We mostly use 14 and 18 K Gold and we may make some designs with gold-filled metal. But what are the differences between Gold-filled and 10K-24K Gold? It's the percentage of gold in the metal.
Gold-filled or Gold-fill metal is not pure gold, nor the same as gold-plated metal or vermeil. It is composed of a solid layer of gold, which must constitute at least 5% or 1/20th of the item's total weight, mechanically bonded to another metal. Gold-filled has 100% more gold than gold-plated or vermeil metal. It wears well and does not tarnish nor flake with proper care, looks like 14 K or 18 K gold to the naked eye, but at a fraction of the cost of 14 K or 18 K gold, it is an economical alternative to solid gold! Gold filled items are regulated by the government. These items are therefore so much better than gold plated which has no regulations at all. Gold filled jewelry is made from solid gold and filled with other alloys such as rhodium (a member of the platinum family), brass, and sterling silver. It is perfect for those with nickel allergy. I myself cannot wear gold-plated or vermeil, my skin itches and breaks out within minutes of contact. All of our gold filled wires and findings are made in the US and are tested to be hypoallergenic and did not make me itch at all. :) So be careful when you buy jewelry that says "GOLD", make sure to click on the description, you will later find that it is really not gold, it is either gold-filled, or the more cheaper variety: gold-plated or vermeil commonly used in costume jewelry, we do not use gold-plated or vermeil in any of our jewelries.
10 K , 14 K, 18 K, 22 K and 24 K, what is the difference? K stands for karat which will tell you the purity measurement of your gold jewelry.
10 K Yellow Gold. I call it discount gold, it consists of more alloy than gold. It has 41.7 % gold, 58.3 % alloy. It is paler than the 14 K and may tarnish easily without proper care. We currently do not use 10K gold in any of our jewelry pieces.
14 K Yellow Gold. It is a popular choice for many designers and our clients as well. It is premium gold which contains 58.5 % gold and 41.5% alloy. It is hard and does not scratch easily, most gold jewelry in the US is made in 14K gold for durability, price and beauty. The less alloy in gold jewelry, the softer it is and the more it easily scratches, and so that is the reason why 90% of wedding and engagement rings are set in 14 K gold.
18 K Yellow Gold. Is premium gold which consists of 75% gold. Consumers choose to buy 18 K gold because it has more gold than alloy, and will therefore less likely tarnish, however it is prone to scratching over time from daily wear as it is softer than 14 K gold. If you lay 2 jewelries side by side, one with 14 K gold and the other with 18 K gold, you will not see any difference and know without using any testing tool, but since there is more gold in 18 K, it costs more. Jewelries made with more gold karats than 18 K will scratch and deform easily so you will rarely see wedding or engagement ring made with 22 K or 24 K gold.
22 K Yellow Gold consists of 91.6 % gold. We currently do not use 22 K gold.
24 K Yellow Gold consists of 100 % gold. We currently do not use 24 K gold.
Rose Gold. There is no such thing as natural rose gold. Copper is added to give it the slight pink rose color. We use 18 karat rose gold, which typically consists of about 4% silver added to 75% gold and 21% copper.
White Gold. Natural gold has a yellow color, the higher the Karats, the deeper the hue. White gold is created by mixing gold with Nickel, palladium, and silver along with small percentages of zinc in different amounts to give it's white color. We also use 14 K white gold in our designs.
Sterling Silver. We use sterling silver which contains 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals over fine silver which is too soft for wire wrapped items. It is an economical alternative to White Gold.
I hope this article provided some important tips you can use in choosing the right jewelry to buy as a gift to a special someone or to yourself! Remember, read the description of a jewelry before you buy, find out if it is worth the price. Cheap price + cheap materials = waste of money, and surely will not last forever. Expensive price + cheap materials = waste of money, and surely will not last forever. A jewelry should be made with the best materials and should last forever.
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