14 Karat Gold Guide:Definition & Purity
14 Karat Gold Guide
You must have heard “Gold is Gold”. No! all gold is not equal. It is known for its natural beauty and radiance and is available in various karats. Higher the karats, the more expensive it is. Do you have any idea what do karat numbers means? Do you think lesser karat gold is of no use? Jewelry with 14 karat gold is most popular among the consumers. It is long-lasting and cost-effective. 14 Karat Gold Guide will help you to understand the concepts of karats and how the 14-karat gold can be the right choice for you.
What do Karats Mean?
It is the purity of a piece of gold. In other words, it is the proportion or weight of pure gold in other metals or alloys. Carats are used to describe gemstones like diamonds and one carat is equivalent to 200 mg. Your 2-carat diamond ring has 0.4 grams or 400 milligrams of the gemstone.
Karat is something different. It is specifically used to refer to the fineness of the gold. Pure Gold is 24 karat gold. It is super soft, and it can easily break, bend, or scratched. So, it is not preferable to use it in making jewelry.
Gold is commonly mixed with other metals like copper, nickel, zinc, and silver for making jewels. 1 karat is one part out of 24 parts of pure gold. Your necklace with 18 karat gold is made with 18 parts of pure gold and 6 parts of other metal.
The common karat values of gold are 24k, 22k, 18k, 14k, or 10k. The lesser the karat value, the lighter the shade of metal. 18k gold is a dark yellow gold while 14k gold is a light yellow. Less karat gold greatly compliments the gemstones.
We hope you have got the idea of karat values. Let’s come to our main topic that is the 14 Karat Gold Guide. We are going to tell you its types, why it is used, its durability, price and much more. Read on to improve your knowledge.
14 Karat Gold
We are not necessarily talking about the yellow gold. 14 karat is available in various colors like white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, and even black gold. Different metals are mixed to form the 14 Karat gold.
- 14 Karat Yellow Gold– It has a beautiful light yellow color. Copper, zinc, and nickel are mixed with pure gold to give it a warm look. It is popular for engagement or wedding bands and suits darker skin tones. Yellow gold is the purest hue among white, rose gold, and yellow gold. If you have a gold allergy, then 14 K gold is perfect for you as it rarely causes allergic reactions. Lower color grade diamonds match with it. Although it does not have the same sparkle as 24k gold, but it still has supreme beauty and classic color.
- 14 Karat White Gold– If you don’t like the yellow color of gold then white gold is a good choice. White gold engagement rings are now becoming a trend due to their lustrous and modern look.14 K white gold is made by mixing pure gold with silver, manganese, nickel, and palladium. It is usually coated with rhodium to increase its sparkle and has been used to make wedding jewelry for years. The rhodium coating tends to wear off over time and you need to replace it with a new coating otherwise a pale-yellow white color of 14k gold will become visible. If you compare it with platinum, there is a huge difference in price and a lot of similarities in appearance.
- 14 Karat Rose Gold– The pretty pinkish gold shade of rose gold is due to the presence of copper in it. Higher the concentration of copper intense the shade will be. This is popular among vintage designs. The pure rose gold doesn’t exist. It is always present as a mixture of pure gold and copper. It looks best on all skin tones. It is rigid, strong, and economic as compared to other alloys.
- Black Gold– This is unusual metal but becoming popular in recent years. It is made of yellow gold and black rhodium. Electroplating is performed to manufacture it. There is another method of preparing the black gold in which cobalt is mixed with yellow gold to give a matt black finish. In recent years femtosecond laser method is used that involves high-volume energy and makes the surface of the metal dark until it becomes fully black
Reason Behind Popularity of 14 Karat Gold
14 karat gold is durable and affordable. If you intend to wear your engagement or wedding ring daily, then 14 K gold is an excellent choice.
Another gain of 14 K gold is it can cover flaws of diamonds fixed in it. If you go for a lesser-grade diamond with 14 K gold it will be sparkling as the first-grade diamond due to the yellowish hue of the gold.
It is less prone to scratches. You can wear your 18-karat gold jewelry sometimes but 14 karat gold daily without the fear of wear and tear.
The Purity of 14 Karat Gold
As we have already mentioned purity of gold in the karat section of the 14 Karat gold guide. Do you know what percentage of pure gold is present in 14 K gold? It is 58.3% and the rest of the percentage is covered with other metals that are used to make it.
About 90% of people prefer 14 Karat gold for their wedding jewelry due to its durability and affordability.
14 Karat Gold Price
14 Karat Gold is not only long-lasting but is great for your wallet. The other metals like copper, zinc, and nickel are not expensive at all and don’t affect the price of alloy much. You can calculate the price of 14 karat gold by knowing the price of pure 24 karat gold.
