We value creating quality jewellery that lasts. Jewellery is both a personal and considered investment that will last for generations to come, which is why we are extremely selective of the precious metals and metal suppliers we chose to work with.
Our high-grade gold is supplied by one of Australian’s leading specialists of precious metals and jewellery production. All of their metals are alloyed in-house primarily from post-consumer and recycled metals, guaranteeing the quality of product, traceability of supply-chain and responsible practice.
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 (24K) is incredibly soft; this is not ideal for jewellery for everyday wear. For this reason, other precious and base metals, such as palladium, copper and zinc, are alloyed to create a stronger and durable metal.
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 a diamond or gemstone.
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.
14K vs 18K appearanceBoth 14K and 18K are equally popular for Louise Jean engagement and wedding rings. For some, there is very little visual difference between the two, and for others, there is a clear favourite.
Top: 18K | Bottom: 14K
14K vs 18K appearance
Rose gold has become increasingly popular over the years due to the feminine and romantic appeal. The pink tone is due to additional copper when alloyed with pure gold, giving the metal, its unique blush tone.
Our 14K is visually unique compared to the standard 14K rose gold you may see from other jewellers. It is best described as a ‘champagne’ rose and has a more subtle peach undertone. Champagne diamonds and like-coloured stones (pink sapphires for example) complement this metal beautifully. This option tends to be the metal of choice for those who aren’t necessarily a drawn to yellow or rose but still want a warm metal colour.
Our 18K is much lusher in colour and provides a great contrast with bright, colourless diamonds. This is an excellent choice if you are very fond of the traditional colour of rose and have a preference for a more lustrous metal.
Top: 18K | Bottom: 14K
14K vs 18K appearance
White gold is another popular choice and is often selected by those who prefer neutral metal tones. The ‘white’ colour is created when either platinum or palladium are added to pure gold (along with a smaller amount of other base metals). It is then finished with a plating of rhodium to give it a brighter silver-like lustre. With everyday wear, the rhodium plating will fade and eventually, the natural colour of the metal will begin to show.
This fading may be more apparent in the parts of the band that rub against your pinky and middle finger and the setting. When plated, both 14K and 18K white gold has no visual difference, however, in their natural form you may notice the warmer/darker grey undertones in the metal. For some, this is often preferred in male wedding bands as it gives the ring a masculine look.
14K VS 18K DURABILITY
Over time with everyday wear, it is natural that gold will scratch 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 strength and resistance to wear and tear than 18K gold. If you are particularly active or have a hands-on job/lifestyle 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 choice for bridal rings simply due to the luxurious nature of the metal. Regardless of your decision, the metal will only be as good as the care you give it.
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 discolour. In most cases, your gold jewellery will never show signs of tarnishing as this is often to do with the chemistry of your skin and not the metal itself. You can take a look at our jewellery cleaning and care guide here to help you care for your gold.
Scratches and scuffs from everyday wear can be expected and can be removed by a jeweller via a jewellery polishing machine. At Lousie Jean, we offer a complimentary clean and service on all of our rings.
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.
WHAT ABOUT 9K
9K is a less superior and luxurious metal choice for bridal jewellery due to it’s lower gold content. As 62.5% of this gold is made up of other alloyed metals, it does present a more economical and durable choice, particularly when there are more substantial amounts of metal used, such as male wedding bands.
9K white gold is naturally brighter due to the higher percentage platinum in comparison to 14K and 18K white gold. Therefore it does not require rhodium plating and may be a suitable choice for males who prefer a lower maintenance ring. 9K yellow gold compares quite similarly to 14K yellow gold in regards to appearance, however, it is slightly less lustrous. Due to the higher copper content, 9K rose gold is more on the ‘red’ side, particularly in comparison to 14K rose gold.
Platinum is an entirely different metal to gold. In its natural form, platinum is white and therefore does not require alloying with base metals to achieve a cool tone. In jewellery, 95% of the metal is platinum, and 5% is made up of other metals, which also means it is more pure. It is also very dense and consequently more expensive than gold.
While Platinum is also renowned for its strength and durability, it is important to note how the metal appearance develops over time from normal every-day wear. When scratched, the metal is not lost or worn away (as it is in gold). Instead, surface ridges and texture develop and create what is called a ‘patina’. This can give the metal a darkened look and to some, even a vintage-like feel. A professional heavy polish performed by a jeweller is the only way to remove surface patina.
Two-tone rings are also a popular choice for those who prefer a coloured metal band and white setting. When this is a preference, platinum is recommended for the setting component to give the diamond/stone extra stability and security when exposed to knocks.
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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.