22K / 18K / 14K Gold - Which is Better? Clearing the confusion. (2023)

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130 Second Summary

2What is 22k/ 18k/ 14k in gold

2.1FAQ Section

2.1.1What is the purity of 14 karat gold?

2.1.2Is Rose Gold pure gold?


30 Second Summary

  • Gold is most widely used fine metal and in fact, India is one of the largest importers of this yellow beauty.
  • It has great significance in every economic activity but its prominence in fine jewellery is second to none.
  • The purest of gold available in the market today is 99.95% pure.
  • Gold is generally described in terms of Karats (not Carat) Gold purity is also denoted using the character ‘K’.

Since time immemorial, people have been known to adorn jewellery. The cavemen often used leaves, flowers, wood, bones, etc to make ornaments for their body. Then we started using rare precious metals like gold & silver, which were later followed by diamonds & gemstones. In the Indian context, and more or less throughout the world, gold made a special place for itself due to its comparatively higher value and aesthetics. They figured that it was the best raw material for jewellery as it could be melted and formed into any shape, thus offering numerous ways for it to be adorned. Because of its high value, it was considered synonymous with a person’s wealth. Gold soon became the means for people to get all the luxuries and necessities. To this date, it has not lost its value and continues to be considered one of the most sought after items in the world. Gold can be your weapon against inflation and a country’s answer to a war. It has great significance in every economic activity. That aside, its prominence in fine jewellery is second to none. It is most widely used fine metal and in fact, India is one of the largest importers of this yellow beauty.

So we have seen what makes gold so special. No lady can do without it, be it plain gold jewellery or studded gold jewellery. Given its significance, we, as buyers of gold jewellery, ought to understand this metal in totality to make right buying decisions. Knowledge always comes handy and proves beneficial against the herd-mentality of baseless age-old misguided concepts. This write- up can well be called “The Ultimate Gold Trivia” since we are going to explain you various terms that you come across while purchasing any kind of gold jewellery. These are some of the most sought after queries on the internet and most of the consumers are ill-informed about these. Things like – “What is the difference between 22K, 18K & 14K gold?”, “What are yellow, white and rose gold?”, “Is white gold actually gold?”, “My gold purity is 18 Carat, errrrr”, and the likes. We will break the myths and present a clear picture for you.

Gold Purity?

Before we explain this, tell us the difference between the milk supplied by Ramu kaka, Murugan Anna and Chottu. Yes, all three of them claim to supply 100% pure milk but when actually tested, they may not actually contain 100% pure milk. So what is it that make the milk 100% pure or not 100% pure? It is the substance that is added to milk to increase its weight, most frequently this substance being water. Similarly, 100% pure gold when mixed with some other metals results in gold that is not 100% pure. This purity of gold is generally described in terms of Karats (not Carat, we will come to that later). Karat is also denoted using the character ‘K’.

100% Pure Gold = 24 Karat (or) 24K

Thus if your jeweller saysthat the gold coin you are buying is 24K, what he means is that the gold is 100% pure (well, 99.95% in practicality)

22K, 18K & 14K Gold – Why these?

For some practi22K / 18K / 14K Gold - Which is Better? Clearing the confusion. (2)cal reasons (Explained below), 24K Gold is not used in jewellery. In fact, it is difficult to even get 99.99% pure gold bullion these days. The purest of gold available in the market today is 99.95% pure. 24K gold or pure gold relatively has lesser hardness. Though that makes it easy to mould in jewellery but makes it infeasible for daily wear. Imagine your mother wearing 24K gold bangles and doing household work every day. It is easy to imagine that the bangle will soon lose its shape and get deformed due to wear and tear. Such soft gold will not be able to take much physical pressure and thus the complete beauty of the jewellery will be lost soon. Thus to make such gold bangles and other types of jewellery more durable, we do not use 100% pure gold. Rather, we take X parts of pure gold and mix it with Y parts of various other metals like Nickel, Zinc, Silver, Palladium etc to form gold which is not 100% pure. Generally, we use 22K gold for such gold jewellery making purposes.

