Are Morganite Rings Expensive? Cost Per Carat vs Diamond

Are Morganite Rings Expensive? Cost Per Carat vs Diamond

Thinking of buying a Morganite ring? Morganite is gorgeous and distinctive, but can you afford it?

Are Morganite rings expensive? Morganite costs roughly $300 for a one-carat stone, however quality characteristics regarding color, cut, and clarity will influence the cost of individual stones. Size will also influence the cost of a given stone, but not to the same degree you would find with diamonds or other gems.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the cost of Morganite rings. I’ll address the key influencers of cost below.

What is Morganite?

Before diving into cost drivers, it might be useful to quickly explain what Morganite is, and where it came from. Morganite comes from the Beryl family. Emerald and Aquamarine are two other well-known Beryls. Morganite gets its beautiful range of pink tones from traces amounts of manganese.

In 1902, George Kunz discovered a stone that had color shades ranging from pink to purple, which he called Kunzite. In 1910, he discovered a new stone in Madagascar, with hues ranging from pink to peach, he decided to name it after someone else. George was good friends with J.P. Morgan, the banking tycoon, and enthusiastic gem collector. He delighted Mr. Morgan by naming his new discovery Morganite.

Morganite Supply and Demand

Stones can get quite expensive when there is strong demand for a particular type, but very limited supply. Diamonds are a good example of this. If they could easily find them in your yard, for example, they wouldn’t be coveted or valuable. It’s scarcity that makes us willing to shell out large sums of money for them.

In the case of diamonds, that scarcity is carefully orchestrated and controlled by dominant players in the diamond industry. It’s the sense of rarity and exclusivity, coupled with persuasive marketing messages, that fuels the sale of diamonds at incredibly high prices!

If the market were suddenly flooded with a supply of diamonds that far outpaced demand, prices would plummet and demand would begin to dry up. We would no longer crave diamonds if they didn’t provide us with a sense of exclusivity, and we certainly wouldn’t be willing to pay much for them if they were common.

Recognizing all that, diamond cartels carefully regulate the diamond supply to give the false appearance of scarcity. It works—even small stones can cost thousands of dollars!

Morganite isn’t controlled by a cartel of any kind. It’s essentially provided to the market as it’s mined, cut, and polished.

Morganite demand is strong, and seems to be getting stronger! One popular wedding site conducted a huge survey a couple of years ago. They found that Morganite was one of the most popular non-diamond center stones for engagement rings. Moissanite and Sapphire were also at the top of the list.

Morganite is only mined in a handful of countries. It’s primarily mined in Brazil and Madagascar. Less significant discoveries have also been made in places like China, Russia, Afghanistan, a couple of spots in the US, and few places on the African continent.

The price of Morganite could easily climb much higher in future years as demand continues to increase and some of the limited mines that exist get tapped out. If those scenarios play out, the GENUINE supply and demand imbalance could make Morganite MUCH more expensive.

Be careful when buying Morganite jewelry—especially as prices climb in the future due to the rarity of Morganite. There are always fake stones floating around that are made of glass or other materials. It’s a good idea to verify the authenticity of what you’re buying with a certificate from a trusted gemological institute where possible.

Morganite Price Per Carat

Morganite is one of those stones that you may want to consider if you want something a little different than what others are wearing. It’s also a stone that some turn to when they want a colored gemstone for their ring but can’t afford to go with a colored diamond.

Morganite price per ct. is approximately $300, however, there are a couple of caveats

  1. Value doesn’t always scale with size. Morganite is frequently found in larger fragments, so unlike diamonds and other similar gems, the value of Morganite doesn’t climb exponentially as stones get larger. In other words, a two carat stone will cost you more than a one-carat stone, but not MUCH more—and certainly not twice as much!
  2. Color is king. As mentioned earlier, the price of a particular stone is closely associated with the aesthetic characteristics of the stone (things like color, clarity, and cut). Of those visual elements, color is the most important cost driver! A small Morganite stone with vibrant pink color on a small Morganite stone, could be many times as much as a three-carat stone with pail (weak) coloring for example.
  3. Natural coloring adds value. Untreated stones are much more valuable than treated, or ‘enhanced’ stones. Here again, a small untreated stone with great coloring will be far more valuable than a much larger stone (with even more vibrant color) that has had its coloring enhanced.

In light of all that, you’ll sometimes find a one-carat Morganite stone for far less than $300. That sometimes happens when the stone has less desirable coloring or visible inclusions. Those stones may still work well for some rings.

On the flip-side, you can also find one carat Morganite stones that cost thousands of dollars, because they have unusual characteristics that make them far more rare.

A comparison is often helpful. If you look at Morganite price vs diamond pricing for a similar one-carat stone, white (or colorless) diamonds cost about 10 times as much. Colored diamonds (which are a better side-by-side comparison in some respects) cost a great deal MORE. While a one-carat Morganite stone costs approximately $300, a reasonably colorless diamond of similar size will typically run $3,000 to $5,000.

Morganite Value vs Diamond

We’ve already compared the cost of Morganite and Diamond, but what about the value comparison between the two?

We know that Morganite is much less expensive, but can the higher cost of Diamonds be justified? It’s a polarizing question. You can easily find people that will passionately argue their perspective on both sides. Your opinion matters most when it comes to your ring, but I’ll give you a few issues to consider.

We all use different factors to measure value. Value isn’t ONLY related to what you pay—it’s about what you get for what you pay. Based on that, the cheapest option ISN’T always the one that offers the best value.

To illustrate, think about buying jeans. Imagine buying the 3 pairs described below.

  1. You find a pair of jeans on a clearance rack for $5. They don’t fit quite right, but hey, they’re 5 bucks…and you can’t pass that up! You figure that once the material relaxes a bit, they should work fine. You never wore these jeans out of the house. After putting them on once or twice, you decided that you don’t like them at all. The fit just isn’t right, and you don’t really love the look either. You eventually donate the jeans to Goodwill.
  1. A month later, you come across another pair of jeans that you like. You flip the tag and find that they cost $35. The material seems durable, they fit well, and you really like the look of them. You make the purchase, and are glad you did. They’re one of your favorite pairs—very comfortable. The jeans last you for 9years, before you have to replace them.
  1. After a movie at the mall, you walk through a store and find a pair of name brand jeans that look really nice. The cost of the jean seems like a misprint. Who would drop $300 on a pair of jeans? They look nice, fit well, and you’d love to be seen wearing that name brand. You swallow hard, buy them, wear them frequently. You continue to love the look and feel of the jeans. They last for 10 years.

It’s obvious which pair of jeans was cheapest—but which one represented the best VALUE? Most people would agree it’s NOT the first pair. Both the 2nd and 3rd pair were worn regularly and lasted a long time.

