When it comes to gold – specifically the different karats – you may feel somewhat overwhelmed by information and conflicting opinions regarding the relative desirability of each.
Gold, particularly 18k gold, is regarded as an especially sophisticated and magnificent material for jewelry across the globe. Aesthetics aside, many value this material as a financial investment that is both safe and substantial.
We are here to unpack the simple characteristics, uses, values, benefits and downfalls of 18 karat gold.
What is 18 Karat Gold?
The word ‘karat’ is a term used to both measure and describe the purity or ‘fineness’ of gold. The purest measurement possible is 24k gold. So, the higher the karat rating, the less other alloys have been combined with the gold. These alloys are most commonly zinc, copper, silver, and nickel. A piece of 18 karat gold will therefore consist of 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy.
What Are the Properties of 18K Gold?
The ‘yellow gold’ that is so typical of 18 karat gold boasts an absolutely magnificent sunset-esque golden hue. There has been a worldwide rise in demand for this specific hue. Compared to gold with a lower karat score, 18 karats shine in a manner that is simultaneously striking, elegant, and gentle.
It is far more durable than 24 karat gold as it is harder and therefore less prone to being scratched or bending out of its intended shape. It is, however, not as durable as an 18-karat piece. The purity of the gold can be derived from its very name as it is indicative of the ratio of gold to other metals. Hence, 18k gold is purer relative to anything less than 18 and less pure than any karat between 19 and 24.
Is 18KGold Good Quality?
18 karat gold is, without a doubt, good quality. It is certainly on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to cost and hence, its quality is proportionally more significant too. Many individuals tend to prefer 18k over 24k as it is less likely to be damaged when worn as jewelry.
How to Tell If Gold is 18K Gold?
The easiest way to find out whether your gold is 18 karats is to examine the surface for markings. Gold jewelry will usually have the karat number stamped onto the piece of jewelry. Therefore, if the jewelry is 18 karats you should be able to find a marking that reads ‘18k’ or ‘18kt’.
Alternatively, you can visit a reputable jeweller and they might be able to figure out the karat number based on some standardised testing techniques.
Is 18K Gold the Same as 750?
‘750’ is another way of referring to 18k gold. The ratio is the same but the scale is different. As the 18 is divided by 24 equal karats, the material is comprised of 75% gold or 0.75. Multiply this number by a thousand and you will see that, for every 1000 equal units, 750 of them will be gold.
How Much is 18K Gold Worth?
The price of all gold will always vary slightly. This is particularly true if you are purchasing gold in the form of jewelry as the craftsmanship, design, distributor, and location will influence the final selling price.
Furthermore, even if you are purchasing it as a coin or a bar, the types of alloys used will inform the relative price of that specific piece. At present, the average cost of 1 gram of 18k gold in the United States is $41.29.
How Does 18K Gold Compare to 24k Gold and 14k Gold?
There is, intuitively, a substantial difference in the characteristics, uses, and quality of 24k versus 14k gold. 14 karat gold caters to the more budget-sensitive buyer as it contains proportionally less pure gold. It is, however, pure enough to flash it’s brilliant yellow gold colour and not irritate the skin.
24 karat gold, on the other hand, is as pure as it gets. It is composed of between 99.99 and 100 percent gold. It is, therefore, aesthetically flawless. Its golden splendour is guaranteed to never fade although its structural integrity is not quite as assured. Since it is pure gold, it is a softer material and therefore it is vulnerable to being scratched or bent out of shape.
18 karat gold is, therefore, the perfect compromise. Its colour is brilliant and its structure is sustainable. Some may feel that 14 karats strike that same balance. While this is certainly true, those extra four karats do make a difference and they are sure to make any lover or admirer swoon with excitement.
When Should You Choose 18K Gold?
Many are of the opinion that 18 karat gold is the popular choice when it comes to engagement or wedding rings. That being said, it is ideal for any form of special jewelry. If you are looking to purchase golden jewelry that is both luxurious and practical then 18 karat gold might just be the way to go.
Does 18K Gold Fade?
The colours of gold are the aesthetic property that draws people into its entrancing orbit. Gold is non-reactive and hence, when exposed to other elements, its spellbinding sheen is not compromised.
As 18 karat gold is 6 parts alloy and 18 parts gold, there are other metals present that will increase the likelihood of a slight fade over time. That being said, it should not fade significantly and it will certainly retain its aesthetic integrity for far longer than a gold piece of a lower karat rating.
Can I Wear 18K Gold Every Day?
The majority of skilled jewellers will say that wearing 18 karat gold on a daily basis is fine. Naturally, you should be careful so as not to abuse it with an excessive amount of wear and tear. The presence of an alloy does, however, significantly strengthen the gold and thus it is a suitable material for engagement rings and wedding bands.
Can You Shower with 18K Gold?
While gold itself does not react with water, the other metals contained in an 18-karat piece might. As it is on the higher end of the karat spectrum, a noticeable rust is less likely to occur. We would, however, recommend that you avoid getting it wet in order to ensure its longevity and aesthetic brilliance.
How to Clean 18K Gold
There is much confusion as to how to clean gold jewelry. Ideally, you would take your gold to a professional jeweller to be professionally cleaned. If, however, you are determined to do it yourself then there is a simple and effective method that you can try at home.
Soak your 18-karat gold in 2 cups of lukewarm water with a few drops of normal dishwashing liquid. Let this soak for 10-20 minutes. Remove the jewelry from the water and carefully brush the surface with a hyper-soft and unused toothbrush. Rinse the gold in another bowl of lukewarm water. Remove the gold and take your time to dry it with a non-lint cloth. Instead of rubbing the jewelry with the cloth, simply pat it dry.
Is 18K Jewelry a Good Investment?
Gold is always a worthy investment. The demand is high and, due to the earth’s limited and slow-renewing resources, the supply is low. While there might be minor fluctuations in the price of 18k gold, it is almost guaranteed to steadily increase as the years go by.
Even if you do not plan on reselling your 18k jewelry, we are certain that such a magnificent piece will bless your life with an abundance of joy and compliments. It is certainly a good investment.
Chermaine’s journey into the world of gemstones and crystals began as a child, collecting shimmering stones on family vacations. Today, she’s a certified gemologist and spiritual healer, intertwining the physical beauty of jewels with their metaphysical properties.
Chermaine has traveled to mines in Africa, marketplaces in India, and spiritual retreats in Bali, always seeking to deepen her understanding.
Jump To a Section Below
- What is 18 Karat Gold?
- What Are the Properties of 18K Gold?
- Is 18KGold Good Quality?
- How to Tell If Gold is 18K Gold?
- Is 18K Gold the Same as 750?
- How Much is 18K Gold Worth?
- How Does 18K Gold Compare to 24k Gold and 14k Gold?
- When Should You Choose 18K Gold?
- Does 18K Gold Fade?
- Can I Wear 18K Gold Every Day?
- Can You Shower with 18K Gold?
- How to Clean 18K Gold
- Is 18K Jewelry a Good Investment?