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The difference between 14k gold and 18k gold

- A comprehensive guide

Many of our customers know and understand that gold alloy comes in different purity levels. However most do not know the deeper meaning and the other differences between 14k and 18k gold. 

This blog article will go in to details of the meaning of the gold alloys while  focus on these 3 main gold colours: 

1. 14k white gold vs 18k white gold

2. 14k rose gold vs 18k rose gold

3. 14k yellow gold vs 18k yellow gold

14K VS 18K Gold - the common basics

What is 14 karat gold? What is 18 karat gold? 

14K gold, also known as 585 gold, is a gold alloy that contains 58.5% gold. The other 41.5% is other metals that are mixed in the alloy. 

18K gold, also known as 750 gold. Is a gold alloy that contains 75% gold. The other 25% is comprised from other metals 

Why do you have to mix gold with other metals in order to produce diamond jewellery? 
Gold is a soft metal and therefore is not suitable for setting diamonds or any other gems for that matter.

What are the other differences between 14k white gold vs 18k white gold?

You might not realise this but there is no such thing as white gold. Gold is a very yellow metal and even when mixed in with other metals, like silver, palladium, all white metals, it still has a yellow tinge. This is why any white gold, 18k or 14k are plated with rhodium. The rhodium cover gives the gold alloy the well known white gold colour you know and are looking for. So from the outside both gold alloys look exactly the same!

Under the rhodium cover, though, the 18k white gold is actually a bit more yellow than the 14k since it contains more pure gold that is, of course, yellow.


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The main difference between 14k and 18k white gold is the durability.  Since 14k gold holds less gold it is more durable for the long term! Also it is less expensive since it contains less pure gold. 


So, bottom line should you choose 14k or 18k white gold?

  • 14k is more durable than 18k white gold. 

  • 14K is cheaper than 18k gold. 

  • 14k looks the same as 18k white gold. 


For us the logical decision is clear but still most people in Singapore stick to the 18k gold standard.

Unlike the white gold that we covered before, there is no plating with rose gold alloy 18k or 14k. So you can actually see the difference between the two gold alloys with your eyes. The 14k rose gold contains more copper and is more pink in colour. The 18k contains copper as well, but less of it so its colour is more orangey 


Durability wise, the 14k rose gold is considered the most fragile gold alloy as the copper that gives it the colour also has some disadvantages from a goldsmithing point of view.  In this sense, 18k rose gold, even though more expensive, is a better choice for the long run. 

What are the other differences between 14k white gold vs 18k white gold?

What are the other differences between 14k white gold vs 18k white gold?

The 14k gold alloy is, well, less gold in colour. It is a paler shade of yellow than the 18K gold that is much closer to the pure gold shade. The choice here is very much estetic - some do prefer the more neutral gold colour and others like the rich gold colour. Durability wise, as with white gold, the 14k is more durable than the 18k yellow gold. Price - the price is always higher for 18k.

Come visit our showroom to pick the best Carat size that works for you!

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