From my own perspective, the second pair was the best value, because of the combination of price and utility (usefulness). Those jeans lasted NINE YEARS! When you do the simple math, you find that she essentially paid $3.89 per year to own and wear those jeans.

The third pair lasted 10 years, so she ended up paying $30 per year for the life she got out of them. They were more durable, but from a dollars and cents perspective, the little bit of extra life they provided wasn’t worth their substantially higher price. The one unique value they did bring is a boost of self-esteem that came from wearing the popular label. Was that worth the added cost? That’s one of those questions people will have different opinions on.

Ok, so what does the example have to do with diamonds and Morganite? I’m sure you already get it, but Morganite probably most closely resembles the second set of jeans. It’s more reasonably priced, and provides lots of beauty and utility! We aren’t talking drab by any means! You’ll likely draw lots of compliments when you wear your Morganite ring.

Diamonds are very much like the 3rd pair of jeans. Some people choose this option because they feel a sense of social pressure, and feel a strong desire to conform—others may just love the look of the stone. Regardless, diamonds carry a message about social status. It’s very important to some people that their center stone be big enough to send the silent message that they’re successful. Diamonds are beautiful and will last a long time, but are they worth the added cost? Here again, different people will have differing opinions.

Why is Morganite so Inexpensive?

Rarity combined with popularity is a recipe for high prices. Diamonds are thought of as rare, but in reality, their rarity is an orchestrated illusion. Oil cartels drive the price of oil up by restricting supply. The diamond industry regulates supply in a similar way. They don’t release all that they mine—they very carefully restrict supply to prop up the high prices that give diamonds the feeling of exclusivity that makes people want them.

Morganite is a rare stone that’s found in very few places, but it isn’t consolidated, controlled and manipulated the way that diamonds have been for many decades now. That’s a huge aspect of why Morganite is so much less expensive than diamonds today.

Another key distinction: Morganite doesn’t have the well organized, and heavily funded, marketing messages that diamonds have long enjoyed, to provide awareness, shape our opinions, and fuel demand.

It’s hard to organize, and fund, a consistent and effective advertising blitz unless you have a monopoly in the market (like we’ve seen in the diamond industry for so long).

Key Drivers of Morganite Value

I mentioned earlier that for Morganite, as with most gems, color is king—it’s the most important criteria. The most sought after color for Morganite is pink. Pinks that have a darker, almost reddish hue to them are also desirable. Morganite that has more of a peach or orange hue is much less valuable.

Another important consideration of value is clarity. Morganite is generally ‘eye clean,’ meaning that you can’t see obvious inclusions with the unassisted eye (without magnification) in most cases. What’s even better is a ‘Clean’ stone, where inclusions are present in the stone at all. The more visible and obstructive inclusions are in a particular stone, the less it’s worth.

‘Treated’ or ‘enhanced’ stones undergo a heating process that reduces the orange and peach tones in the stone, making the pink tones more dominant.

Most Morganite on the market today HAS been heat treated to improve color. That’s nothing to be concerned about, but it’s something you should be aware of. The resulting color change is considered permanent. Treated stones sell better than non-treated stones with undesirable color qualities.

“Heat treatment is not detectable, does not fade, and does not hurt the beauty or value of the gem.” -Laurie Sarah

While heat treading doesn’t decrease a stone’s value, untreated stones with good color qualities are often MUCH MORE valuable because they’re far more rare.

Does Morganite Increase in Value?

It’s unlikely that Morganite will increase in value for years. You’ll lose money on nearly all rings if you resell them shortly after buying them. You’ll still typically lose money if you wait decades before selling most rings (once you adjust for inflation).

Because of growing demand, and the prospect of falling supply in the years to come, it’s possible that the value of Morganite may start to climb (possibly substantially). It’s hard to know just how much the price may go up, or how soon, because of all the variables involved.

Morganite Resale Value

Many people buy diamonds with the false belief that they’re some sort of investment vehicle that appreciates with time. This misguided notion is something that the diamond industry benefits from and even fosters through some of their advertising over time that doesn’t offer full disclosure.

Here’s the fact, diamonds are a TERRIBLE ‘investment.’ In fact, diamonds AREN’T investments—they’re consumables. 

Consider this, what happens if you buy a big-screen television and then try to sell it used three months later? Can you sell it? Absolutely, if it’s in good condition and the price is right. Is anyone going to give you what you paid for it? Nope! The same is absolutely true of diamond rings.

Those that don’t believe me may have to learn the hard way, but I promise this is true. If you buy a diamond engagement ring and then try to resell it (even years later), you’re likely to be ‘taken to the cleaners.’ I’m not exaggerating!

In fact, I wrote another article where I summarized research I did around the resale value, and average losses, for used diamond rings. I was careful about the listings that I evaluated. They had to reference the original purchase pricemost had pictures of their original receipts to show as evidence. You may find the article interesting.

Here’s the scoop, you’re going to lose 30% to 70% of what you paid for your diamond ring when you resell it. Are there people that would be interested in a used Morganite ring? Absolutely, but you’re also going to have to resell that ring at a discount. The question, when you compare the resale value for Morganite and Diamonds, is which one will you lose more money on?

The math is EASY, you’ll lose more reselling the diamond. That’s true because you paid a lot more for it. The article that I mentioned above will break down the math for you so you can see how things shake out when you compare the resale of a diamond and more frugal ring choice.

In Summary

The term ‘expensive’ is relative. Morganite certainly brings strong value, and is much less expensive than many alternative gems. Since it’s a fairly hard stone, and has an interesting look, it’s a ring that’s growing in popularity. It’s also a stone with actual rarity, that is likely to get more rare and expensive in the future.

Related Posts:

How Can You Tell if Morganite is Real or Fake?

Can Morganite be an Engagement Ring? | The Pros and Cons

Which is Better Moissanite or Morganite?

 

Can Morganite be an Engagement Ring? | The Pros and Cons

Can Morganite be an Engagement Ring? | The Pros and Cons

Morganite is a gorgeous stone, but can you really drop to one knee and propose marriage with something other than a diamond in your ring box? Many couples are now choosing Morganite for their special rings—including engagement rings!

Can Morganite be an engagement ring? Morganite can be used for engagement rings. Colored diamonds are incredibly expensive. Morganite is a much affordable alternative. Morganite engagement rings tend to feel warm, feminine, and distinctive. Their tone complements many skin tones and pairs well with a variety of metals.

There’s a lot to consider before settling on Morganite for your engagement ring. In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll tell you about the look, durability, and maintenance needs of this stone, so you can make sure it’s a good fit—and buy with confidence!

Wanting Something Distinctive

It’s always nice when someone notices your engagement ring and complements you on it! It’s common to want something that’s somewhat unique and distinctive—something that stands out and grabs attention. A head-turning diamond is something that most can’t afford. It would often consist of either a large diamond or a fancy colored diamond. The cost of BOTH of those alternatives can be STAGGERING!

