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What is 18 Karat Gold?

18 karat gold is transformed into contemporary, wearable gold jewelry. If you're on the hunt for your next piece of gold jewelry you may be wondering what this type of gold actually is. We walk you through what is meant by gold karats, the features of 18 karat gold, and the differences between the different karats.

What are Gold Karats?

A gold karat refers to how pure the gold is. Gold is made up of 24 parts, and so 24 karat gold refers to 100% purity. Whilst 18 karat gold is made of 75% gold parts and 25% alloys. These alloys can be a range of other metals, including silver, copper, and nickel. Each karat has its own benefits and uses, with the lower karats being more durable than pure gold itself.

What Can 18 Karat Gold be Used for?

High quality gold jewelry is often crafted from 18 karat gold, due to its high level of purity. This can include everything from gold rings to gold necklaces. The high precious metal content in 18 karat gold also means it is more hypoallergenic than lower karat types and so is unlikely to cause irritation to the skin. A lot of jewelers mark their 18 karat pieces with a small stamp that denotes '18k' or '18kt,' making it easily identifiable.

How Valuable is 18 Karat Gold?

The price of gold fluctuates, but due to its high precious metal content 18 karat gold is the third most valuable gold alloy. Despite this, it doesn't mean that jewelry crafted from this metal has to be expensive. In fact, when transformed into gold vermeil or gold plated jewelry it can offer an affordable option for luxury pieces.

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24 Karat Gold

The purest form of gold, 24 karat, is not used in jewelry. 24 karat gold is made entirely of the metal itself, without other metals mixed in. Due to its purity it is also the most expensive type of gold available. The high gold content in 24 karat means it is extremely soft and so would not hold its shape for very long when worn daily. The 25% of other metals in 18 karat gold make it far more durable, ideal for items you wear everyday such as bracelets.

14 Karat Gold

The lower the karat the lower the gold content, and with this comes more differences. Although more durable, the lower the gold content the more you lose that classic yellow gold color. 14 karat gold for instance, offers a paler tone than its 18 karat gold counterpart. 14 karat gold is roughly 58% pure gold and 42% other metals. The other metals contributing to 14kt gold can consist of nickel, copper, zinc, and silver. This can make way for beautiful finishes such as white gold, that is almost silver in tone.

The Different Colors of Gold

Whilst yellow is often the first color that comes to mind when we picture gold, there are a number of shades that 18 karat gold can take. The shade is completely dependent on the constitution of metal alloys that make up the 25%. For instance, 18 karat rose gold jewelry will have a higher amount of copper in than of other metals - giving the gold that rosy glow. Whilst the 25% of white gold jewelry will be made largely of silver or platinum.

Sustainable Gold Vermeil

Gorgeous jewelry shouldn't have to come at a cost to the environment. That's why we use 18 karat gold vermeil for our jewelry, crafted from recycled gold and recycled sterling silver. Treat yourself to beautiful gold earrings, anklets, or pendants. Or if you're looking for a special gift for a loved one, choose a piece of engraved jewelry made from high quality 18 karat gold.