There are some significant differences you may not know about gold that will affect the overall look and durability of your jewellery. In its purest form, gold is incredibly soft; this is not ideal for jewellery for everyday wear. A solution for jewellers was to alloy gold with other metals to increase its strength and resistance.
The purity of gold is measured in Karats with 24 Karat gold being the purest.
Karats are units of measurement that indicate the percentage of pure gold in your jewellery. Be sure you don’t get confused with the term Carat (pronounced the same) which is a unit of measurement for the weight of gemstones.
At Louise Jean, we craft our jewellery in 14K and 18K gold. It’s a good idea to learn about the essential differences between the two so that you can make the best choice for your needs.
Below is a breakdown of the different gold options and their components.
Sometimes it can be hard to see a noticeable difference between 14K & 18K gold. If you want coloured stones in your jewellery, you should consider whether the gold you prefer is a good colour match for your gem of choice. 18K gold will always have a stronger yellow hue, particularly in rose and yellow gold. This is the most popular choice for white/colourless diamonds. 14K metals tend to have less intensity in their colour but are a good choice when opting for coloured gems or diamonds. It is also important to consider your skin colour and tone as you may find a particular karat will compliment you best.
Over the course of wear, it is natural that gold will scratch, bend, and scuff. The Karat of gold can have a minor role in its overall durability, however, gold will never be scratch or damage resistant. Due to the higher percentage of alloy metals, 14K gold offers slightly more resistance to wear and tear than 18K gold. If you are particularly active or have a job where you use your hands and know that your rings may be knocked around from time to time, 14K gold is an excellent option for you. That being said, 18K is still suitable for everyday wear and is a very popular option for Ceremonial pieces.
Gold in its purest form (24K) will not tarnish, however, the base metals alloyed with 14K/18K gold can react when exposed to certain chemicals (perfumes, chlorine, hairspray, harsh cleaning products etc).
The higher the karat, the less likely it is to tarnish. In most cases, your gold jewellery will never show signs of tarnishing. This is often a case by case basis and most to do with the chemistry of your own skin.
You can take a look at our jewellery cleaning and care guide here to help you care for your gold.
14K rings will be less expensive than 18K gold rings due to the lower amount of pure gold in the alloy. At Louise Jean, it costs approximately $150.00 - $200.00AUD (subject to change) extra to use 18K gold over 14K.
Before making your final decision we encourage you to have a look at some side by side comparison in person either by booking an appointment to visit our showroom on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. Alternatively, we can assist with any additional questions via email.