14k or 18k rose gold – which one should I choose? Laurie Sarah’s pros and cons


I get asked a lot about what the difference is between 14k rose gold and 18k rose gold.  Good question!  I’ll start off with the techy stuff, and also show you some finished products, as well as the pros and cons.

(In the main image above, 18k rose gold is on the left, 14k rose gold on the right)

How is 14k and 18k rose gold made?

So let’s start with the “k”.  This stands for “Karat”.  It refers to the purity of the gold. When gold is mined from the earth, it is a bright yellow.  It is pure gold which is referred to as 24k or 24 karat gold.  To make “pink” gold, alloys are added to the gold.  In this case copper.  The more copper added, the lower the karat of gold, and the pinker the gold gets.  You can see it very clearly in these raw castings.  On the left is 14k rose gold – it has more copper added so it is pinker.  The one on the right is 18k rose gold – since it has less copper and more pure gold, it is slightly less pink.


But as you can see, when the rings are finished, the difference in color is not so pronounced.  The ring on the left is 18k rose gold.  The ring on the right is 14k rose gold.


So then what are the pros and cons?  There are two main ones:

  1. Cost.  Because 18k has more pure gold in it, it is therefore more expensive.  This is a con if you’re on a budget, but a pro if you’re interested in the value of your ring.
  2. Hardness – Since pure gold is very soft, the more metals you mix with it, the harder it gets.  So since 14k has more copper, it is a little less soft than 18k is.  Not much, but a little.  So if you’re really hard on jewelry, 14k is a better choice.

Again, in the above picture 18k rose gold is on the left, 14k rose gold on the right.

I hope this helps!  Let me know if I can answer any other questions!


Laurie Sarah

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