As 14 karat gold contains only 58.3% of pure gold, its price should be lesser than half of 24 karat gold.
Quality of 14 Karat Gold
Don’t underestimate the quality of 14 Karat gold by its lesser percentage of pure gold. It is beautiful in its own way has several benefits that make it a better choice than the finest gold. Other metals present in 14K gold make it stronger. You can choose the purity level according to your preferences.
How to Identify 14 Karat Gold
You have got to know the benefits of purchasing the 14-karat gold, its price, and the shades available. Now the point is how you get to know that the jewelry you are going to purchase has 58.3% gold? Let us help you out.
Gold jewelry comes with a stamp known as a hallmark. Most reliable gold jewelry always has a stamp in the form of digits or letters to show the karat value.
Whenever you purchase your gold jewelry, try to find its hallmark. 585, 14 kt, and 14 k all represent the 14-karat gold.
Some country-based stamps are labeled for export purposes. Some companies have their own specific logo and they write the karat value with their logo.
There is a stamp with “14 K P” which means 14 karats plumb gold. The word plumb is the assurance of its purity like if it is written on the jewelry that means pure gold present in the jewel is not less than 14 karat.
Another way to identify gold purity is by reading its 3-digit code. You need to move the decimal point in one space. For example, if you read code 583, then gold purity will be 58% or 14 karats. You will see jewelry with a 585-number stamp. It shows that it is slightly purer than 583 stamp jewelry. A 24K gold is represented by the code 999 that is very rare to find.
Gold plated jewelry comes with certain alphabets like “GE” and “GEP” which means gold electroplate. This type of jewelry is made of some other metal and a specific thickness of gold is applied to it with the process of gold electroplating.
EPNS stamp means “Electroplated Nickel Silver”. The piece doesn’t contain gold and is worthless.
EPBM is another alloy consists of copper, silver, lead, or zinc. It stands for “Electroplated Britannia Metal’ and is not gold at all.
14K GF is another stamp that means “gold filled”. The base metal is not gold and only the outer layer is covered with gold.
One thing to remember that not all countries restrict the jewelry to stamp their jewelry. If you don’t find the stamp that doesn’t necessarily mean it is not 14K gold. Always purchase your gold from a well-known market.
How to Test If the Gold Is Real?
As we have already mentioned in the 14 Karat gold guide that stamp tells you about the purity of a jewel. The hallmarks including EPNS, EPBM, GE, GEP, and GF are for gold plated jewelry.
A simple test that you can perform at home is to drop the sample into a tub of water. If it sinks, it is gold, but if it floats it is fake.
Another old testing process is known as “Touchstone Testing” in which metal dissolves in acid. The purest gold takes the strongest of acid to get dissolved. The suspicious metal is rubbed on a touchstone to take a sample and then the sample puts into the acid. You can also take a smaller piece of jewelry from the site where it is least visible for sampling.
Disadvantages of 14 Karat Gold
No metal is perfect. Even the platinum metal has some cons. You need to polish your 14-karat gold from time to time to maintain its shine. Yearly maintenance and the right cleaning of your jewelry will keep it sparkling.
Another drawback of 14 Karat gold is it contains some other metals like copper, nickel, zinc, etc. If you are allergic to those metals, then 14 karats will also cause irritation to your skin.
How to Take Care for 14 Karat Jewelry
Although 14 Karat gold is not a soft metal but for daily wear, it requires some care. Read on to understand the simple tips.
- Avoid wearing jewelry during jogging or doing some physical exercise as it can break, scratch, or dings it.
- Chlorine is extremely harmful to 14 karat gold. It can weaken your metal and damage your jewelry. Keep your ring or pendant aside while swimming in chlorine mixed water.
- Your daily activities can make your jewelry dull. Washing dishes, bathing, or applying some skincare products can build up debris around the stones fixed in jewelry.
Some Important Terminologies to Understand
There are some important terminologies you need to understand before purchasing gold jewelry.
- Assay– It is a test that tells us about the metal content and its quality.
- Ductile– It is the capability of a metal to mold into wires. 24k gold is more ductile than 14k gold.
- Bullion- The bulk of precious metals is known as bullion such as gold bars.
- Troy Weight- It is a system of measurement for gemstones and valuable metals. A full troy pound has 12 troy ounces and one troy ounce is equal to 31.1034768 grams.
We hope that our 14 Karat gold guide has cleared most of your confusion regarding gold jewelry. We have explained all the positive and negative aspects of gold karats. The lower karat value doesn’t mean the jewel is worthless. If you are looking for durable and affordable jewelry, then the 14 K gold is the perfect choice for you. It is available in different shades including yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and black gold. Don’t forget to see the stamp or hallmark before making a purchase. Always buy from a trusted store. Maintenance is necessary to wear your jewelry daily. Polishing once or twice a year can make it all new again.