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What is 22k/ 18k/ 14k in gold

Now, how pure is this 22K gold? Let’s do a simple mathematical calculation:

24K gold = 100% Pure Gold

Thus, 1K Gold = = 4.167% Pure Gold

Thus, 22K Gold = (4.167 * 22) = 91.67% Pure Gold

Let’s talk about 22k Gold Purity and other factors. Out of the 100%, only 91.67% is pure gold in 22K gold. So, what does the other 8.33% consist of? These consist of metals like Silver, Zinc, Nickel and other alloys just as we explained earlier. The addition of these metals make the overall mixture a little harder and thus helps in making the jewellery more durable. This 22K gold is still not hard enough. Though it can be used for plain gold jewellery, it is not strong enough to hold diamonds & gemstones in studded jewellery (Read why 22k Gold is not used in studded jewellery in detail). And thus, generally studded jewellery is manufactured in 18K or lower, like 14K, 10K, 9K, etc. Based on the calculations already explained above,

18K Gold = (4.167 * 18) = 75% Pure Gold

14K Gold = (4.167 * 14) = 58.33% Pure Gold

10K Gold = (4.167 * 10) = 41.67% Pure Gold

Are we making sense yet? We certainly hope we are. Carrying on, there are two things to be understood here – First, the hardness of the metal keeps increasing as the percentage of gold in the metal compositions goes down. Second and one of the other important aspects which we haven’t yet discussed, the colour of this metal composition starts getting duller. It must also be understood that purity can sometimes be mentioned as a combination of 3 numerals. For example

24K = 99.9% Pure = 999

22K = 91.6% Pure = 916

18K = 75% Pure = 750

14K = 58.3% Pure = 585 & so on

Infographic on Gold Karat & Purity

Yellow Gold, White Gold & Rose Gold

22K / 18K / 14K Gold - Which is Better? Clearing the confusion. (4)It’s a universally known fact that gold is yellow (or golden) in colour. Simply going by common sense, as the % of
pure gold goes down in the composition and more of non-yellow alloy metals are introduced, the colour of this metal composition should also start becoming lesser and lesser yellow. This is what naturally happens, i.e. 22K gold is bright golden, 18K is little duller while 14K borders red/pink. But this natural phenomenon can be altered to achieve as desired using alloys that give the desired results with respect to colour.

Now the stage is set to break some myths. Therefore, though different purities have different associated colours, any of yellow, white or rose (red/pink) can be achieved by mixing of certain alloys. This behavioural property of gold makes jewellery-making very interesting and opens up many possibilities. We at KuberBox try to extend these possibilities to our customers through this small customization window that you can find next to most of our products.

Is White Gold/Rose Gold equally pure?

Just as we explained in our last section that any colour can be achieved for any purity, you can take it for granted that the purity of your white gold and rose gold jewellery is the same as what a genuine jeweller like KuberBox claims. If it has any other colour than golden yellow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is less pure. So go ahead and buy that shining white gold ring without any worry.

Are other colours like blue, green, black and brown possible? Can such colours be achieved in gold?

Such colours that are too apart from the natural colours of gold and alloys are achieved using a different mechanism. They are done via gold rhodium. As the final step in the jewellery making process, the piece of gold jewellery is generally washed with chemicals and is then rhodium plating. Rhodium is a noble metal and is very rare. It is used as a final layer in jewellery making by applying a very thin coat of rhodium metal plating on silver and gold jewellery to render bright shine to the jewellery. Also, due to its hardness, it acts as a protective cover for your beautiful jewellery by protecting it against scratches. Do remember that this coating doesn’t last forever. Depending on the nature of wear and tear that your jewellery is put to, the rhodium can start vanishing from the metal surface in 8-12 months. With clever use of rhodium plating, almost all the colours are attainable and thus in modern usage, it is indeed possible to have your gold jewellery made in most of the colours.

How come my friend’s engagement ring has two colours (Dual tone gold)?

Dual tone gold 22K / 18K / 14K Gold - Which is Better? Clearing the confusion. (5)jewellery is one of the prime examples of creativity. There are multiple ways of achieving dual tone colours. A. The two parts of the jewellery having different colours are manufactured separately and are later soldered together to form dual tone gold jewellery. This is the best practice for getting long-lasting results. B. The complete jewellery is made as a whole and then at the last stage, during rhodium plating, they are selectively plated to get the desired colours.

Yellow GoldPure Gold + Zinc, Copper Alloy metals = Yellow Gold
White GoldPure Gold + Silver/Nickel, Manganese/Palladium = Gunpowder colourTo achieve Platinum like white, has to be rhodium coated
Rose GoldPure Gold + Copper = Rose/Pink Gold.More the copper, the redder the gold becomes.

Liked the explanation? If there is any other topic that you want us to cover, mention it in the comments.

