Going for Gold: What 18k Really Means
If you’ve purchased jewelry before, you’ve heard gold described with numbers: 10 karat, 14 karat, 18 karat, 24 karat. 18k gold is the only type we use here at Amáli, but what do those numbers really mean, and why do they matter?
Karat, when it refers to gold, is a measurement of the gold’s purity out of 24 parts. Not to be confused with “carat,” which is a measurement of gemstone weight. 24 karat gold is pure gold, because all 24 of the 24 parts are gold.
24 karat gold is warm and bright, like sunshine made solid. However, it’s very soft for a jewelry material. It bends and warps easily. It is susceptible to scratches and it is quite expensive. 24 karat gold is typically used as an accent metal, in collectibles, or for rarely worn ceremonial jewels.
18 karat gold is 75% pure gold. It retains the lustrous beauty of 24k gold, blending in 25% of other metals makes 18k gold much more durable and less expensive than 24k. 18k gold jewelry is strong enough for daily wear; it holds its shape well and is less susceptible to scratches. 18K gold is the most luxurious of gold alloys and is typically found in high end jewelry.
14 karat gold is 58.3% pure gold. 14k gold’s lower purity means that its color is not as richly saturated as 18K gold, but it is still a lovely color and is more affordable than 18 or 24k. It is durable and resists scratches well. 14k gold is the most commonly used gold for jewelry in the US.
10 karat gold is 41.7% pure gold. It has a paler color than 14k and is very strong, but its low purity means that it’s also more likely to trigger a reaction in jewelry lovers who have metal sensitivities. It is the most affordable variety of gold used for jewelry in the US.
18k gold is the only type we use here at Amáli because we find it to be the perfect balance of beauty and strength. It’s a more expensive metal than 14 or 10k gold, but we think that the added quality is worth the cost. It’s perfect for the type of enduring luxury that we love to create and that you deserve to wear.