Difference Between 14k, 18k, 22k Carat Gold – Which Is Better?

Valuable metals like gold, silver, and platinum have always been an indispensable part of stunning gemstone-based jewelry. Either from an aesthetic or from astrological point of view, gemstones are majorly worn in a particular metal type & setting, be it a ring, pendant, or bracelet. Different gemstones are worn in different metal types to accentuate the aesthetic appeal as well as satiate astrological prerequisites. 

Gold is one of the foremost metals that is used extensively in making alluring gemstone jewelry. Most gemstone jewelry buyers often select different variants of gold as it is one of the most durable and valuable metals. Moreover, gold is also one of the least reactive metals that can be amalgamated with other metals to amplify durability and longevity. Not everyone can afford the purest quality of gold or its jewelry that’s why it also comes in lesser gold concentration variants. The three most prominent variants in gold are 14k gold, 18k gold, and 22k gold.

The key purpose of crafting this blog post is to clearly distinguish the differences between 14k gold, 18k gold, and 22k gold and help gemstone jewelry buyers make more informed decisions.

What is 14K Gold?

14K Gold, also known as 14-carat gold,  is crafted by blending 14 parts of pure gold with 10 parts of other metals, totaling 24 parts in the alloy. This meticulous composition yields 58.5% pure gold and 48.5% alloy, making it an astute choice for gold enthusiasts due to its value and cost-effectiveness. 14-carat gold is the right choice for those individuals who are looking to save big bucks and savor the feel of stunning gold jewelry at the same time.

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What is 18K Gold?

You know how some people want to buy gold jewelry that’s super fancy and expensive? Well, 18K gold is a nice middle ground. It’s still made up of a good amount of pure gold – 75% to be exact. The other 25% is a mix of other metal alloys.

The great thing about 18K is that you get a high concentration of actual gold, but it doesn’t completely break the bank. It strikes a good balance between quality and affordability. Plus, since it contains a decent chunk of pure gold, it tends to hold its resale value pretty well compared to lower karat options.

What is 22K Gold?

22K gold is an alloy that contains 22 parts of pure gold and 2 parts of other metals, making a total of 24 parts in the alloy. This composition results in gold that is approximately 91.67% pure, with the remaining 8.33% consisting of the added metals. 22K gold is known for its bright yellow color and is commonly used in jewelry and investment pieces due to its high gold content and durability.

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Major Differences Between 14k, 18k, and 22k Gold

When it comes to gold jewelry, the karat value is a critical factor that determines the metal’s purity, appearance, and cost. The most common karat values for gold jewelry are 14K, 18K, and 22K, each with its unique characteristics. In this article, we’ll explore the major differences between these three grades of gold.


The karat value of gold reflects its purity, which is the percentage of pure gold present in the metal alloy. Pure gold, or 24K, is too soft and malleable for most jewelry applications, so it is typically alloyed with other metals to increase its durability.

14K gold is composed of 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% other metals, such as copper, silver, or zinc.

18K gold contains 75% pure gold and 25% alloy metals.

22K gold has a high purity level of 91.7% pure gold and only 8.3% alloy metals.

The higher the karat value, the greater the proportion of pure gold in the alloy, resulting in a more valuable and precious metal.


The karat value of gold also influences its color and appearance. Pure 24K gold has a warm, rich yellow hue, but as the purity decreases and more alloy metals are introduced, the color can vary.

14K gold has a distinct yellow color with a slight green or reddish tint, depending on the alloy metals used.

18K gold exhibits a vibrant, deep yellow color that is closer to the traditional shade of pure gold.

22K gold has an intense, reddish-yellow color, often described as a “fiery” or “rosy” hue due to its high gold content.

The color of gold jewelry can be a personal preference, with some individuals preferring the warmth of higher karat values, while others appreciate the unique tints of lower karat alloys.

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The karat value of gold also affects its durability and wearability, which are essential considerations for jewelry pieces that are worn daily.

14K gold is the most durable and resistant to scratches, dents, and everyday wear and tear due to its higher alloy content.

18K gold strikes a balance between durability and purity, making it a popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry.

22K gold is softer and more prone to scratches and damage due to its high gold content, making it less suitable for everyday wear.

For individuals with an active lifestyle or those who prefer low-maintenance jewelry, 14K gold may be the better choice, while those who prioritize the prestige and rarity of higher karat values may opt for 18K or 22K gold.


The cost of gold jewelry is directly related to the karat value and the amount of pure gold present in the alloy.

14K gold is typically the most affordable option due to its lower gold content and higher alloy composition.

18K gold is more expensive than 14K but still relatively accessible for many consumers.

22K gold is the most expensive of the three due to its high gold purity and rarity, making it a luxurious and prestigious choice.

It’s important to note that the cost of gold jewelry is also influenced by factors such as the overall weight, design, and craftsmanship, in addition to the karat value.

In conclusion, the choice between 14K, 18K, and 22K gold comes down to personal preferences, lifestyle needs, and budget considerations. Each karat value offers its own unique advantages and characteristics, from durability and wearability to color and prestige. By understanding the major differences between these three grades of gold, individuals can make an informed decision that aligns with their desires and requirements when selecting gold jewelry.

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Written By pmkkgems

Muskan Sain is a well-versed gemstone expert with over 8 years of experience in the field. She has received extensive training from a renowned gemological institute, which has equipped her with comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the identification, grading, and valuation of gemstones.


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