FAQ Section

What is the purity of 14 karat gold?

14 karat gold is produced from 58.3 percent pure gold and a 41.7 percent mixture of other metals like copper, zinc, silver and nickel. With only 14 parts of gold out of 24, it’s usually less expensive than other higher karats of gold.

Is Rose Gold pure gold?

Rose gold is a blend, or an alloy of pure 24 karat yellow gold, copper and silver. Pure Gold + Copper = Rose/Pink Gold. More the copper, the redder the gold becomes.

22K / 18K / 14K Gold - Which is Better? Clearing the confusion for once and all.by Sourav


Which gold is better 18K or 22K? ›

The types of gold are (according to the Karat) –

24k being the most pure but the most delicate. 22k – slightly lesser purity but more durable than 24k. 18k – 75% pure comparatively more durable than the above types. 14k – 58% pure as an average value but way more durable than the 18k.

Which is better 14K or 22K gold? ›

The main difference between 14K and 22K gold is the amount of pure gold they contain. 22 kt gold, also known as 916 gold, contains 91.67% pure gold and 8.33% other metals, such as copper or silver. This results in a softer and more malleable gold alloy, with a bright and vivid yellow color.

Is 22K or 14K gold better for everyday wear? ›

Options made of lower-karat gold are stronger and more durable. If the gold jewelry you're buying is to be worn occasionally, then you can go for 18K or even 22K. But if it's going to be everyday wear jewelry, 14K might be a more practical option.

What is the best gold in order? ›

KaratGold Content
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May 4, 2023

Is it better to buy 14K or 18k gold? ›

18k gold jewelry is purer than 14k gold. It has a higher percentage of gold in its composition, which means it's more valuable, more durable, and usually considered the better option when it comes to choosing a material for your jewelry.

Should you buy 22 carat gold? ›

The jewellery made with 24k is so soft that it can be broken easily. Therefore, 22k gold is a better investment for jewellery as it is mixed with other metals like zinc, copper, silver, making it harder than 24k. Also, preferring jewellery in 22k helps to get a better value at the time of selling.

What karat gold is best for everyday use? ›

14K (58% gold and 42% alloyed metals)

It's ideal for everyday use and is the most popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands. If you have an active lifestyle (sports, regular exercise, manual labor, etc.), 14K jewelry would be the best option for you.

Which karat gold is best for daily use? ›

14 Karat Gold: It is made up of 58.3% gold and 41.7% of other metals. Compared to 18k gold, 14K is more durable as well as affordable. The 14K gold jewellery is ideal for everyday use and offers more resistance to wear and tear than 18 and 22K gold.

Can you wear 18k gold everyday? ›

18k gold will not oxidize or discolor, so you can wear your jewelry every day, everywhere. In order of least expensive to most expensive, and low to high quality, these are your options when buying gold jewelry: Gold-plated jewelry has a base of some other metal, such as brass, covered with a thin layer of gold.

Can you wear 22K gold in the shower? ›

If your jewelry is made of pure gold, there is nothing you should worry about when it comes to getting your jewelry wet. Whether it is a gold necklace, bracelet, ring, or earrings, if they are 10K, 14K, 18K, or 22K, gold will not get affected by water.

What's the best karat gold for a chain? ›

The most common mixtures of gold are 14K, 18K, and 22K. However, 14K and 18K are the most ideal for jewellery. It is important to know what karat gold your jewellery is because this will help you determine its value and durability.

Who wears 22K gold? ›

As mentioned above, 22K gold is a popular measurement of gold used in Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern jewelry. In India, for example, gold has a strong cultural value and is worn in abundance, most of it having a karat weight of 22. Prior to the 1930s, gold coins were minted in 'crown gold' a term meaning 22k alloy.

What karat gold is most popular? ›

14k gold is the most commonly used gold for jewelry settings. It's composed of 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy.

Can you wear 14k gold in the shower? ›

Solid Gold (10k, 14k)

Solid gold is a great choice if you're looking for a lifetime piece you can wear everyday and everywhere - yes, even in the shower! Polish with a soft cloth.

What is the most premium gold? ›

A Royal Flush consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace, all in spades. It is the highest ranking hand – and the rarest. A hand of “nothing” means that you don't have any of the above hands.

What are the disadvantages of buying 18k gold? ›


Because of the increased amount of gold, this metal is more prone to dents and scratches. This may necessitate more frequent cleaning or maintenance of your ring, as well as greater caution when wearing it.

