​​​​What is Sterling Silver? | What is 14k Gold?

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10k

What is 14k Gold?

22k

Pure 24K gold is usually too soft for ordinary use, although, unlike silver, you can purchase 24K (pure gold) jewelry.  The use of alloys hardens the gold to enhance its  durability such as silver, copper, zinc and nickel, (although nickel is banned in some countries) and the content of gold is indicated by carts (k).  Pure gold is 24K and common lower measurements for jewelry are 22K, 18K, 14K, and 10K.  In the U.S., the most common gold jewelry sold is 14K.

  • 10K gold contains 41.7% pure gold.  It contains more alloy, so it is not as bright as 14K gold.
  • 14K gold contains 58.5% pure gold (14 parts pure gold and 6 parts alloy, usually bronze).
  • 18k gold contains 75% pure gold (18 parts pure gold and 6 parts alloy).  18K gold has a richer buttery color than 14K gold.
  • 22K gold contains 91.6 % pure gold and is a little richer in color than 18K gold.
  • 24K gold is 100% gold and has a very rich buttery color.


Gold comes in three colors - rose, yellow and white - depending on the alloy used.  Rose gold uses copper as an alloy, yellow uses bronze, zinc or nickel, and white gold uses alloys such as zinc, nickel, silver, or palladium. White gold is sometimes plated with rhodium, which is a member of the platinum family, to enhance the white color.

Care

Pure gold will not tarnish, but some alloys do.  Clean your gold jewelry with a commercial product for cleaning gold if any tarnish appears.  Store the jewelry in a pouch or in a padded individual compartment that is tarnish resistant.  As with sterling silver, do not shower, swim, spray your hair, go to bed, or clean your house wearing your gold jewelry.

18k

If you look closely at the pictures, the 24K gold is a buttery color which gradually becomes a bronze color gold in the 10K necklace.

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124k

Allergies

There is a misconception about gold allergies.  There are no allergies to pure gold, but there are allergies to nickel, if it should contain this alloy.

14k

Stamp

In the U.S., each gold piece is stamped with the amount of gold (10K,14K, 18K, 22K, so beware if there is no stamp.