gold Are Not Sold in 24K Options
When shopping for jewelry, a person must consider something besides 24K gold if they ever want to purchase white gold or rose gold. Keep in mind, rose gold is very popular right now. Just think about all the rose gold iPhones that have been sold.
Since rose gold and white gold cannot be purchased in 24K, 18K or 14K will be the most common and the highest-quality available options. Again, though, 14K provides much higher durability than the other options, and this is usually top of mind when it comes to buying any type of jewelry.
14K Is More Affordable Than 24K
For many buyers, money is the main focus, but it is an afterthought for others. Both groups of people have compelling reasons to go with 14K gold pieces rather than 24K gold jewelry. The financial savings that are possible when selecting 14K for gold come in two ways to the buyer. It has a lower initial price point, and it has lower lifetime costs for repairs and replacement.
Pure gold is a good option for gold bricks that are going to sit in a safe and never be touched, but it is not smart for an option with jewelry that is worn each day. During normal activities, this jewelry is going to come in contact with all types of everyday objects that may damage or scratch it, which is why durability is essential.
Choosing the Right Gold
Selecting the right gold may seem like a daunting process, but when it comes to jewelry, choosing 14K just makes sense. It will last longer and avoid damage more effectively than other types of gold that are available today. Being informed and knowing the differences are the best ways to find the right gold jewelry options.