10k Gold: the Definitive Buying Guide
Posted on February 02 2021
Choosing a perfect engagement ring is a much difficult decision. The type or amount of gold used affects the appearance, durability, and feel of a ring. Are you shopping for an engagement ring and wondering what exactly 10k gold means? If you are saying yes, then read this guide till the end. Here, you will get to know the purity level of 10 karat gold, its colour variation and price. Let’s get started!
10k gold is one of the most affordable and durable types of gold. It contains the least amount of pure gold and a high amount of strengthening alloy. So, it can last for a long time and does not scratch. So, if you have a tight budget and want to buy an engagement ring that does not scratch, 10k gold is the best option.
The definition of 10k gold
The most common material for making jewellery pieces is gold. You can find 10k gold in a variety of necklaces, bands, watches, pendants, and earrings. Gold comes in several purity levels, for example, 24 karats, 22 karats, 18 karats, 14 karats, and 10 karats.
The 24 karat gold is pure gold. It means that all 24 parts consist of pure gold. The 24 k jewellery pieces are usually soft, can bend and hence are not durable as well. That is why certain alloy metals are used in gold.
Like other gold karats, the 10 karat gold also consists of the combination of pure gold and
Alloys. In a 10 karat gold setting, there are 10 parts of pure gold and 14 parts of other alloy metals. These include zinc, nickel, copper, silver, and palladium. It determines the characteristics of gold jewellery.
It is not only used for engagement rings but for other jewellery pieces as well. It comprises less than 50 per cent pure gold.
The low purity level affects the appearance of the 10 karat gold. That is why it looks pale and less stunning as compared to other types of gold.
The lowest level in the gold purity levels is 10k gold. It means that in a 10 karat gold, there is 41.7 per cent pure gold while the remaining 58.3 per cent is alloy metals. These alloy metals may be copper, nickel, zinc, palladium, and silver.
As the purity level is low, that is why the 10 karat gold is not usually used for high-end jewellery pieces. You can find 10k bracelets, earrings, and other affordable jewellery.
Why 10 karat gold is not used for making high-end jewellery pieces? It depends on the percentage of alloy metals used in the mixture. The percentage of metals used in the mixture for 10 karat gold is high. That is why the chances are this type of gold may trigger some allergies.
Most people are allergic to some metals, including zinc, copper, and nickel. This is the reason that most engagement rings vendors do not provide rings in 10k gold. Instead, they prefer to make engagement and wedding rings in 14k or 18k gold.
Like other types of gold, the 10k gold is also available in three different colours: yellow, white, and rose. These colours depend on the number of alloy metals added with the pure gold. The following are a few pros and cons of 10 karat gold available in yellow, rose, and white colours:
10k gold yellow
10 karat yellow gold is the combination of 41.7 per cent pure gold and two alloy metals such as copper and silver. The percentage of copper used in the mixture is 6.3 per cent while that of silver is 52 per cent. It means that the amount of silver in 10k gold yellow is more than that of the pure gold.
What are the pros of 10 karats yellow gold?
- This colour is traditional and looks more classic as compared to 10k white and rose gold
- If you have a darker skin tone, the yellow gold colour will look good on you
- 10k yellow gold is less expensive as compared to the other two colours of gold
- It is a popular choice for making rings, bracelets, and earrings
What are the cons of 10 karats yellow gold?
- There is a lack of colour richness on 10 karats yellow gold.
- The gold vendors do not prefer it to make high-end engagement or wedding rings.
- Your skin may feel itchy while wearing it.
10k gold white
In a 10k white gold, 41.7 per cent pure gold is used with three main alloy metals such as zinc, palladium, and silver. The percentage of zinc used in the mixture is 0.9 per cent; palladium is 10 per cent while the silver is 47.4 per cent.
What are the pros of 10 karats white gold?
- It is popular for making engagement rings and other jewellery items.
- It looks lovely and graceful on people with rose or fair skin tone.
- This type of gold may last long. It is more scratch-resistant due to the presence of zinc, palladium, and silver.
What are the cons of 10 karats white gold?
- To protect 10 karats white gold, a rhodium coating is used which may wear off after several years
- It may cause skin allergies
10k gold rose
Apart from yellow and white, there is another colour in which you can get 10 karat gold, and it is Rose colour. 41.7 per cent pure gold, 38.3 per cent copper, and 20 per cent silver make the rose shade of 10 karat gold. This shade usually appears in gold due to the presence of copper as an alloy metal.
