Is 10k or 14k better for everyday wear?

If you're going to buy jewelry that you'll wear every day, 10-carat gold might be a better decision because it's solid and less likely to get scratched. A 14-carat gold ring that you wear all the time, for example, will get scratched and wear out faster. An added advantage is that 10-carat gold is cheaper. First of all, it's not the purest form of gold available for engagement rings.

While 14-carat gold is more than pure enough to provide a rich, warm appearance, it looks slightly less rich than 18-carat gold. That said, it's also cheaper and much more durable than other, purer forms of gold. In short, 10-carat gold is a better choice for jewelry you'll wear every day, as it will wear more slowly due to its hardness. In the United States, 10-carat gold is actually the least pure form of gold that can legally be sold as gold jewelry.

Looking at these numbers, it's interesting to note that less than half of the material in 10-carat jewelry is actually gold, while nearly 60% of the alloy in a 14-carat piece is gold. Because 10-carat gold contains more of these alloyed metals than 14-karat gold, it's more likely to cause skin allergies in people who are sensitive to nickel. There is only one difference between 10-carat yellow gold and 10-carat white gold, the difference is that 10-carat white gold is a mixture of alloys. Since 14-karat gold also contains more than 40% of alloyed metals, it is strong enough for the vast majority of people.

So when you see “10 carats” on jewelry, it means that the piece contains 10 parts of real gold and 14 parts of other metals, usually copper, zinc and silver. The beauty of 10-carat gold is its low cost and high durability, but the downside is that it doesn't have the same shine as more expensive gold. If you don't have sensitive skin and don't think you're allergic to metals, 10-carat gold is unlikely to cause your skin to turn green. Because 10-carat gold contains less pure gold and more metals, the resulting alloy ends up being harder than 14-karat gold.

This percentage is high enough to give 14 carats the warm and rich appearance of gold, without the dull color or lack of warmth that many people don't like about 10-carat gold. Some people find that 10-carat gold looks whiter and prefer to opt for purer gold jewelry just because of its appearance. If your bride-to-be has an active lifestyle, a 14-carat gold ring will be resistant enough to scratches, dents, warps, and other damage for you to wear it every day. For example, a 14-carat gold ring that you wear frequently will scratch and wear out faster than a 10-karat gold ring.

All of these advantages have made 14-carat gold the most popular type of gold for engagement rings, accounting for about 90% of all engagement rings sold in the U.S. The U.S., the United Kingdom and other Western countries are made with 14-carat gold. However, it's not much more affordable than 14-carat gold, meaning you only pay a small amount less for a much lower quality metal. Below, we explain the differences between 10 and 14 carat gold to help you choose the best option for your tastes, needs and budget.