14k vs. 18k Gold Jewelry: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Posted by Jewel Heart on

Are you trying to decide between 14k and 18k gold jewelry? You're not alone. We frequently hear questions like, "What is the difference between 14k and 18k gold?" or "Is 18k better than 14k?" Let's dive into the details to help you make an informed choice.

What is 14k Gold?

14k gold jewelry is a blend of pure gold and other metals like copper and silver. The "14k" indicates that the gold is 14 parts out of 24 parts pure, equating to 58.33% pure gold. This mixture not only lowers the cost compared to higher karat gold but also enhances durability. If you're looking for an affordable alternative to 18k or 24k gold that still offers the benefits of real gold, 14k is an excellent choice.

14k gold compass pendant

What is 18k Gold? 

18k gold jewelry, on the other hand, contains 75% pure gold, making it purer than 14k gold. This higher gold content gives 18k gold its richer, more vibrant color. However, it's less durable than 14k gold due to its higher gold content. If you prefer jewelry with the truest gold color and are less concerned about durability, 18k gold might be the right choice for you.

What's the Difference Between 14k and 18k Gold?

Gold Percentage:

The primary difference between 14k and 18k gold is the gold percentage. 14k gold is 58% pure gold, while 18k gold is 75% pure gold. This difference in purity affects the color, durability, and price of the jewelry.


18k gold has a more intense yellow color compared to the lighter tone of 14k gold. The alloyed metals in 14k gold, such as silver and copper, lighten its hue.


14k gold is harder and more durable due to its higher alloy content. This makes it ideal for everyday wear and for people with active lifestyles. For instance, 14k gold is commonly used in engagement rings where durability is crucial. On the other hand, 18k gold is more prone to scratching and bending, making it suitable for special occasions rather than daily wear. 

Lifestyle Considerations:

When choosing between 14k and 18k gold, consider your lifestyle. If you lead an active lifestyle or frequently use your hands, 14k gold is a better choice due to its durability. If you prefer wearing fine jewelry only on special occasions, 18k gold offers a stunning, luxurious option.

14k gold paperclip necklace 20 inch

Is 14k or 18k Gold Better for Skin Sensitivity?

Gold metals come in different colors like yellow, white, and rose gold, mixed with other metals for durability. The difference between 14k and 18k yellow gold is subtle, but both are stunning. White gold is mixed with metals like nickel, which can cause allergies. If you have sensitive skin, 18k gold is less likely to trigger reactions due to its higher gold content and lower alloy metal presence.

Value and Affordability

Since 14k gold contains less pure gold than 18k, it's more affordable. For example, a 14k gold engagement ring is significantly cheaper than an 18k version, though the final price also depends on the gemstone and design. If budget is a concern, 14k gold offers a great balance between affordability and quality.

Key Differences Recap

Gold Percentage:

14k gold is 58.33% pure, 18k gold is 75% pure.


18k gold has a richer color; 14k gold has a lighter hue.


14k gold is more durable and suitable for daily wear.

Skin Sensitivity:

18k gold is better for sensitive skin.


14k gold is more affordable.

Which Type of Gold Should You Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between 14k and 18k gold depends on personal preference, lifestyle, and budget. If you want a durable piece for everyday wear, go for 14k gold. If you prefer a piece with a richer color and higher purity for special occasions, 18k gold is ideal.

Which is better, 14k or 18k gold?

Neither is inherently better; it depends on your preferences and needs. 14k gold is more durable and affordable, making it ideal for everyday wear and active lifestyles. 18k gold has a richer color and higher gold content, offering a more luxurious appearance, suitable for special occasions.

Is 14k gold worth buying?

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Yes, 14k gold is worth buying. It offers a great balance of durability, affordability, and beauty, making it a practical choice for everyday jewelry that still looks elegant.

Is it OK to wear 14k gold every day?

Absolutely, it is OK to wear 14k gold every day. Its higher alloy content makes it more resistant to scratches and wear, making it perfect for daily use.


Choosing between 14k and 18k gold jewelry involves understanding their differences in terms of gold percentage, color, durability, and price. Each type has its unique advantages and is suitable for different needs and preferences. By considering your lifestyle and personal preferences, you can make the best choice for your jewelry collection.


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