An Introduction to Karatage
You’ve probably heard the terms “14-karat”, “18-karat”, or “24-karat”. People use these words to describe the quality of gold.
But, what does the word “karat” even mean? Why does it matter?
Well, karatage is actually a unit of measurement. Jewelers use the term to describe the amount of pure gold that exists inside an object.
24-karat gold, for example, is 100% pure. You can’t get any more authentic than 24 karats.
However, gold is a very soft material. So, you can’t actually make anything with a 24-karat purity.
So, most of the jewelry you’ll find it 18k (18-karat) or less.
In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between 18-karat gold and 14-karat gold. Specifically, we’ll discuss why more karats aren’t always better.
Research / Frequent Questions
14k Rose Gold
Because gold is so soft, jewelers mix in a metal alloy to harden it. This is the substance that makes it tougher, more durable, and wearable as jewelry.
As I explained above, a 24k gold ring is 100% gold. Anything less than 24k has a certain amount of alloy integrated into it.
14k gold is roughly 58% pure. The remaining 42% is a metal alloy.
In rose gold, specifically, the alloy is a mixture of copper, zinc, and silver.
18k Rose Gold
18k gold is slightly purer than 14k. Thus, it’s a bit softer.
However, the more alloy you add to gold, the less it actually looks like gold. So, 14k tends to be a bit copper-colored. 18k gold, on the other hand, is more of a traditional yellow shade.
In most cases, rose gold is already pinkish. Many people opt for this color to mask the fact that their jewelry contains metal alloys. It’s a great way to save money on jewelry without having to show for it.
14k vs 18k Rose Gold
Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between 14k rose gold and 18k rose gold.
As you might imagine 14k gold is less expensive than 18k. However, many people opt for 14k for its durability and longevity, not necessarily its price.