What Is the Difference Between 10, 14, 18 & 24 Carat Gold?

Gold is a precious commodity that is used to manufacture coins, artifacts and jewelry. It also has health uses, such as in dental implants and crowns. The value of gold is measured by purity, which is determined by the number of other metals the gold contains. Gold dealers use several methods to evaluate the purity of gold, including the use of nitric acid. Typically, gold is offered in 10, 14, 18 and 24-carat choices, each representing a different level of purity.

Carat Definition

A carat is a unit of measurement used to describe the purity of an element based on 24 whole parts. Jewelry that is entirely composed of a single element is considered 100 percent pure and is described as being 24-carat. However, gold that is 100 percent pure is typically too soft to be made into jewelry and is often mixed with another metal to ensure a durable structure.


Though 24-carat gold is the softest of all gold carats, it is still the most expensive gold available for purchase. 24-carat gold is defined as 100 percent pure. 18-carat gold is considered 75 percent pure because only 18 of its 24 parts are gold. Fourteen-carat gold is 58.3 percent pure, as 14 out of its 24 parts are made of gold, and 10-carat gold is 41.6 percent pure, with only 10 of its 24 parts consisting of gold.

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Because 24-carat gold is pure, it is not combined with another type of metal, which is not the case for 18, 14 and 10-carat gold. Metals added to these gold carats are known as alloys, which can affect the price of the gold. Commonly used alloys include silver, copper, zinc, nickel, palladium and platinum. The price of gold jewelry is dependent in part on the kind of alloy it contains. In general, a platinum alloy is the most expensive because of its durability and purity.

Yellow, White and Rose

Differences exist in gold colors based on the alloy the gold contains. Yellow gold is typically 14 and 18-carat gold and has a deep orange tint. Zinc and silver are common alloys in yellow gold, which hardens the jewelry but preserves the rich color. White gold is also produced from 14 and 18-carat gold, but contains alloys such as silver, platinum and palladium, which dilutes the gold hue and creates a silver color that looks very similar to pure platinum jewelry. Rose gold is less common than yellow and white gold and contains a copper alloy that gives the gold a pink-rose hue. It is generally produced from 9 / 10 and 14-carat gold.

Anybody shopping for gold jewelry will quickly find that one of the most important components of a piece of jewelry’s description is its karat value. Gold jewelry can typically be found in 18-karat, 14-karat and 9-karat forms in the United States. Other countries sometimes carry gold jewelry in 22-karat and 10-karat forms as well.


Karats are used to measure the purity of gold in jewelry. Completely pure gold is considered to be 24 karats, and gold jewelry marked with any number less than 24 has only that many parts of gold, with the remainder comprised of other metals known as alloys. 18-karat gold is 18 parts gold to 6 parts alloys, or 75 percent gold. 14-karat gold is 14 parts gold to 10 parts alloys, or 58.3 percent gold.


Both 14-karat and 18-karat gold are commonly used to make men’s and women’s rings and women’s fine jewelry such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Gold jewelry typically contains 18-karat or 14-karat gold because 24-karat gold is too soft and shows signs of wear far sooner than jewelry made of gold mixed with other metals.


Eighteen-karat gold is more expensive to purchase than 14-karat gold because of its higher content of gold. The cost difference is not necessarily proportional to the amount of gold in the jewelry because other factors such as the design of the jewelry also affect the price. Because men’s rings are typically larger and heavier than women’s, many couples choose to purchase a man’s ring made with 14-karat gold or even 9-karat gold because they are less expensive than 18-karat gold. The cost difference on a woman’s ring is not as significant because it contains less metal.


Pure gold is softer than the alloys used to make 14-karat and 18-karat gold jewelry. The main purpose of the alloy is to make the jewelry harder and more durable. Because 14-karat gold contains a higher percentage of an alloy than 18-karat gold, it is slightly more durable to the wear and tear of general use. However, this difference is so small that many people consider it to be insignificant in practical terms.

White Gold

White gold, like yellow gold, comes in both 18-karat and 14-karat forms. White gold has alloys with a whiter color such as nickel and zinc mixed in with the pure gold. Because 14-karat white gold contains more of the white-colored alloys than 18-karat white gold, it is likely to appear whiter than 18-karat gold, which has a yellow tinge to it. However, both 18-karat and 14-karat white gold rings are typically plated with rhodium, a very white metal that hides the yellowish tint.


Gold is the material we use with the platinium and silver for the Sibani Pearls Collections. In few days we will discover the words of diamonds and precious stones and we will arrive to the Pearl and I will share with you my love with the most beautifull pearl in the world, the queen of pearl.

The «Tahitian Black Pearl» who

Thanks to sciencing and Joan Reinbold foor their perpetual assistance.

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