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Everything to Know About 18k Gold

by Haley Anhut
Last updated on October 12, 2022
18k Gold

If you’ve begun your search for the perfect 18k gold engagement ring, you must decide what type of setting and diamond shape you want. Most settings are available in various precious metals, giving you some options.

Platinum has recently seen increased popularity, but the most widely used metal in engagement and wedding rings is still gold.

The purity of your gold ring can impact its value and durability. Here, we discuss 18k gold and what you should know before deciding to buy gold jewelry.

18k Gold Solon Band

First Things First: What Is 18k Gold?

18k Gold (Yellow Gold) diamond earrings from Clean Origin.
18k Yellow Gold Diamond Earrings

The jewelry industry uses the ‘karat number’ grading system to designate purity when measuring gold. In its pure form, 24k gold is 100% pure. Lower karats such as 18k gold and 14k gold incorporate other metals into the gold for improved durability. 

Any gold that is 18 karat contains about 75% pure gold. The more pure gold present in a metal, the softer the metal will be. Although it is 100% pure, a 24k gold ring is too soft for an engagement ring you plan to wear daily.

Many opt for 18 karat gold jewelry because it is an excellent mix of purity, value, and beauty.

Adding alloyed metals like nickel and silver makes gold strong enough to resist significant dents and scratches. Your 18k gold jewelry can still be susceptible to minor scratches with everyday use.

If you plan on wearing your engagement ring or wedding band daily, 14k gold may be the best gold choice because it is stronger.

Gold Colors

Clean Origin Engagement Rings are available in Yellow Gold, Platinum, White Gold and Rose Gold.
Clean Origin Engagement Rings

Gold jewelry comes in yellow, white, and rose gold pieces. The only difference between each specific piece is the mix of metals alloyed with pure gold.

An 18-karat gold alloy is popular for any engagement ring and looks beautiful in all three colors.

Yellow Gold

18k Yellow Gold Alperta Diamond Ring

Yellow gold is making a comeback today with its beautiful warm golden hue. There is more gold present in 18k yellow gold than in 14k gold or 10k gold. This makes the yellow-gold color brighter and richer.

Yellow gold is typically an alloy of pure gold, copper, and nickel. These metals give yellow gold more durability and overall value.

Yellow gold is the most accurate color of gold and is the purest of rose, white, and yellow gold.

White Gold

18k White Gold Perry Eternity Ring

The most popular metal color for engagement rings is white gold. With a beautiful silvery appearance, this metal color is a mixture of gold and other metals such as silver, palladium, and nickel.

Many people choose white gold jewelry because it is simple, classic, and looks great with any diamond.

It’s also common for white gold to have a rhodium coating. White gold metals need regular maintenance to keep them shiny and clean.

Whether you wear white or yellow gold, an 18-karat gold ring is a good investment for diamond engagement rings, bracelets, or necklaces.

Rose Gold 

Rose Gold Diamond Ring

Rose gold is a relatively new trend but makes beautiful and elegant jewelry. A mixture of silver and copper alloys gives rose gold its beautiful pink color.

It looks beautiful in all settings, from classic to vintage.

If you’re in the beginning stages of deciding between white, yellow, or rose gold, check out this guide to learn more about what color is right for you and the style you want!

Why 18k?

18k Yellow Gold Quiet Beauty Oval Ring

Many brides and grooms choose 18k gold for their engagement or wedding rings because it is durable and will last a lifetime.

One advantage of choosing 18k gold is its purity, which gives 18k gold a richer, more vibrant color. This is perfect for showing off beautiful diamonds in your jewelry.

The percentage of gold in 18k gold is also less likely to trigger any skin conditions or reactions. If you are prone to metal allergies, 18k gold is an excellent option for you. The higher gold percentage makes for a beautiful appearance for engagement rings and wedding bands alike.

We offer 18k gold for engagement rings, earrings, and necklaces at Clean Origin.

Durability of 18k Gold

14k White Gold Anna Solitaire Ring

Gold comes in a variety of purity levels like 14k, 18k, and 24k.

Gold that has a higher karat rating is made with pure gold compared to the other metals that are mixed in to create a gold alloy.

A higher gold percentage may be more valuable, but one major drawback is that higher karats are also less durable. For this reason, very few rings are made from 24k gold because it is too soft.

When wearing 18k gold rings during physical activity, it’s essential to watch out for your ring to minimize any damage.

18k Gold Price

Petite Floating Gem Ring

Since 18k gold has a higher percentage of pure gold when compared to 14k gold, it is more expensive. The price of 18k gold will also differ based on the style of setting you’re choosing.

For example, our Petite Floating Gem Ring will cost $1,573.00 in 18k gold, compared to $1,143.00 in 14k gold.

Choosing 14k gold jewelry is more affordable than 18k gold and can save you a few hundred dollars. Some people still prefer 18k gold because it is near pure gold.

If you’re looking for a ring that has a beautiful silver color, we recommend 18k white gold over platinum for the best value.

For example, our Locke Solitaire Ring will cost $830.00 in 14k white gold, $1,045.00 in 18k white gold, and $1,620.00 in platinum.

Each metal choice has pros and cons, and they all have different prices. It is also important to factor in the cost of diamonds in your jewelry when choosing different alloyed metals.

If you choose a lab grown diamond, you’ll save an additional 20-40% on the diamond, allowing you to allocate that money toward a more elaborate setting or a better quality diamond.

Disadvantages

Every precious metal has its disadvantages. The most significant disadvantages of 18 karat gold jewels are that they will be more expensive and softer than 14k gold.

No metal is invincible; even platinum needs maintenance every now and then. Since 18k gold has a higher percentage of pure gold, it is slightly more prone to dents and scratches.

You may need to clean or maintain your ring on a more frequent basis and be more mindful when wearing your ring. Take your ring off when you’re participating in hands-on activities or high-contact sports to avoid damaging your fine jewelry.

If you’re more worried about damaging your ring and want a durable metal, shop for 14k gold because it is more durable.

Clean Origin provides the best quality jewelry in any type of gold. Our collections contain the finest 18k gold jewelry you are sure to fall in love with.