Is 14k or 18k better for everyday use? ›

Generally speaking, 14 karat gold will scratch and dent less easily and show signs of wear and tear more slowly. While both are suitable for jewelry you wear occasionally, 14k jewelry is definitely better for everyday wear, such as in a wedding band or engagement ring.

What lasts longer 14k or 18k gold? ›

The karatage refers to the percentage of pure gold in the alloy: 18k gold contains 75% gold, 14k gold contains 58.3% gold. Because 14k gold contains a higher percentage of alloyed metals it provides more durability and resistance to wear and tear.

What jewelry is the best investment? ›

Type of stone. While diamonds are often considered a good investment, they aren't the only precious stones worth investing in. Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires often fetch high prices. Natural saltwater pearls can also go for a few thousand dollars, depending on the type of jewelry.

How can you tell if 22 carat gold is real? ›

Look for Stamps or Hallmarks in Your Gold Jewelry

Another quick and easy way to tell if your gold is real is to look for stamps or hallmarks. Most real gold is stamped with a hallmark that indicates its purity, aka its karat. The karat is the unit used to measure the purity of gold.

How many karat gold should I buy? ›

18 karat gold is purer and, well, more gold than 9 karats, so it's always best to opt for 18 karats if you can. It doesn't tarnish, it's more durable and because it costs more, it'll be worth more in the long run. Conversely, 9-karat gold contains a higher proportion of other metals so it will tarnish over time.

What karat gold lasts the longest? ›

Lower caratages contain less gold; 18 carat gold contains 75 per cent gold and 25 per cent other metals, often copper or silver. The minimum caratage for an item to be called gold varies by country. In the US, 10 carat is the legal minimum accepted standard of gold caratage, 14 carat being the most popular.

What is the shiniest gold? ›

1. 24 Karat Gold. 24k gold is the purest form of gold, measuring 99.9% pure. This metal is the shiniest, yellowest, and most expensive of all the different types of gold.

Can you wear 18k gold in water? ›

In conclusion, it's not recommended to wear 18k gold-plated jewelry in the shower or while swimming due to the potential risks of damage from water, soap, shampoo, hot water, steam, moisture, and humidity.

How often should you clean 18k gold? ›

Gold jewelry should be gently cleaned weekly to keep it looking shiny and new. All you need to clean most gold jewelry is warm water, dish soap, and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

What are the health benefits of wearing 18k gold? ›

Additional Health Benefits

Gold contact with the skin helps reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in some people. It also promotes blood circulation, oxygen flow to all parts of your body and temperature regulation. It also boosts immunity. Arthritis causes painful and swollen joints.

What can damage gold? ›

Chlorine is gold's worst enemy: with repeated exposure, chlorine will weaken your gold jewelry's structure and eventually lead to it breaking. Make sure to take your jewelry off before getting in a pool or spa. Cover or remove while cleaning: household cleaners with acids or abrasives will damage your jewelry's finish.

Should I sleep with my chain on? ›

If You Never Want to Take Your Jewelry Off

If's that you, it's OK! Sleeping with your jewelry on certainly isn't the worst thing you can do. Jewelry can withstand normal wear and tear, and the chances of damaging it while you sleep are relatively minimal.

Is it OK to sleep with a gold chain on? ›

Sleeping with a gold chain on is not recommended for a variety of reasons. Gold is a soft metal, and when you move around while you sleep, your gold necklace can become tangled and snag on your clothing or bedding, which can cause the gold to scratch.

Which country has the best gold quality? ›

The country with the purest gold in the world is Switzerland, a country known for paying attention to quality. Below, the precious metals experts from First National Bullion and Coin, the best place to buy gold in Scottsdale, explain why this particular country has an affinity for pure gold.

Is 18k gold pawnable? ›

ARE YOUR JEWELRY PAWN-ABLE? Yes! Both Silver and Gold are precious metals.

Is platinum better than gold? ›

The gold quality is determined by the amount of pure gold in the piece. While white gold may seem like a cheaper option for the same look, it is actually a less strong metal than platinum. Platinum will scratch easier as it is a movable metal, but Platinum is stronger against breakage.

Will 22K gold stick to a magnet? ›

Pure gold on its own cannot stick to a magnet. However, if you have an alloy of gold, then it could stick to a magnet. An example of a gold alloy that may stick to a magnet is gold with over 20% of its atoms replaced by iron.