If you want a ring that your partner can’t take their eyes off of, it helps to get away from the ‘cookie-cutter’ rings that are traditional in every way. There’s nothing wrong with cookie-cutter, or traditional…if those are the designs fit your sweetheart’s style preferences well, or it’s all you can afford.

You don’t have to go into serious debt to find something that stands out. Colored gemstones, like Morganite, can be a great option! They’re eye-catching, but can also cost a lot less than traditional diamond rings.

The warm tones of Morganite are different than what you usually see on engagement rings. It stands out, turns heads, and collects lots of second looks and compliments!

Color is part of the uniqueness that Morganite offers because its tone can fall anywhere along a spectrum ranging from pink to peach. A morganite color chart can help you to identify the shade that might suit you best. While Morganite engagement rings are growing in popularity, they aren’t yet so common that you’re likely to bump into others with the exact same ring, let alone the same stone color and metal pairing.

The Cost of a Morganite Engagement Ring

A morganite solitaire ring will save you a great deal of money over the cost of a comparable diamond ring! While a one-carat diamond solitaire might cost $3,000 to $5,000, a one-carat Morganite stone might cost just $300. The price will vary to some degree depending on the characteristics of each individual stone and retailer considerations.

The precise cost of a Morganite stone will be dependant on three primary variables:

  1. The size of the stone. All else equal, a larger stone will sell for more than a smaller stone.
  2. The vividness of the stone’s color.
  3. The pricing strategy of a given retailer.

Naturally, rich and vivid stones are always rarer, and therefore, more valuable. Because vivid coloring is more desirable and valuable, many stones are ‘enhanced’. The stones get heat-treated to bring out richer color qualities. Enhancements should always be disclosed to the buyer. Enhancements provide the opportunity to have a look you love…and a price you can actually afford.

How Long Will Morganite Last?

The durability of Morganite (or any stone for that matter) has to do with a few key factors.

  1. Hardness
  2. Toughness
  3. Usage

Hardness means scratch resistance. The harder a particular stone is, the less likely it is to come in contact with harder items in your everyday environment that are capable of scratching it. Diamonds are the hardest stone known to man.

Toughness has to do with how brittle an item is. Hardness has a converse relationship with toughness. Extremely hard items often aren’t tough—they’re brittle and would shatter before they give or bend.

My sister had a diamond solitaire engagement ring that fell off a counter, striking her tile floor. It broke on impact. It was hard (scratch resistant), but NOT tough (It was brittle)!

Morganite is not nearly as hard as diamonds, but it’s also not nearly as brittle. Morganite is ‘tougher’ (less brittle) than diamonds.

Usage relates to how your Morganite ring is worn (how often, how long, and during which activities).

How Hard is Morganite?

Morganite comes in somewhere between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The scale is a comparative tool that shows the relative hardness of stones (which stones are harder, or softer, than other stones).

The scale was originally created by taking ten stones of various kinds and testing to see which were the most scratch resistant. The stones were then ordered bases on hardness. The least scratch-resistant was assigned a grade of ‘1’, while the most scratch-resistant got a ‘10’. All other stones were arranged similarly, based on their relative hardness. An example of the scale follows.

Stone:
Hardness:
Talc
1
Gypsum
2
Calcite
3
Fluorite
4
Apatite
5
Orthoclase
6
Quartz
7
Topaz
8
Sapphire
9
Diamond
10

A rating of 8 doesn’t tell you precisely how hard a particular stone is (because this isn’t an absolute measurement). The scale really just tells us that Morganite is harder than Quartz, but softer than Sapphire, for example. That means that Morganite could scratch quartz, but it couldn’t scratch Sapphire (Sapphire would actually scratch Morganite if the two came in contact).

This is why you never want to mix your rings together when you aren’t wearing them—the stones on your harder stones will scratch your softer stones and metals.

Information on hardness is helpful to know, because the harder the stone in your engagement ring is, the less likely it is to get scratched as you wear it in everyday life. Your hands bump into all kinds of things as you move around your home, school, or office daily. The harder your center stone is, the less likely it is to get scratched when it comes in contact with hard objects in your everyday environment.

While diamonds are harder than Morganite, they are also MUCH more expensive (and still aren’t indestructible). Morganite is considered a hard stone. It’s capable of lasting for decades with proper care.

Matching Metals

The color range of Morganite often complements Rose Gold beautifully. It also looks nice against neutral-colored metals like silver, white gold, or platinum. Morganite doesn’t look as tied in, or coordinated, when it’s paired with yellow gold. The colors aren’t complimentary.

Some sites allow you to digitally pair your Morganite stone with various ring designs and metal colors to provide a visual of how different combinations of Morganite and metals might look once they’re put together. When rings get to pick all the components of your ring, the ability to preview provides assurance that you’ll like the final look your ring before it’s assembled and shipped.

Morganite Value

Genuine morganite rings can be purchased at surprisingly affordable prices. A one-carat Morganite stone, with good color, can be purchased for about $300. Smaller stones, or those with less attractive coloring, would be even less expensive. By comparison, a one-carat diamond would start at about 10 times the price of Morganite (roughly $3,000).

Morganite rings are quickly growing in awareness and popularity. Just as people sometimes sell used diamond rings when relationships end or they decide to upgrade their jewelry, you can also sell used Morganite rings.

While you’ll still have to resell a used Morganite ring at a loss, the same is true for used diamond rings.

Buying Morganite with Confidence

You want your fianceé to LOVE everything about their engagement ring! Guessing the ring design that your partner likes, and getting it RIGHT, can be difficult. Getting that wrong can be expensive and painful. Because of this, I suggest that you check to make sure that a Morganite engagement ring is something they would like. I would have the exact same advice regardless of the type of ring your thinking about buying.

Even traditional diamond rings may not hit the mark for your sweetheart if they have something different (like a colored gemstone) in mind.

If you’re openly exploring ring options, you can spend a little time together, looking at pictures of Morganite rings online. This could help you to have a greater level of certainty about the ring that you ultimately end up buying.

If you’re hoping to surprise your partner with the proposal, you can try to find a more subtle way to gather their opinion about Morganite engagement rings.

For example, you could talk about seeing an interesting ring on someone recently. You might say that you’ve never really seen anyone wearing that kind of stone before, and you’re not sure you like it. You could then look up an image of a morganite ring online and ask what they think.

There are lots of other ways to gather an opinion without showing your cards—get creative!

Here’s another approach—go ahead and guess. Take a chance on the fact that they’ll love a Morganite engagement ring (they probably will)—but hedge your bets by ensuring that the retailer has a solid return policy. Make sure that you understand the limitations of the return policy, so you don’t have any surprises. If you propose, and your fianceé decides that they would prefer something a little different, you can return, or exchange, the ring.

