Not all gold is created equal. This is why you will always have different gold categories to choose from whenever shopping for jewelry. Generally, gold is differentiated by its Karat rating, and the most common varieties are 14K gold and 18K gold. As a shopper, it is essential to know how to differentiate these two types of gold despite their many similarities. Also, it is crucial to learn how to tell if the jewelry is gold-plated or solid.

But, before we look at these differences, let’s find out the ideology behind the term Karat.

What are gold Karats?

Gold in its purest form is exceedingly soft and malleable, attributes that make it hard to use when creating jewelry. As such, the only solution is to add other metals to it to form a hard alloy. Since pure gold could be mixed with alloy metals in different percentages, there was a need for a scale to determine its purity level. This scale was –Karats that reflects the purity percentage of a gold alloy.

Pure gold is marked as 24 karat gold representing 100% purity for accuracy in measurements. All other types of gold are measured against this level of purity. Going by this scale:

  • 18K gold has a purity level of 75% (18/24) and 25% other metal alloys
  • 14K gold has a purity level of 58% (14/24) and 42% other metal alloys

Here, You can read more about what the markings on gold jewelry mean.

The difference between 14-Karat and 18-Karat gold

Now that you know that the primary difference between 14K and 18K gold is in the percentage of pure gold that each contains, how can you tell that they are different?

1.   Looks/color

One of the classic ways to tell apart 14K gold jewelry and 18K gold jewelry is by looking at their color. Generally, an alloy with higher gold content will have a closer color to pure gold. This means 18K gold jewelry will have a more saturated rich, yellow appearance than 14K gold jewelry.

Equally, an 18k white gold diamond ring will have a whiter white, unlike 14K white gold with a warmer white. Finally, 18K rose gold will be peachier, while 14K rose gold will be pinker.

Note: You need to carefully look at 14K and 18K jewelry to notice this difference as the metal alloys used also influence their appearance.

2.   Hardness

Many people go for 14K gold jewelry, such as our 14k gold hoop earrings, because they are durable compared to 18K gold jewelry. This is because the latter contains more pure gold and is less hard than its counterparts. 18-karat gold will bend or wear out more quickly than 14-karat gold.

3.   Price

The 18K gold jewelry price is higher than that of 14K gold jewelry as it contains more pure gold. However, if you are after engagement diamond rings, you most likely want to look for an 18k gold ring.


Whether you are shopping for 18K gold jewelry or 14K gold jewelry, we at Play With Diamonds gold manufacturer have the highest quality options available for you. You will love our hassle-free shopping process, competitive pricing, and worldwide deliveries as we believe that everyone deserves unique gold jewelry.


It might be interesting for you to read the following articles, so you can learn How to clean white gold jewelry with diamonds or the best ways to clean your 18K gold jewelry.