14k, 18k, or 24k Gold Jewelry: Which One Should You Get?

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Be it for an Engagement Ring, Wedding Band, or Fine Jewelry, solid gold is the metal of choice for most people. Known for its outstanding luster and shine, it has a classic look that withstands the test of time.

Most gold jewelry pieces are sold in 14k, 18k, and 24k variants. But what do these terms mean?

Gold and Its Alloys

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Montevalle Pavé Engagement RingBiella Band, both in White Gold

Because gold is naturally soft, jewelers mix it with other metals to make it wearable and long-lasting. These alloys also make way for popular jewelry colors like White Gold and Rose Gold.

14k and 18k gold are among those alloys. Meanwhile, 24k gold is the metal's purest and most delicate form. Our table below summarizes their differences for a quick comparison.

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14k, 18, vs 24k Gold

14k Gold 

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Abbraccio Band | Marchesa Band | Castela Pavé Engagement Ring, all in Yellow Gold

This gold alloy is your best bet for jewelry that you'll wear day in and out—an Engagement Ring, Wedding Band, or maybe a classic necklace you never want to take off. It is also the perfect choice for men and women with active lifestyles.

Its scratch-resistant property gives it the perfect balance between durability and purity. 14k gold is firm and can securely hold gemstones like Moissanite and lab-grown diamonds for your peace of mind. When choosing a yellow gold piece, 14-karat jewelry also has a sophisticated color that most adore.

18k Gold

Talia Engagement Ring in Rose Gold

Meanwhile, we recommend 18k gold when looking for one-of-a-kind pieces for life's momentous events—unique jewelry for special occasions. Since it contains more gold, it's more susceptible to scruffs and scratches, requiring extra care when worn.

This alloy is also your best bet if you're prone to allergies when in contact with metals like nickel. Since gold is naturally hypoallergenic, jewelry pieces with higher purity mean fewer skin sensitivities.

24k Gold

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Alessa Engagement Ring in White Gold

Lastly, 24k gold is only recommended when looking for investment pieces—something to admire and keep as it increases its value. As mentioned above, this is gold's purest and softest form, which makes it incompatible with jewelry pieces. 

What's Next?

Now that you know the difference, are you going for a Yellow, White, or Rose Gold piece? Click HERE to read our Style Guide in Choosing the Right Gold Tone for Your Engagement Ring.