Pros and Cons of Morganite

All gems used for engagement rings have both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages are helpful to be aware of—but they aren’t necessarily a problem in many cases.

By the same token, many of the advantages of a given stone may be nice to be aware of—but aren’t especially important to you. You’ll have to weigh the pros against the cons to determine if Moganite (or any other stone, for that matter) is going to be a good fit for your e-ring.

The Pros of Morganite for Engagement Rings:

  • It’s an inexpensive colored gemstone
  • It’s Durable. The stone is relatively hard and is capable of enduring daily wear
  • It’s a more unique looking ring than your typical diamond allows
  • It compliments most skin tones
  • It’ pairs beautifully with Rose Gold
  • The stone is quite rare

The Cons of Morganite for Engagement Rings:

  • It’s less scratch-resistant than Sapphire and diamond
  • The peachy-pink tone can clash with some metals and other colored gemstones
  • Some brides may want a more traditional looking stone

In Summary

Morganite makes a beautiful engagement ring! It’s a durable stone that can stand up to everyday wear as long as you care for it. Morganite is a rare stone that can help you to create a distinctive looking ring that grabs lots of attention. Fortunately, all those benefits don’t come with an unreachable pricetag. You’ll actually SAVE money when you choose Morganite over many other gem options.

Related Posts:

How Can You Tell if Morganite is Real or Fake?

How is Morganite Graded for Gem Quality?

Which is Better Moissanite or Morganite?

 

What Is 18K Gold? | The Look, Cost, & Durability of 18 Karat

What Is 18K Gold? | The Look, Cost, & Durability of 18 Karat

Gold is beautiful, and often symbolic, but it can also be expensive. Understanding the unique value of 18k, along with its limitations, will help you make sure you use this form of gold for the right jewelry pieces.

What is 18k gold? 18k Gold is an alloy that consists of 75% 24 karat gold and 25% from other metals that increase the hardness of the mixture and influence color. Metals like copper add both hardness and a pink overtone to 18k Rose Gold. 18 karat gold offers a great blend of enhanced durability and high purity.

In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll give you more detail on how 18 karat gold is made. I’ll also share information on how the look, and durability, of 18k gold compares with the look and durability of other common options, like 10k, 14k, and 24k.

Where is 18k Gold From?

Yellow gold is mined from the earth and refined to remove impurities. Pure gold is much too soft to wear as an engagement ring, or some other jewelry item that will be worn regularly. It’s easily scratched and marred by the accidental bumps that happen in everyday life.

In order to add hardness, other metals are added to a gold alloy, but which metals and what ratio depends on the objectives of the gold mixture. Carefully selected non-gold metals can add durability (scratch resistance) to the final metal mixture. It can also influence color, making the mixture lighter or darker.

Again, the MAIN ingredient in 18k gold is yellow gold, but the second-largest ingredient is Copper. From there, a number of other metals like Zinc, Silver, or Nickel could be added, as needed, to influence hardness and color.

Is 18k Gold Real?

While 18 karat gold isn’t completely pure, it still has very high purity, compared to other options like 10k and 14k. The fact that non-gold metals have been added doesn’t make 18k gold ‘fake’.

Again, these metals are intentionally added to improve the practicality of gold for many purposes that it couldn’t serve well in a pure form.

The 18k mark clearly discloses the fact that the piece isn’t made of pure gold. This helps consumers to be well informed before purchasing jewelry.

What is 18 Karat Gold Worth?

As we look at 18 karat gold price (or value) remember, that this metal is 75% gold (18 parts yellow gold and 6 parts non-gold metals like Copper, Zinc, or Nickel). If you want to calculate 18k gold price, at any given point, all you need to do it obtain the current spot value of 24k gold and then multiply it by .75. If 24 karat gold is valued at $49.89 per gram, for example, 75% of that value will be $37.42. 18k gold would be valued at $37.42 per gram in that instance.

Why is this information useful? If you’re selling used 18k jewelry to a refiner, it would certainly be helpful to be able to calculate the value of the gold you’ll be selling. It’s less valuable when you’re simply shopping for an engagement ring, for example, because the cost of gold isn’t the only factor involved in pricing.

Other factors influencing the cost of an 18k gold engagement ring could include:

  • The design of the ring (both how thick and heavy, and also how intricate)
  • The size of the ring (a size 14 will be heavier and require more gold to produce than a size 5 ring of the same style.
  • Any stones that are also mounted
  • The markup of a particular retailer (this might include a premium that you’re willing to pay for a shop with a stellar reputation for quality).
  • The warranties, cleanings, resizing, and other non-tangible value included by a retailer
  • Taxes paid on the item

If you want to purchase gold at a discount (less than retail prices), purchasing used rings private-party may be your best bet. There are often people getting out of relationships that may be willing to sell an engagement ring or wedding ring, for example, at a real discount. Why? Because they may need the cash quickly, because pawn shops are offering so little, or because they want to unload the jewelry right away for emotional reasons.

If you buy this way, please exercise extreme caution by testing the pieces. We’ll briefly explain the process below.

18k Gold vs 24k Gold

24 karat gold is the purest form of gold. That certainly comes with pros AND cons. Some quick reference information follows.

Issue
18K Gold
24K Gold
Purity:18 Parts Gold + 6 Parts Non-Gold (75% Pure)24 Parts Gold + 0 Parts Non-Gold (100% Pure)
Hardness:Significantly harderSoft/easily scratched.
Cost:LowerHigher

18k Gold vs 14k Gold

How will an 18 karat gold ring be different than a similar ring made out of 14k gold? Here again, the 18k gold ring will have some pros and cons when compared with the other. The same would obviously also be true of an 18 karat gold necklace and other types of jewelry.

Issue
18K Gold
14K Gold
Purity:18 Parts Gold + 6 Parts Non-Gold (75% Pure)14 Parts Gold + 10 Parts Non-Gold (58.3% Pure)
Hardness:Softer (more likely to scratch)Harder (less likely to scratch)
Cost:HigherLower

Does 18k Gold Tarnish?

Gold isn’t a reactive metal. Pure gold won’t tarnish. 18k gold does have some non-gold metals mixed in. The non-gold metals could open the door to a little tarnish over time—but it isn’t likely or common. If tarnish does appear at some point, you can remove it with a good cleaning.

Will 18k Gold Turn Your Finger Green?

The same way that it’s possible, but unlikely, for 18k gold to tarnish, it’s also possible, but unlikely, that it will leave a green mark on your finger. Why will 18k gold turn skin green for some but not others?

All gold other than 24k will have non-gold metals mixed in to add hardness. The most common metal additive is Copper. Copper is known to tarnish. Jewelry items with lower purity have high Copper contributions, and a much greater chance of oxidation and tarnish.

