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What Does Karat Mean in Gold?

If you’re new to the jewelry game or are hunting for that perfect gold engagement ring, it’s well worth learning about karats. With so many types of gold karats swirling in the jewelry industry, it might have you wondering, what does karat mean in gold? We’re here to give you the ultimate breakdown of karats and help you find that perfect ring for your loved one.

Karat vs. Carat

You might often bump into the words “karat” and “carat,” and don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’s confused with this whole karat vs. carat situation! Though both are a form of measurement in the jewelry industry, what they actually measure is in fact different.

A carat is a unit of weight that measures the size of diamonds and other gemstones, while a karat is a unit that measures the purity of gold. A karat is indicated by the proportion of gold in an alloy out of 24 parts. One karat means 1/24th of the whole. So if your gold is 14 karats, it means 14 out of 24 parts are pure gold.

What Is 24-Karat Gold?

You might be wondering, why wouldn’t a piece of jewelry be all gold? Pure gold, or 24-karat gold, is too soft. Gold is one of the most malleable metals, so 100 percent gold jewelry can be easily scratched and bent, making it impractical for daily wear. Thus, gold must be mixed with a metals like copper or silver to create a firm and long-lasting piece of gold jewelry.

What Is 14-Karat Gold?

14-karat gold is ideal for everyday use. It’s 58.3 percent gold and 41.7 percent alloy or made up of 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals (zinc, nickel, silver, copper, etc.).

This gold is relatively hard, making it one of the most popular choices for jewelry. It doesn’t scratch much and lasts longer compared to higher-karat gold. If you or your loved one has an active lifestyle (sports, exercise, manual labor, etc.), a 14K ring would be ideal. It provides the durability you need while still carrying a good amount of gold you can show off to family and friends!

What Is 10-Karat Gold?

Ten-karat gold is made up of 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metals. Percentage-wise,10K gold carries 41.7 percent gold and 58.3 percent alloy. Because it has the lowest amount of gold, 10K is usually the most affordable and still provides a great amount of durability that will last a long time. Ten-karat gold generally has a paler yellow tone than 14K or 18K gold, but there are also 10K rose gold rings for those who like a more copper tone in their jewelry.

Is 10K or 14K Gold Better?

Due to its durability and longevity, 14K gold is generally preferred over 10K gold for the following reasons:

  • It contains more gold, while still providing hardness/strength to withstand time and various day-to-day activities.
  • Its higher purity level means it’s less likely to trigger metal allergies and cause skin reactions than 10K gold jewelry.
  • If you’re looking for high-quality engagement rings/jewelry, you’ll have an easier time finding 14K gold than 10K gold. Fourteen karats are more widely available and offered with more options.


What Karat Gold Is Best?

As a general rule, the lower the karat of gold, the harder and more durable the jewelry is. If affordability is what you’re aiming for, you can purchase 10K rings for a reasonable price and still get the quality you need for it to last a good time. However, if you’re looking for high-quality gold engagement rings, 14K will be your best bet. It offers a great combination of purity and durability. Your soon-to-be finance can wear their 14K ring all day and every day without worrying about scratching or breaking it. Discover the Perfect Engagement Ring with Daniel’s Jewelers If you’re looking for a gold engagement ring, look no further. Daniel’s Jewelers is proud to offer a wide selection of 10K and 14K gold jewelry that will meet your needs. We provide customized credit options and VIP awards to help you make your payments. Be sure to check out our services and fill out our credit application for access to our amazing benefits.

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