In 2020, new brides and grooms are lucky enough to have nearly limitless choices when it comes to designing their wedding bands and engagement rings. Choosing the diamond shape, if they want a minimal or elaborate setting, and also what metal they want that setting to be made of! With all these choices, it can get complicated to know what the best choice really is. And while there is no “right” choice, when it comes to your diamond shape, and metal, it’s always good to do your research and educate yourself on all your options!
An important decision to make is what type of metal you’ll choose for your ring or band. Engagement rings come in a variety of precious metals, from more silvery colors like platinum, to beautiful yellow hues like yellow gold. The reigning metal year after year tends to be gold. However, that’s not where the decision making ends. While 14k and 18k gold are the more popular of the gold choices, how much do you know about 24k gold?
What is 24k Gold?
24k gold is pure, non-alloyed gold, and the rarest of all gold available. 24k gold is loved for its rich yellow appearance. The more gold present, the richer (or more yellow-orange) the color of the metal will appear. 14k and 18k gold will look slightly less yellow, for example.
Although beautiful, 24k karat gold is not recommended by jewelers for your engagement ring or wedding band. The high percentage of gold makes it extremely malleable — a characteristic you do not want in a piece of jewelry you’ll be wearing all the time.
While 10, 14 and 18 karat gold is available in white, yellow, and rose gold, 24k gold is only available in yellow gold. This is because 24k gold is 100% pure gold, meaning it has no mixture of any other alloys or metals. Some of the most common metals used to mix with gold are copper, silver, nickel, palladium, and zinc. Depending on what metals are used and the percentage that they’re present will result in these three common colors. White gold has more nickel and zinc, while rose gold contains more copper. Without the mixture of other metals, 24k gold can only be yellow gold.
Unlike other precious metals such as Platinum and Palladium, gold comes in a variety of purity levels like 14k, 18k, and 24k. Karat is different for the better known ‘carat’, which refers to your diamond’s actual weight and is part of the 4 C’s of a diamond. The grading system of gold is based on the karat system, which measures the purity and ratio of pure gold vs. other metals in jewelry. The higher content of gold, the higher the karat rating. The highest karat rating available for gold is 24k, which is why it is the purest form of gold. But why do you need to know about the different karats, and does it make a difference for your engagement ring or wedding band? Yes!
You know by now, 24k gold is 100% pure gold. Without the mixture of other metals, 24k gold is prone to being extremely soft and can easily scratch and bend. For that reason, jewelers do not recommend using 24k gold for your engagement ring, wedding bands, or any other fine jewelry.
Since 24k gold has the highest percentage of pure gold, it is the most expensive gold available! The price of gold changes year to year, but overall 24k will be the most expensive gold choice. Currently, 24k gold is being sold for $1,780.75 USD an ounce. Compared to 14k gold which is currently priced at $1,035.3 USD an ounce. Clean Origin only offers 14k and 18k gold. If you’re looking to buy a gold setting or band that has the highest possible gold content, while still durable enough for daily wear, 18k gold is a great choice. However, 18k will still be a few hundred dollars more expensive than 14k gold. For example, our simple Quiet Beauty Solitaire ring will cost around $740 for 14k gold and $1,065 for 18k gold.
Should I Choose 24k Gold?
Although prestigious and beautiful, 24k gold is not a recommended choice for engagement rings, wedding bands, or any other fine jewelry you tend to wear daily. If you’re looking for a setting made of gold, we would recommend choosing 14k gold. Not only is 14k gold more affordable than 24k gold, but it is also more durable and is more resistant to daily wear and tear. 14k gold also comes in a variety of colors such as white gold and rose gold, which gives you more options to choose from! Platinum is also a great precious metal for engagement rings and wedding bands, silver-ish in color, and much more durable than gold, but also more expensive. If you’re still contemplating which metal to go with for your setting, reach out to our team.