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The main difference between 14k and 18k comes down to the amount of gold within each mixture. Pure gold, or 24k gold, is too soft for daily use so it is mixed with copper, silver, zinc and nickel to create a stronger material. The exact metals within the mixture depends on whether yellow or white gold is being created. 14k gold contains 58% gold, while 18k gold contains 75% gold. K, which stands for Karat, marks the purity level of the gold (not to be confused with C, Carat, referring to the weight of a gemstone).
14k gold is more durable than 18k gold (however, both are very durable). Therefore if you see yourself as being more active and hands on, 14k gold might be a better fit for you. It’s less susceptible to scratching and deforming (although it is quite difficult to deform gold jewelry).
In the case of yellow gold, 14k yellow gold and 18k yellow gold will have different tones. 14k yellow gold has a deeper, darker tone, while 18k yellow gold has a brighter, more yellow tone. Depending on your personal style, one tone may catch your eye more than the other.
The main way to differentiate between 14k and 18k gold is by the stamp on the jewelry. For rings, the stamp will be on the inner portion of the ring while bracelets will be stamped on the clasp. In general, the stamp will be small and somewhere that won’t be easily noticeable.
Lastly, the term solid gold in the US legally refers to any gold that is 10k purity or above. Pure gold, or 24k gold, is rarely used in crafting fine jewelry due to how weak gold is in its purest form. At Yadav Jewelry, each of our solid gold options is a mix between pure gold and various alloy metals that add strength and durability.