What’s The Difference Between 10, 14, 18 and 24 Karat Gold?

What’s The Difference Between 10, 14, 18 and 24 Karat Gold?

Ever wonder what the difference is between the different karats of gold? Why is one worth more than another? Let’s start with 24K (Karat) gold, which is pure gold. This is what trades on the commodities market and is what you think about when it comes to bars of gold like you see in the movies. This is also what collectors and traders tend to save for investment purposes. As a metal for jewelry however, while it may be beautiful, it is soft and pliable meaning it is not always practical. Certain countries do make jewelry out pure 24K gold, particularly in Asia, but for general everyday use, it doesn’t tend to hold up well. That’s why they mix gold with other metals and alloys to make it stronger and more durable. 

When gold is mized with other metals it is generally measured as 18K  (75% gold and 25% other metals), 14K which (58.3% gold), or 10K which (41.7% gold). These items may also be marked to indicate the percent of gold:

24 Karat 99.9% Gold 24K 999
18 Karat  75% Gold 18K 750
14 Karat 58.5% Gold 14K 585
10 Karat 41.7% Gold 10K 417

What is 18 Karat Gold?

18K gold is very popular in European countries and is more durable than 24k or pure gold, however it is still a softer metal so items like rings and bracelets that get knocked around will show more wear as a result. For items like earrings and necklaces that don’t get banged around, 18K gold offers a deeper golden yellow color for added visual appeal and should hold up just as well.

What is 14 Karat Gold?

14K gold is the most common type of gold in places like the United States. It is durable enough for most jewelry and tends to wear well. 10K gold is possibly the most durable as it is more than half other metals. It still holds most of the rich golden color of higher karat jewelry, but can withstand daily use. People who work with their hands in things like construction or constantly cooking or cleaning may benefit from the durability. 

Price wise, the higher the gold content, the higher the karat of gold and therefore the higher the price for the item. 

Contact Empire Loan!

If you have any questions about what your jewelry is worth or any of the services we provide at Empire Loan, please feel free to contact us! It doesn’t matter what condition your jewelry is in; broken, damaged, missing pieces, or badly out of style, Empire Loan pays more than anybody for your unwanted gold, silver, or platinum. Contact us at any one of our eight locations or call us toll free at (800) 375-PAWN.