Let’s do a quick overview to identify the 4 different types of gold that are popular in the US – 24K, 18K, 14K, and 10K.
24K- This represents pure gold (actually 99.9%). This is always the most expensive, and although you might be able to find some jewelry made from pure gold, it is rare to find it in the US. Pure gold is very soft, so it will tend to deform when forged into jewelry. Right now, the cost of gold is just under the $2000/ounce mark.
18K- This is 75% gold and 25% other metals (typically silver and copper). The additional metals are what helps give it the different colors such as white or rose gold. And if you are interested in why Italian gold always looks stunning—their gold pieces must be at 18K level or higher in order to be classified as “gold” jewelry.
14K- This is the majority of fine gold jewelry in the US today. This must have 58.3% gold, with the rest being a mixture of different metals. Because if this, it is typically stronger than the 24K and 18K, but not as brilliant.
10K- This is made out of 41.6% gold and mixed with different metals. For the US, this is the lowest level of “gold” jewelry that can still be marketed as “gold”.
Just as a general note, for people with metal allergies, the lower the Karat, the more awareness one may want to have as to what is being mixed in with the gold.
So, with that, where to you fall in the scale of things? Which Karat do you prefer?