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Ask HOLDEN: 10k, 14k, or 18k?

Jewelry shopping can be intimidating. That’s why we started Ask HOLDEN, our blog where we seek to answer your most frequently asked questions, break down scary industry lingo, and guide you in finding the perfect piece of jewelry.

At HOLDEN, we offer three solid gold options: 10k, 14k, and 18k. All three are great options for a wedding band and will last you a lifetime of wear… But what’s the difference? Let’s start by breaking down some industry lingo.

Karat

Karat is a measure of the purity of gold. The number before karat, or k, refers to how many parts out of 24 total parts are pure gold (e.g. 24k gold means 24 out of 24 parts are gold, so 24k is 100% pure gold).

Solid Gold vs. Pure Gold

Not to be confused with “pure gold,” the term solid gold in the US legally refers to any gold that is 10k purity or above. Pure gold, or 24k gold, is rarely used in crafting jewelry due to how soft and weak gold is in its purest form. That’s why each of our solid gold options is a mix between pure gold and various alloy metals that add strength and durability (as well as color to achieve white and rose gold since pure gold is naturally yellow!).

10k, 14, 18k Breakdown

The Breakdown

10k - 10 parts gold to 14 parts alloy metals, 41.6% gold

14k - 14 parts gold to 10 parts alloy metals, 58.3% gold

18k - 18 parts gold to 6 parts alloy metals, 75% gold

Which one is for me?

The most noticeable difference between each karat option is the color. Because pure gold is naturally yellow in color, the higher the karat, the more yellow the metal will appear.

For yellow gold, this means 18k will have the richest yellow color, while 10k and 14k will look slightly lighter or whiter in color.

For white gold, there actually isn’t a color difference upon first glance. This is because our white gold is rhodium plated, per the industry standard, in order to achieve a brilliant white color. Many customers enjoy how white gold wears into its natural, slightly yellow color over time. Others will decide to re-plate their rings every few years (we offer this service as well!).

Finally, with rose gold, you’ll notice 10k is the most pink, while 18k has a slightly warmer, more subtle pink hue.

While all gold rings will scratch and scuff over time due to the soft nature of precious metals, you’ll find that 10k and 14k gold are slightly harder than 18k; however, 18k is a denser, and therefore, heavier metal and will feel a bit more substantial on your finger. If you plan to remove your ring before any manual labor or exercise (which we strongly recommend!!!), you’ll be just fine with any of our three options.

As a guide, 14k is the most popular type of gold used to make jewelry in the US and is our bestseller as well.

Any questions? Shoot us an email at hello@hiholden.com or give us a ring at 917.719.3634.