What is the difference between 14 Karat and 18 Karat gold and does anyone care?
A karat measures the fineness or purity of gold. Pure gold is twenty-four karats, is very soft and easily loses its shape with pressure so it is alloyed with other metals such as silver, palladium or copper in order to make it suitable for use in jewelry. The less gold the alloy has the lower the karat number so eighteen karat contains a higher percentage of gold than does fourteen karat gold. But who cares and does this really matter to you?
Most people either don’t care about the difference or if they do care, they care because of the value associated with purer gold and that sometimes prevents them from embracing fourteen karat jewelry. Let’s be honest here, jewelry is meant to be worn and not to hoard for resale value so here is how we think about the battle between fourteen karat and eighteen karat.
While it’s true that purer gold costs more, let’s also be grateful that brands have the good sense to use fourteen karat gold on of-the-moment pieces and eighteen karat gold on pieces that are intended for longevity. Yes, it always makes more sense to buy fine jewelry over costume jewelry because its higher quality and retains its value but not everything has to come with an investment-grade price tag!
So what’s the final verdict? Buy whatever your heart desires but if you’re on the fence and need that little nudge, then buy fourteen karat for trendier pieces, if your coloring makes you better suited to cool undertones or if you are planning to get a lot of wear out of the piece. At the end of the day, you wear your jewelry; it does not wear you so do whatever you please.