14k Rose Gold Vs 18k Rose Gold [November 2019]

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.


  • ~58% gold
  • A significant amount of copper
  • Reddish color
  • Matted surfaced
  • Hard to the touch
  • 18k

  • ~75% gold
  • Less copper than 14k
  • Champagne color
  • Shinier surface
  • Softer than 14k
  • 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.