Because of that, 18 karat gold is far less likely to oxidize or leave a mark on your finger than 10k or 14k gold for example. Despite the high level of purity, some people still get green or black marks on their skin when they wear 18k jewelry. The cause often comes down to one of the following issues.

  • Hormone levels
  • How sweaty your hands are
  • Skin composition. The PH of your skin and sweat can influence marking
  • Medications that you’re taking and the way they impact your body
  • Lotions and hand creams that you use

If you notice marks being left on your fingers, you may want to try changing any lotions or skin creams that you might be using to see if things change. You can also create a clear barrier on the inside of your ring with clear fingernail polish. That coating should help to stop the marks on your skin until the barrier wears through. You’ll need to reapply the clear nail polish every few weeks to keep the coating intact.

Will 18k Gold Fade?

Solid 18k gold will not fade. The color remains consistent over time. It’s possible, however, for some fading to occur when gold is plated over some non-gold base metal. Fading doesn’t always happen with plated metals, and the fading process would take time and may not even be noticeable in many cases.

Will 18k Gold Rust?

Gold is incredibly non-reactive. It’s not prone to corrosion. The type and quantity of non-gold metals added to 18k gold don’t make the mixture susceptible to rust. Because of this, rust isn’t a form of metal corrosion that you’ll have to worry about with 18k gold jewelry.

Can You Wear 18k Gold in the Shower?

It’s not a good idea to wear gold jewelry of any kind in the shower. Your jewelry won’t immediately fall apart if you do. The damage takes time and won’t be immediately apparent. Chlorine and gold aren’t friendly with each other. It can do microscopic damage to gold (especially the prongs that hold center stones in place) that can eventually lead to bending or breakage.

Beyond those risks, hard water and soaps can build up and dull the appearance of your gold jewelry. My wife has worn her gold ring in the shower for years. On the surface, the ring looked undamaged, but it was weakened over time by chemical reactions, and the prongs eventually bent. We, fortunately, noticed the issue before the diamond fell out and got lost, but that’s a very real risk with this type of damage.

What’s 18k Gold Plated?

Gold plating is simply a layer of gold over a base metal that consists of something other than gold. Brass, for example, could be covered (or plated) with gold for example. The finished product would look identical to a solid gold piece from the outside. The main difference is durability. A solid gold piece could last a lifetime, while a plated piece might last weeks, months, or years.

The term plated is short for ‘Electroplated.’ Electroplating is the process that’s used to apply the gold over the base metal. Jewelry made from a non-gold base metal is submerged in a tank of special solution. A chunk of 18k gold is submerged in the same tank and solution. An electric current is then run through the solution in the tank.

The current causes gold atoms to separate from the gold chunk and settle on the base metal, creating a gold coating. The thickness of the layer will depend on the amount of time that the base metal is left in the tank.

Sometimes plated pieces only contain the thinnest of coatings. They look nice when they’re brand new, but can wear through and look terrible within days. Other pieces have thick coatings that may last for years before needing to be replated.

The main benefit of 18k gold plated jewelry, is that it allows you access to jewelry designs you wouldn’t normally be able to afford—if they were made of solid gold.

What is 18k Gold Vermeil?

Gold Vermeil (pronounced ver-MAY) is a thicker coating of 18k gold over a Sterling Silver base metal. In order to legally use the term Gold Vermeil, jewelry MUST have a layer of gold that’s AT LEAST 2.5 microns thick. The base metal also HAS TO BE Sterling Silver.

If any of those requirements aren’t met, the piece can’t be marketed at Gold Vermeil. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the government agency that polices and enforces the proper use of these terms.

Gold Vermeil essentially allows you to get the look of 18 karat gold on a Sterling Silver budget! While Gold Vermeil jewelry will likely cost more than a similar piece of Sterling Silver jewelry, the cost often isn’t much higher.

What is 18k Gold Filled?

The name ‘Gold Filled’ can be misleading at first glance. It sounds like gold would occupy the inside of a Gold Filled piece of jewelry, right? In reality, Gold Filled jewelry consists of a thick layer of gold on top of a non-gold base metal. The generous application of gold is probably the biggest distinguishing characteristic of Gold Filled jewelry.

For Gold filled items, at least 5% of the total weight of the piece MUST consist of gold. That means that if you have a gold chain that weighs 40 grams, it has to contain at least 2 grams of gold. The gold applied to Gold-Filled jewelry also has to be permanently bonded to the base metal (not just plated on top).

18k Gold filled jewelry can be super durable, but still significantly less expensive than solid 18k gold jewelry. It’s very common for the layer on Gold Filled jewelry to last for decades. It’s even possible for the layer to last through multiple generations if it’s not mistreated.

Spotting Fake 18k Gold Jewelry

There’s nothing wrong with buying 18k Gold Vermeil or 18k Gold Filled jewelry if that’s all your budget will allow for, or it meets your need. There IS a problem with paying for solid gold but getting gold plated jewelry though. It happens!

I just came across an article tonight about a man in my community that was just arrested for selling fake 1 ounce gold bars. One many bought at least 10 at $1,000 each before discovering that they weren’t real when he tried to resell them. When the guy was arrested, they searched his car and found more “gold” bars, “gold” rings, and diamond (which were also fake, I’m sure).

The story is a good reminder of how important it is to stay vigilant and verify that you got what you paid for (real gold). There are several easy ways to test your gold.

  • The ‘Sniff Test’: If an item is being sold too inexpensively, it should be a warning sign. The con man that I mentioned above was selling his ‘gold’ bars for $1000, when they’re easily worth $1,500 for example.
  • The Law of Attraction: Many metals are attracted to magnets, but gold isn’t one of them. If you hold a piece of jewelry up to a magnet and it clings to the magnet, it likely has another base metal beneath its surface.
  • The Acid Test: You can purchase special 18 karat gold acid (a Nitric Acid) that’s intended for testing purposes. If you place a drop of the acid on the surface of gold that isn’t 18k, or on a non-gold metal, it will begin bubbling and changing color. If it sits and does nothing at all, it indicates that you’re dealing with real 18k gold.

**Important Disclaimer** If you place 18k acid on the surface of something like an 18k Gold Filled ring, it may falsely lead you to believe the pieces consist of solid 18k gold. That’s because the gold layer is so thick. You may need to find a worn area on the jewelry, or file it down a bit to get the acid deeper in the item (closer to a possible base metal.

In Summary:

18k gold is a wonderful choice for those that want high-purity gold that’s also more durable than absolutely pure gold would be. This gold is typically a good option for people with sensitive skin that reacts when it comes in contact with less pure gold mixtures like 10k.

When you’re looking at Rose Gold, 18k Rose Gold has lighter coloring than 10k or 14k. Because 18k has more yellow gold and less copper, it takes on a light pink hue. 10k gold has less yellow gold and more copper, so it generally has a much redder, Copper-like, appearance.

