Fascinated by gold? Find out all about 14 karat gold and why it’s a great investment.
We’ve got a (gold) mine of information here, and it will tell you everything you need to know about this precious glittering metal.
Jump To a Section Below
- What is 14K Gold?
- What are the Properties of 14K Gold (Purity, Durability, Shine)?
- Is 14K Gold Real Gold?
- How To Tell If Gold Is 14K Gold
- Is 14K Gold Worth Anything?
- Is 14K Gold Pawnable?
- How Does 14K Gold Compare To 24k Gold?
- When Should You Choose 14K Gold?
- How Long Does 14K Gold Last & Will it Fade, Tarnish or Scratch?
- How to Clean 14K Gold
- Is 14K Gold Jewelry a Good Investment?
What is 14K Gold?
Gold’s purity (or fineness) is measured in Karats or parts fine per 24 parts whole. Therefore 24K gold would be pure, 18K would be less pure and 14K even less so. While this might sound like a negative, pure gold is soft and scratches easily and therefore most gold used in high-end jewelry comes in at between 10K and 18K or (41% – 75%) purity.
In the case of 18K gold, for example, the remaining 25% will be made up of another metal such as silver, palladium, zinc, copper or nickel depending on its desired hue and intended purpose.
14K gold is therefore simply a gold alloy at 58% purity. The remaining 42% will determine the gold’s colour and hardness. While both silver and palladium will result in a white gold, a gold-silver alloy will produce a strong, durable metal whilst a gold-palladium alloy will be malleable.
If the jeweller wants to produce a gold that looks yellow, he or she will use a mixture of silver and copper to produce the desired hue.
What are the Properties of 14K Gold (Purity, Durability, Shine)?
As discussed above, 14K gold has a ratio of 58% gold to 42% alloy. If it’s a yellow gold, the alloy will be a mixture of silver and copper, but other colours of gold use other metals.
14K gold is the metal most commonly used for wedding and engagement rings. This is because the jewelry is meant to last a lifetime. A ring with a larger gold to alloy ratio will be more susceptible to wear and tear, and will have to be actively maintained to prevent it from becoming misshapen.
Due to its durability, 14K gold maintains its shine for many years. The silver content means it may tarnish over time, but it can be washed and polished at home with a little bit of warm water, dish soap and vinegar.
Is 14K Gold Real Gold?
Yes, 14K gold contains real gold. It’s not pure gold, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise as pure gold has very little use before being smelted with other metals.
How To Tell If Gold Is 14K Gold
It’s mandatory for goldsmiths to stamp their pieces with a number that indicates the gold’s purity. If you’re not sure whether your gold is 14K, give the object a close inspection and you should find a small “14K” engraved somewhere on its surface. If the piece is old and it’s difficult to tell, take it to a trustworthy jeweller for further inspection.
Is 14K Gold Worth Anything?
While it’s not the most expensive gold out there, 14K gold is still valuable as it contains real gold. The value of a piece is also dependent on its history, condition and composition. It’s harder to resell gold items that contain elements like cadmium and nickel as we now know these metals to be toxic.
Is 14K Gold Pawnable?
14K gold is definitely pawnable, but make sure you’re selling it to a respected and well-known dealer. “Cash for Gold” stores are notoriously unscrupulous, so keep your wits about you and make sure to get more than one opinion before you get pennies for your grandma’s precious gold.
How Does 14K Gold Compare To 24k Gold?
24K gold is pure gold – so it’s far more valuable. However, it’s very rare to find jewelry crafted from 100% pure gold as it’s very soft and easily damaged. So while there may be a large difference in price, there’s also a large difference in practicality. As discussed above, most wedding rings are made from 14K gold as it’s long-lasting and maintains its shape through the years.
When Should You Choose 14K Gold?
If it’s a long-lasting shine, durability and easy maintenance you’re after, you should definitely choose 14K gold. 14K gold is a good choice for 50th anniversaries, wedding bands, engagement rings and investments you want to keep in the family for years to come.
So when you’re at the jewellers, keep these questions in mind: How long must it last? Who is it for – are they someone who works from home or someone who spends a lot of time outdoors? Would a purer gold be better suited for the occasion?
How Long Does 14K Gold Last & Will it Fade, Tarnish or Scratch?
14K gold will last a long, long time. The silver and copper in the alloy strengthen the metal’s structural integrity which means it’s unlikely to lose its shape or scratch. It definitely won’t fade, as the amount of gold present will stave off tarnishing for years. The higher karat a piece, the less likely it will be to tarnish.
That being said, you might see some tarnishing after many years – but it’s nothing you can’t take care of at home.
How to Clean 14K Gold
Cleaning 14K gold is easily done at home! Let’s walk through the basic steps so that you know how to clean gold jewelry properly:
- Prepare a basin of warm water
- Add a few drops of green dish soap
- Add a small amount of an ammonia-based cleaner
- Use a small toothbrush to gently scrub at the jewelry, but be careful to use a soft-bristled brush (preferably one meant for an infant) as a harsh scrubbing could leave scratches.
- Use some white vinegar and a paper towel and gently polish the piece once it’s dry to leave a lovely shine.
- Wipe down with a clean paper towel and leave to air dry.
Is 14K Gold Jewelry a Good Investment?
14K gold jewelry is an excellent investment. It’s hard-wearing, easily maintainable and unlikely to depreciate in value over time. If you’re buying gold as an investment, you want something that will stand the test of time and maybe find itself in the hands of a grandchild or great grandchild somewhere down the line.
14K gold is therefore the perfect choice for you as it’ll maintain its shape and its shine for generations!