Is 22K gold too yellow? ›

If you prefer to get as close to pure gold as possible, 22K gold is your best choice. It will be expensive but also offer a very rich yellow hue that is the closest to pure gold.

Will 22K gold rust? ›

Gold will not rust, corrode or tarnish. Gold is measured in karats, abbreviated as the letter "k" and preceded by a number. 100% pure gold is 24k. However, in its pure form, gold is too soft to be used in jewelry.

Does salt water damage 14K gold? ›

Does salt water damage gold jewelry? Yes, salt water damages gold, as well as all white jewelry such as silver and white gold. The reason for this is that salt water erodes the gold layer of the jewel, which weakens it.

Does water damage gold? ›

In general, if you leave gold in water for too long, it will eventually start to turn a greenish-black color. This happens because alloyed gold is a reactive metal that reacts with water and oxygen to form gold oxide. However, gold oxide is not as shiny as pure gold and can be difficult to remove from surfaces.

How long does 14K gold last? ›

How long does 14K Solid Gold last? With care, 14k solid gold can last forever. Gold is one of the most long-lasting materials available for fine jewelry. Even if you have an active lifestyle, solid gold can withstand most elements and still retain the warmth and colour that we all know and love.

What is the most affordable gold? ›

10k gold is the cheapest form of gold that's still commonly used in jewelry. If you're looking for the least expensive option, this is your best bet.

Is 22K gold more valuable than 18k? ›

18k gold comprises 75% gold and 25% other metals. This type of gold is mostly used in making watches, rings and other wearable accessories and is also less expensive than 22k and 24k gold.

Is 22K more expensive than 18k? ›

The 18 Karat gold comprises of 75% gold mixed with 25% of other metals such as copper, silver, and other alloys. This type of gold is used to make stone studded jewellery and other diamond jewellery. It is less expensive compared to 24K and 22K gold.

Is 18k gold worth the extra money? ›

Is 18k gold worth the extra money? 18k gold is a popular choice for jewelry due to its durability and beauty. It contains 75% pure gold, making it more valuable than 14k or 10k gold. The extra money spent on 18k gold can be worth it if you're looking for a high-quality piece that will last.

What karat of gold is best to wear? ›

The Best: 24K Gold

Because of this, it has a uniquely rich, bright yellow hue. This pureness and rare color makes 24k gold highly desirable, the most expensive, and most often used in fine jewelry. Because 24k gold does not have traces of other metals, the pieces are known for being 'softer.

What is the best quality gold in the world? ›

The highest karat of gold is 24K gold. 24 karat gold is 100% pure and doesn't contain any other metals, making it the purest gold available. This means that it has zero impurities and is usually softer than lower karats—10K and 14K.

Why is 18k gold cheaper? ›

Cost. The price of gold jewelry varies by design, craftsmanship and the alloys used, but as 24k contains more gold than 18k, it is usually more expensive. The value of 18k gold can be calculated by multiplying its pennyweight by .

Does 18K look better than 14K? ›

Second, when looking at 14K vs. 18K gold color, the 18K options are richer in color, often making them more visually appealing. While the color differences are subtle, they do exist, and if you have your heart set on a deeper gold color, you may want to select an 18K gold piece over its 14K gold counterpart.

Can you wear 14K gold in the shower? ›

Solid Gold (10k, 14k)

Solid gold is a great choice if you're looking for a lifetime piece you can wear everyday and everywhere - yes, even in the shower! Polish with a soft cloth.

Is it okay to wear 18k gold everyday? ›

Yes, 18-karat gold is generally okay to wear every day because the alloy can resist light wear and tear. However, you should take your jewelry off before exercising, playing sports, handling chemicals or doing other activities that could damage it.

What is the disadvantage of 18k gold? ›

Disadvantages: 18k gold carries a higher price tag than 10k or 14k gold and is far less durable. You might end up scratching or scuffing it just through normal daily wear. For this reason, it's not frequently used for rings.

How much is 1 gram of 18k gold worth? ›

Today's Gold Prices
Per Gram
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How many carats is the best gold? ›

Pure gold is notated as 24K – this is the highest karat level for gold meaning it is 100% pure gold. 18K gold is 75% purity level, 14K is 58.3% purity level, and 10K is 41.7% purity level. As you can see, the higher the karat number, the more pure gold comprises the metal.

Which gold color is best? ›

Many people consider yellow gold as being the 'purest' type of gold. This is because its colour is most closely related to the gold which is mined from the Earth.


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