18k strikes the perfect balance between cost, purity, durability, and appearance for many jewelry shoppers.

Related Posts:

What is 14K Gold Jewelry? 4 Reasons it’s BETTER Than 24K!

What Is the Difference Between Gold Vermeil & Gold Plating?

What Is Rose Gold? The Ultimate Guide for This Amazing Metal

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Rose Gold Engagement Rings

The Pros and Cons of Rose Gold Engagement Rings

Rose Gold is an incredibly popular option among ‘brides and grooms to be’ for their engagement rings and wedding bands. In an effort to make better shopping decisions, many go online looking for answers to the following question …

What are the pros and cons of Rose Gold Engagement Rings?

The Pros of Rose Gold:

  • Complementary of Many Skin Tones
  • Often More Affordable
  • Low Maintenance
  • More Durable
  • Vintage Look
  • More Distinctive
  • Complements Stones Like Morganite
  • Used By Both Men and Women

The Cons of Rose Gold:

  • Limited Selection
  • Repairs Can Be More Difficult
  • Not Hypoallergenic
  • Risk of Color Clash

Before diving into deeper detail on the pros and cons listed above, I feel like I should quickly cover some basics. I’ll explain how Rose Gold is made, and what the various purity options are. Once you have that foundational understanding, that full list of benefits and drawbacks will should a lot more sense.

Understanding Rose Gold

Rose Gold, which is sometimes also referred to as Pink Gold or Red Gold, is a manufactured metal. There are no gold mines where Rose Gold or White Gold are mined from the earth. All gold starts out as yellow gold.

Pure gold is a very soft metal. How soft? Have you ever seen someone bite a gold coin and then look at it to see if it’s real? That’s something you’ve probably seen on television a time or two. It’s a real thing! Pure gold is so soft that biting it with your teeth can easily leave imprints in the metal. Lots of other things in your everyday environment are also hard enough to scrape and scar pure gold.

To protect it, harder metals can be added to a mixture along with yellow gold. Various ratios of gold to these other metal alloys can produce gold of various hardness and colors.

Copper is a common ingredient in gold that’s less than 24k. In fact, it’s almost always the second highest ingredient (after yellow gold). Rose Gold has a higher percentage of its metal mixture comprised of Copper. This is the reason that Copper takes on a pinkish or reddish tone. The shade depends on the percentage of the mixture that’s made up of Copper.

When more Copper is added, the mixture becomes harder and redder. The less Copper that’s added, the softer and pinker the mixture becomes.

24k (or 24 karat) gold is pure gold—with NO other metals mixed in. It’s ALWAYS yellow gold. Any number that’s smaller than 24 (like you’ll see with 18k, 14k, 12k, or 10k), will have some amount of other non-gold metals mixed in. The LOWER the number before the ‘k,’ the HIGHER the percentage of non-gold metals that were added to the mixture.

12 karat (12k) gold, for example, is 50% yellow gold and 50% other metal additives. 18k is 75% yellow gold and 25% other metals

This information is important to understand because you’ll have several different purity options to choose from as you shop and compare rings. Each of those different purities will have an impact on the hardness AND COLOR of your Rose Gold.

Now that you have some of the basics down, let’s go ahead and look at some of the detail behind the list that I shared earlier. We’ll touch on the positive aspects first.

The Pros of Rose Gold:

The benefits of Rose Gold could include all of the following. The importance and value of each of the following issues will be higher or lower for each individual, depending on their needs and preferences.

Complementary of Many Skin Tones

Rose Gold has a warm coloring. Many people love the way rose gold compliments the tone of their skin. That’s true for people with a wide variety of skin tones. It’s not the kind of thing that only looks good against one very particular type of skin tone.

Again, the color of Rose Gold varies depending on how pure the gold is. 18k gold is more pure, so it will have a pink tint to it. 10k Rose Gold is much less pure. It has more Copper added, making it redder, and more copper-like in appearance.

Often More Affordable

While Rose Gold costs a lot more than options like Sterling Silver or Stainless Steel, it is less expensive than other common alternatives—like Platinum. Because Rose Gold has other non-gold metals (like Copper) mixed in, it’s cheaper to produce than 24k yellow gold.

With gold trading at about $1,500/ounce, the substitution of Copper for some of the gold in the Rose Gold alloy can lead to some SERIOUS savings!

Low Maintenance

Unlike White Gold, Rose Gold doesn’t have any surface plating. It has the same metal mixture all the way through the ring. Plating can wear through pretty quickly, especially when there isn’t a very thick layer applied. When plating wears through, a jeweler has to apply it, which comes at a cost.

Since Rose Gold has no plating, it won’t need to have a surface layer reapplied periodically. That makes it a much more durable kind of ring to own for the long term!

More Durable

Hardness means scratch resistance. Who wants to wear a scratched up engagement ring or wedding band…especially one you paid a lot of money for? Because Rose Gold contains such a high percentage of Copper, it tends to be harder than other gold options.

As I mentioned earlier darker colored Rose Gold rings, the ones that have a reddish look to them, are harder than the ones that have a light pink tone. The darker ones contain a higher percentage of Copper…so they’re harder and more scratch-resistant.

Again, those darker Rose Gold rings will often be 10k gold. 14k will be a little lighter, and 18k will be lighter still. Here’s a 14k Rose Gold and Diamond engagement ring that balances value and durability beautifully.

Vintage Look

Darker Rose Gold can have a cool vintage kind of look to it. That’s brought out even more if oxidation happens in the ring because of the high Copper content. Some people love the look…and even TRY to speed the process of developing that look and style for their Rose Gold ring and jewelry.

More Distinctive

Rose Gold rings are less common than Yellow or White Gold rings. That can help a Rose Gold engagement ring to feel all the more distinctive and unique. In addition, Rose Gold offers an incredibly wide range of color options. Because color is influenced by the type and quantity of non-gold metals that get mixed in, Rose Gold’s coloring can vary a lot from one manufacturer to another.

That color variation makes a Rose Gold ring much more unique. While there are others wearing Rose Gold rings, it’s unlikely that the shade of their ring will exactly match yours in most cases.

Complements Stones Like Morganite

The warm pinkish tone of Rose Gold can make Morganite look AMAZING! Morganite has coloring that typically involves shades of pink and peach. When the Morganite and Rose Gold is paired with tiny diamonds, set as accent stones or a halo, the Rose Gold and Morganite pairing pops even more! Here’s a great example of this type of ring. Notice how the Morganite and the Rose Gold complement each other so well!

Morganite is far from the ONLY kind of stone that Rose Gold can look incredible with, but it’s definitely one of my favorite pairings!

