Buying gold is a serious business, as serious as a heart attack. You should know this now that you are here. If you have ever picked up a piece of gold jewelry and seen an alphabet-number combination that you did not understand on it, we have you sufficiently covered in this article to understand how it actually works. You’re all about making the right choice for your purchase of gold jewelry and that’s just fair.
With the advancements of jewelry pieces and all kinds of new spectacular inventions now in the market, jewelry shopping has come to require more carefulness and good understanding. The truth is many different types of gold jewelry exist.
The specifications of 14 Karat and 10 Karat is an indication that two jewelry pieces, though made from the same major material of gold, are still of different types. But no worries, in this article, we will answer this question: Is 10K gold better than 14k gold?
10k Gold VS 14k Gold
What is unknown about gold is that it is a soft metal. Thus, the more gold content a particular piece of jewelry has, the softer that piece of jewelry is going to be.
What does this mean for production? To increase the strength and durability of gold jewelry, it is usually mixed with other metallic materials like nickel, zinc, palladium, copper, platinum, and silver to mention but a few. This mixture is what results in different gold types.
Although increasing the strength of the gold jewelry, adding other materials makes the gold impure. To measure the purity level of the resultant gold alloy, a karat grading system is used.
This karat grading system measures the ratio of gold to other secondary metals added to make the piece of jewelry. The alphabet-number combination you see on the jewelry is the karat number. Typically, it is imprinted on the gold jewelry.
Difference Between 10K Gold and 14K Gold
Let’s give you a few more lessons from the goldsmith’s shop here.
Pure gold, which is devoid of any additions, has the highest karat number – 24 karats. What this means is that of the 24 parts that gold typically has, all 24 parts are filled up by gold material. Depending on the amount of gold in the jewelry, we can have 10k, 14k, 18k, 20k gold pieces.
Of all of these, the 10k and the 14k gold pieces seem to be the most commonly purchased. When we say 14-karats gold (often written as 14k gold), we mean that the piece of gold jewelry is made up of 14 parts of gold and 10 parts of secondary metals.
The combination of metals used will be dependent on the maker and what he hopes to achieve. These 14 parts of the gold amount to about 58.3%. thus, such a piece of gold jewelry is said to be just 58.3% pure.
Conversely, if you see 10k written on a jewelry piece, what it means is that only 10 parts of its content are made of gold while the remaining 14 parts are made of other alloys. This kind of gold jewelry is just about 41.7% pure.
So which should you buy?
The question then remains, which should I purchase? Which is better, the 10k gold or the 14k gold? For us to get this clear, we must bear in mind that the difference in constituent parts results in more observable differences which include the following.
1. Appearance: The more gold is contained in the alloy with which the jewelry is made, the more yellow the piece will appear, so the shinier it is. Thus, 14k gold will appear more yellow than the 10k gold due to its lower gold content. You think that is obvious, right? Nope! It will usually take a trained eye to see it but it does not mean that difference does not exist.
2. Durability and Strength: The softer gold is, the easier it is for it to get scratched or bent while in use or in an attempt to store it. This means that in terms of durability, all other factors kept constant, the 10k gold is harder and more durable than the 14k gold (Gold content is just one of the factors that influence durability. The proportion and type of materials used also determines the durability. Thus, 14karat gold is harder than 10 karat gold)
3. Cost of jewelry: 10k gold is typically cheaper than 14k gold. Why? Oh well, it is simply because the 14k gold has more gold content than the 10k gold. More gold, more money.
4. Allergic reactions: The 10 karat gold is more likely to produce allergic reactions than the 14 karat gold because the 10k gold contains a higher percentage of secondary metals. Particularly in individuals that are allergic to nickel, the 10k gold is more likely to cause irritation of the skin, rashes, itching, redness, etc than the 14k gold.
Which is Better: 10k Gold or 14k Gold?
Armed with this knowledge of the differences that exist between the 10k and the 14k gold, you will realize then that one is not outrightly better than the other. It just depends on what you want.
For example, if you want a scratch-resistant and durable gold jewelry because of the volume of use it will attract, the 10k gold is the better choice. If you want the cheaper option available, then the 10k gold piece is also the option to go for.
However, if you are looking for something with a better and more vibrant appearance, not overly expensive and which puts you at the least risk of an unwanted allergic reaction, and you do not mind trading in a little durability for to get what you want, the 14k gold jewelry piece is your best choice.
This is probably why in most respected jewelers shop, the 14 karat gold is the readily available jewelry.
Final Words: Over to You
Ready to make hit the jewelry market like a storm? You’ve certainly got what it takes now and we wish you a good time adding to your jewelry box. If you enjoyed this article, you can see more than we have written on cleaning your gold here and there is something on diamonds here that you’d love to read.