The 10k rose gold is not a suitable choice for making high-end engagement rings. It is suitable for other jewellery pieces, for example, earrings.
What are the pros of 10 karats rose gold?
- This shade of gold looks beautiful on people with pale or dark skin tone
- 10k rose gold contains copper which is quite affordable. Hence, the 10k rose gold also becomes a less expensive option
- The amount of copper used in the mixture is high due to which this type of gold is not easy to bend
What are the cons of 10 karats rose gold?
- Most people do not prefer to use 10 karats rose gold for engagement rings as it is less appealing as compared to rose shade in 18k or 14k gold.
- People who are allergic to skin diseases must avoid it.
Price of 10k gold
10k gold contains less amount of pure gold. So, the price of 10 karat gold is less as compared to other types of gold, including 22 karats, 18 karats, and 14 karat gold.
But do keep in mind that although the 10 karat gold is affordable, the quality is rarely high. Plus, it is not used for making the finest engagement rings due to the quality.
It seems that 10 karat gold is less expensive as compared to other kinds of gold. It is not very much cheaper especially if you compare it with 14 k gold. There is very less difference in the appearance and quality of 10 karat gold as compared to 14 karat gold.
Comparison of 10k gold with other gold purity levels
As mentioned earlier in this post, you can find the purity of the gold alloy based on the karat system. For example, in a 10 karat gold, there are 10 parts of gold. In 14 k and 18 k gold, there will be 14 parts and 18 parts of gold respectively. This ratio determines the colour and strength of gold jewellery.
You can measure gold purity in karats. 24 karat, 22 karats. 18 karat, 14 karats, and 10 karats are the most common gold purity levels. Each purity level has its own pros and cons in terms of appearance, durability, and hardness.
If there is less amount of pure gold present in a piece of jewellery, that jewellery piece will be more durable. It is not only less likely to scratch but cannot bend due to any pressure. In the case of 10k gold compared with other gold purity levels, 10 karat gold lasts for a long period.
Gold Purity Chart
No. of Karats
Gold Purity (Percentage)
24 karat gold
22 karat gold
18 karat gold
14 karat gold
10 karat gold
Let’s check out the meaning of each gold purity level and its comparison with 10k gold:
24 karat consists of 100 per cent pure gold. No other alloy metals are used in the mixture. Usually, jewellery pieces are not made up of 24 karat gold as it is quite soft. It can bend very quickly, and hence cannot retain its shape. Moreover, this type of gold purity level is not suitable for engagement or wedding rings.
22 karat gold contains 91.7 per cent of gold. Certain alloys are used to strengthen the jewellery piece. It is bright yellow in colour. The 22 karat jewellery pieces are beautiful and shining.
18 karat gold contains 75 per cent pure gold while the remaining 25 per cent is alloy metals. It looks great for engagement rings, but it is a bit costly and is easy to scratch.
14 karat gold means that the amount of pure gold used in it is 58.3 per cent and the alloy metals make up 41.7 per cent. It is one of the most common types of gold that is used for making rings, especially engagement rings.
10 karat gold means that 41.7 per cent is pure gold, while the remaining 58.3 per cent is alloy metals. The least expensive and the most durable form of gold is 10 karat gold. It has a pale yellow colour and is more likely to trigger skin allergies than other gold levels.
Is 10k gold worth buying?
The 10 karat gold is worth buying if you are looking for an affordable pendant. It is also worth buying if you want a bracelet, earrings or other pieces of jewellery. It is not a good choice if you want a fine engagement or wedding ring.
Most popular vendors do not usually sell engagement rings in 10 karat gold setting. We usually recommend choosing 14k gold rather than 10 karat gold. The reason is 14 karat gold looks more beautiful due to the high purity level.
But in case of a strict budget, we recommend going to 10 karat gold. You must choose it due to its affordable price, a variety of colour options, and durable nature.
So we hope that now you have come to know the purity level of 10 karat gold. You have a good idea of its colour variation, price, and comparison with other karats of gold. If you are shopping for an engagement ring, looking for a durable piece but you are short of budget, we recommend you to consider the 10k gold engagement rings.
It contains less than 50 per cent pure gold. So its colour looks a bit pale. It is less impressive if we compare it with other kinds of gold 14 karat gold. Moreover, this type of gold also causes skin allergies.