Rose Gold and Morganite Engagement Ring with Halo

Used By Both Men and Women

Pink isn’t JUST for the ladies. It’s not uncommon to see a man rocking a pink shirt or a pink tie these days.

Similarly, men have been adopting Rose Gold in record numbers. There have been LOTS of articles in the media about men rushing out to grab Rose Gold Beats Headphones or a Rose Gold iPhone for example. Gadget manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand from both their male and female customers!

Watches and wedding bands are other areas where many men are embracing Rose Gold. Some couples even decide to get coordinating Rose Gold rings so they match!

The Cons of Rose Gold:

It can’t ALL be good news with Rose Gold, can it? No, as with anything, there are a few areas that may be considered drawbacks for some. I’ll outline the common ones below.

Limited Selection

Jewelers offer more ring designs in Yellow Gold or White Gold. That means that you could stumble upon the perfect ring design, and then find that it isn’t even offered in Rose Gold.

There are still LOTS of rings available in Rose Gold…it’s just not EVERY ring.

Repairs Can Be More Difficult

You may have a harder time finding a jeweler to do resizing and repairs for your Rose Gold Ring. Working on a Rose Gold ring means trying to match the original metal color. It’s tough to get that exactly right! Because of that difficulty, some jewelers won’t even try.

While some jewelers turn away work on Rose Gold rings, others gladly welcome it! There are many jewelers that do a great deal of work with Rose Gold. If you don’t have a jeweler like that in your area, you can always mail your ring to a jeweler located in another city or state.

There are very reputable, and qualified, jewelers online that you can get help from if needed. Check their feedback on Google, and look them up with the BBB, to ensure they don’t have any disturbing complaints from past clients.

There really are some quality options out there. Finding one online shouldn’t be difficult.

Not Hypoallergenic

Some people have allergic reactions when their skin comes in contact with certain metals. Allergies to Nickel seem most common. While Rose Gold generally doesn’t contain Nickel, it DOES contain metals other than just yellow gold.

Because of this, people with sensitivity to the metals that are mixed in, like Copper, for example, could have skin reactions when they wear it. The less pure the Rose Gold is, the more likely it is to cause problems for those with sensitive skin. The majority of the gold mixture for 10k gold is made up of non-gold metals, so it’s the most likely, of the common Rose Gold options, to trigger a reaction. 14k is a level of purity that seems to be safe for most people with mild sensitivity. 18k is an even safer bet. There are those with extreme sensitivity that can’t wear Rose Gold at all though.

Risk of Color Clash

When you pair gems like Aquamarine or Orange Tourmaline with Rose Gold, the colors can easily clash. A reddish or pinkish gold just won’t match every possible center stone. That’s not a big deal, but it’s something you need to be conscious of—especially if you’re ordering a custom ring online.

Yellow gold can also clash with certain colorful gems. White gold, on the other hand, is such a neutral background, that it can really be worn with any kind of center stone without concern of color conflict.

Summary

Rose Gold is a beautiful metal. It’s not without its limitations and challenges, but all things considered, it can be a great overall value for engagement rings! Eye-catching, distinctive, and durable, Rose Gold is a metal that’s certainly worth considering for your engagement ring.

Related Posts:

What Is Rose Gold? The Ultimate Guide for This Amazing Metal

What is 14K Gold Jewelry? 4 Reasons it’s BETTER Than 24K!

What is Gold Vermeil? The Ultimate Guide!

 

What is 14K Gold Jewelry? 4 Reasons it’s BETTER Than 24K!

What is 14K Gold Jewelry? 4 Reasons it’s BETTER Than 24K!

You’ll see lots of abbreviations as you shop for gold jewelry! 14K is one example. Understanding what it means and how it differs from 10k, 12k, 18k, and other options is important.

What is 14k gold jewelry? 14 karat gold is an alloy containing 58.3% yellow gold. The rest is made up of other metals, like Copper and Zinc. These metals make the gold harder and influence color. Higher purity gold is softer than lower purity gold, so 14k is less hard than 10k—but it’s more durable than 18k, 22k, or 24k.

Now that you understand some of the basics, I’ll share some other important information on what 14 karat jewelry is, how it’s used, and why it’s FAR BETTER than 24k gold for jewelry. Before getting to that, I need to give you a little context.

Is 14K Gold Real?

14k IS real gold, but it isn’t PURE gold. As I mentioned a little earlier, pure gold is a soft metal. It isn’t suitable for jewelry because it would get scratched and worn out too quickly. To solve this problem, other metals are added in specific ratios to increase the hardness (durability) of gold that’s used for things like jewelry.

Not being ENTIRELY gold, doesn’t it make it ‘FAKE’ gold. Again, other metals are added to make the gold mixture more practical for wearing as jewelry daily.

How 14K Gold is Made?

Gold is mined from the earth. All gold starts out as yellow gold. White Gold, Black Gold, and Rose Gold are created through metal mix-ins and/or plating. We’ll talk more about these various gold color options a little later.

Pure gold is referred to as 24 karat gold (24 parts, out of a possible 24, consist of gold). 24 karat gold has NO other metals mixed in. Gold of lesser purity (that DOES have other metals mixed in) has its purity expressed as the number of parts (out of a possible 24) that are made up of gold. 14K gold contains 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts other metals. That makes it 58.3% pure gold.

Copper is the second largest ingredient in 14k gold. Zinc is another common mix in, but it’s added in much smaller quantities.

Before digging into additional information, I should mention that there’s a difference between ‘karats’ and ‘carats’. Karats is a measure of gold purity, while Carats is a weight-based measurement used for diamonds. The term Karat is often abbreviated as either ‘k’ or ‘kt’.

How is 14K WHITE GOLD Made?

White gold is NOT a natural product. All gold starts out yellow. Various metals (like Silver and Nickel) can be added to a gold alloy to not only make it more durable, but also to lighten the color.

While the shade of white gold may be lighter than classic yellow gold, it’s still a far cry from actually being ‘white’. The color and finish that you’re used to seeing on white gold jewelry actually comes from Rhodium. Rhodium is a metal from the Platinum family (you can probably see the family resemblance).

Rhodium isn’t mixed into White Gold, it’s plated on top. The plating means that the finish is temporary. Plating eventually wears through and needs to be reapplied. Because of this, White Gold IS NOT a low maintenance ring to own.

White Gold is made in a wide variety of purities. You can get 14 karat White Gold, but you can also get in 10k, 12k, 18k etc. What you CAN’T get is 24k White Gold—it doesn’t exist! The reason that you can’t get 24 karat white gold, is that white gold always has to have other metals mixed in, so by definition, it CAN’T be pure gold (or 24k).

How is 14K ROSE GOLD Made?

Rose Gold has a unique coloring that ranges from ‘pinkish’ to ‘reddish.’ The coloring is created by adding Copper to yellow gold in various ratios. If you increase the Copper percentage of the alloy, you’ll get a metal mixture that has a more red, Copper-like, appearance.

