About Gold Karat Weight
24 Karat Gold:
24 karat gold is 100% pure gold. It is sometimes referred to as 24 karat or 24k, and it is the highest possible grade of gold you can get. It is free from other metals or impurities. This may sound like the type of metal you would want to set your engagement ring with, however, it is very soft and malleable. As a result, it is unsuitable for most jewelry, especially engagement or wedding rings. In order to provide high grade gold to set your gemstones in, the jewelry industry has many options in various gold karat weights to do the job. To strengthen the setting and to lower the cost, gold manufacturers add an alloy along with other metals like silver, zinc, nickel, or copper. The way in which the karat weight is determined, is through the percentage of alloying metals vs. the percentage of gold.
Due to it’s higher gold to alloy ratio, 95% gold vs 5% alloy, makes platinum more dense than 24 karat gold as well as much more expensive than the other karat weights, like 14 or 18 karats. Platinum is an excellent choice for an engagement or wedding ring that you would like to keep for a lifetime but don’t plan on wearing every day. Due to it’s high percentage of gold vs alloy ratio, platinum is the softest of all jewelry metals to create your engagement or wedding rings with.
18 Karat Gold:
18 karat gold consists of 75% gold and 25% alloy. In its raw form, 18 karat gold has a richer yellow tone compared to 14 karat gold, and this is due to the higher gold content. It’s important to note, as we did with platinum, that due to a higher percentage of gold vs. alloy metals, 18 karat gold is softer than 14 or 10 karat gold. We would recommend that you consider the amount of wear the ring(s) will have when considering purchasing a setting comprised of 18 karat gold.
14 Karat Gold:
14 karat gold is the most popular gold karat weight used in jewelry today. 14 karat gold consists of 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy. Basically the chemical composition is made up of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy, which makes it a durable karat weight for engagement and wedding rings.
10 Karat Gold
10 karat gold consists of 41.7% gold and 58.3% alloy. Due to it’s lower percentage of gold, the price is much lower compared to 18 and 14 karat gold. However, it is also the most durable than the higher karat grades. The overall quality of the ring is not significantly affected by the lower karat weight.
How Karat Ratings Affect Pricing And Worth:
Gold is traded as a commodity around the world today. The price of a gold setting is largely determined by the current market value of gold, which can vary depending on supply vs. demand. Obviously, the higher the gold purity used, the more expensive the piece of jewelry is going to be worth, no matter what stone you set into the gold ring. This includes our selection of moissanite or cubic zirconia imitation diamonds.
White gold was developed to imitate platinum but at a much lower cost. It contains the same properties to yellow gold (which we discussed above). The main difference between white and yellow gold, is that all white gold jewelry pieces are electroplated to deposit a thin layer of rhodium onto its surface. Rhodium is a cousin to platinum, it has a greater shine and is very strong (resists scratches). White gold can tend to be more dull than its yellow gold sibling, and this is why jewelers have used rhodium in white gold jewelry since it’s development. It’s also important to note that with white gold, the rhodium coating may wear off overtime. This is especially true if you wear your setting(s) every day, in the shower, exercising, etc. The good news is, you can take any white gold setting, of any karat weight, to a local jeweler for a simple 30 minute maintenance routine (or dipping/re-dipping) when necessary to get that platinum-like shine back again!