If you dial the Copper and add more gold, you may end up with a beautiful strawberry blonde gold that has a pretty pink tint to it. As with White Gold, you can get 14 karat Rose Gold, along with a variety of other purity levels, but 24k Rose Gold doesn’t exist. Rose Gold has to be an alloy, but 24k gold is pure gold without anything mixed in—which is why you’ll never see 24k Rose Gold offered (legitimately).

If you’d like to learn more about this popular metal, read the article that I recently published covering Rose Gold in great detail.

Which Center Stones Work Well with 14K Jewelry?

14 kt gold can work well for any kind of center stone. You may choose yellow, white, or rose gold to pair with various gem colors, but you should be able to find a great match that complements the stone well. White Diamond, Moissanite, Sapphire, Morganite, and Cubic Zirconia can all look beautiful set against 14-karat gold!

4 Reasons Why 14K Gold is Better Than 24K for Jewelry

24k gold is the purest form of gold, but even affluent people often choose 14k gold over 24k for their jewelry. In this section, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why.

Here are FOUR very common reasons:

1. 14k Gold is Harder Than 24k Gold

We’ve already touched on this, but it’s a big factor! Some jewelry is more than just a fashion accessory—it has real sentimental value. For example, A jewelry fashion trend among celebrities right now, is wearing a Necklace, chain, or bracelet that has initials on it. Those initials often represent someone special to them (a partner or child for example).

14k Gold Bracelet

24k gold is soft and scratches easily. 14k is MUCH harder! When you want the beautiful look of quality gold, but also want durability, 14k becomes a wonderful option. Even people with enough money for 24k, often choose 14k because of its added durability!

2. 14k Gold Offers a Better Blend of Safety and Durability

Because 24k gold doesn’t have metals mixed in, it’s the safest type of gold for sensitive skin, but again, it’s too soft for many jewelry applications. Because of that, people with sensitivity to some metals often turn to either 14k or 18k. While both of those options DO have other metals mixed in, they aren’t a high enough percentage to cause reactions for many people.

The added advantage of choosing 14k over 18k, is that it’s more durable. Again, who doesn’t want as much durability as possible for jewelry with high sentimental value?

Be aware, that White Gold is something that people with sensitive skin often try to avoid regardless of the karat value. White Gold often has some amount of Nickel added. Nickel is the metal that most commonly gives people skin reactions. If you have metal allergies, you may want to stick with either yellow gold or rose gold.

3. White Gold and Rose Gold AREN’T Available in 24k

Jewelry shoppers are forced to consider something other than 24k gold if they ever want White Gold or Rose Gold. Rose Gold is HOT right now…just look at how rose gold iPhones have been flying off the shelf in recent years—selling like hotcakes to both men and women!

Because White gold and Rose gold aren’t available in 24k, either 14k or 18k become the most common (high-quality) options available. Here again, 14k delivers better durability—and durability is often top-of-mind when considering a new piece of jewelry with high sentimental value.

4. 14 karat Gold is Less Expensive Than 24k

Money is a central focus for some, and an afterthought for others. Both groups have compelling reasons to choose 14k gold jewelry over 24k gold jewelry. The financial savings for choosing 14k for gold jewelry comes in TWO forms.

  • A lower initial purchase price.
  • Lower lifetime costs for repair and replacement

Pure gold is great for gold bricks that sit in a safe, but not for jewelry that’s worn daily. In the course of normal activities, it would come in direct contact with hundreds of everyday objects that could easily scratch it.

The Cons of 14k Jewelry

I’ve shared some of the advantages of 14k Gold (the pros), but what are the disadvantages (the cons) of choosing this option? Remember that song from the late ‘80’s ‘Every Rose Has its Thorn’? What are the ‘thorns’ of 14k gold? Here are a couple of ‘thorns’ that critics sometimes bring up.

Used 14K Jewelry Has a Lower Resale Value

On the surface, this looks like a drawback of 14k gold, but is it really? You pay less for 14k than you would pay for 24k jewelry, so it only makes sense that they would also resell as used jewelry for a lower price as well. After all, because 14k is less pure, there’s less actual gold in it, so it’s melt value (the actual value of the gold that you can get out of it) would also be lower.

Since you paid less for the 14k when it was new, I don’t see this as a true drawback or flaw. How many people think it’s smart to pay too much tax throughout the year…just so you can get a tax refund at some point in the future? It’s much better to pay less in tax now and NOT get a refund later, right?

This issue is similar! Paying more for 24k gold, just so you can have a higher resale value in the future, doesn’t sound very smart if you ask me!

14k Jewelry isn’t as Hard as 10k

It’s true that 10k is more durable than 14k, however, less than 50% of 10k is comprised of gold. Because the ratio of alloy mix-ins is so high, it can often cause skin irritation for people with sensitivity. 14k is the hardest, and least expensive, type of gold that’s generally safe for wearers with skin sensitivity.

How to Test 14K Gold and Recognize Fake Gold

First and foremost, I recommend shopping with credible and trusted retailers. It’s safest to avoid auction sites and other sites where you can buy from unknown ‘mom and pop’ retailers. They often import their inventory without testing the shipment. They rely on claims from the manufacturer about the product they’re shipping to you. These retailers can intentionally, or unintentionally, mislead you about the jewelry that you buy from them.

We’ll talk about how to test your jewelry in a moment, to confirm the purity of your gold. Testing doesn’t take the place of normal ‘due diligence’ though, like checking the reputation of the retailer, reading reviews from past buyers, and looking for the seller’s return policy. After reviewing all that, testing your metal can provide further confirmation. The processes you’ll want to follow are outlined below.

Start by touching the side of your 14k gold ring or 14k gold chain, for example, with a powerful magnet (like a Neodymium magnet). If the ring is gold, there shouldn’t be an attraction. If the ring sticks to the magnet, it likely has a base metal under the surface layer of gold. If that wasn’t disclosed, you should return the product and get a refund immediately.

Next, you can test the gold with a drop of 14k acid. This is a testing acid that won’t have any effect on 14k gold, but it will bubble and change colors (typically turning green or black) if there’s a lower grade gold (or a fake gold) on the surface.

In Summary

14k gold jewelry is beautiful, durable, and more affordable than many other gold options. If you care for your 14 karat gold jewelly, it should last for a lifetime! Because of its relative hardness, the ability to be used for both Rose Gold and White Gold, and it’s more affordable nature, 14k is the BEST choice for many jewelry pieces.

Related Posts:

What Is Rose Gold? The Ultimate Guide for This Amazing Metal

What is Gold Vermeil? The Ultimate Guide!

What is Gold Filled Jewelry? The Look, Durability, Cost, & Care