14kt vs. 18kt Gold: Difference Between Gold Karats

14kt vs. 18kt Gold: Difference Between Gold Karats

By Pamela Yeo

The question that we hear the most often is: what is the difference between 14kt and 18kt gold? 

You would notice that for our wedding bands, we offer both 14kt and 18kt gold options for our white, yellow and rose gold options. The differences between the two come down to: 1) gold content, 2) price, 3) colour, and 4) metal hardness.

1) Gold Content

14kt and 18kt (also 9kt, which we no longer offer on our store) are common gold alloys used for jewellery making. 24kt is pure gold, which is too soft for jewellery making - therefore, it is alloyed with other metals such as palladium (for white gold), copper (for rose gold), and silver (for yellow gold). 

Introducing other metals lowers the karat of gold to make it harder and more workable for jewellers. To give a rough example, 18kt yellow gold usually consists of 18/24 parts of pure gold, and the remaining 6/24 parts consist of copper and silver. 18kt rose gold is alloyed with a higher proportion of copper to silver, which gives it its trademark rose hue. Some jewellers add higher or lower amounts of copper to their alloy, which would darken or lighten the alloy accordingly. 

At Covenant Jewellery, we alloy our own rose gold to give it a signature apricot gold colour which we find more wearable and universally flattering. 

What is interesting to note is that 18kt/14kt white gold is actually naturally a creamy, champagne yellow. Commercially available 18kt/14kt white gold options appear a bright, shiny silver finish due to a common finishing method known as rhodium plating. Rhodium is a kind of platinum which is a super hardwearing metal. If you prefer a high shine finish, we recommend going for a rhodium finish for your rings. Over time, the rings will fade to a creamy, champagne natural white gold colour and can be easily re-polished and re-plated to its bright rhodium plated finish. 

2) Price

As 18kt gold options contain a higher proportion of gold, it would naturally be more expensive due to the higher gold content. 

3) Colour

We have here a colour chart of our Covenant Jewellery blend of 14kt/18kt natural champagne white, rose, and yellow gold colours. 

You will notice that the 18kt gold options boast a richer and warmer tone due to the higher gold content. 

Although 14kt gold is known to be a stable colour which is tarnish resistant, we do note that for rose gold, the 18kt rose gold tends to be more stable over the years compared to 14kt rose gold due to the reduced copper content. That being said, 14kt rose gold can be easily restored to its original shine with just an easy repolish at your local jeweller. (Do not use metal polishing creams!)

4) Hardness

14kt gold is a harder metal than 18kt gold, and some say they are more resistant to scratching that 18kt gold. We have found that both hold up equally well over time, but we do prefer 18kt gold as a more precious and enduring metal due to the higher gold content. 

To end, we always recommend to get the gold karat to suit your budget; and if your budget allows, to go for the 18kt gold option as it is a more enduring metal to last a lifetime. 

Explore our collection of wedding bands here!

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Bespoke Jewellery: Process

Bespoke Jewellery: Process

By Pamela Yeo

Looking for an ethically made, bespoke engagement ring or wedding band? And not quite sure where to start? We fully understand how daunting it can be, and here is a little insight into our process on getting started.

1. Starting with your story.

We always kick start our process with a short question on how you would describe your partner in 3 words, or how you would best sum your story and relationship in 3 words. That always helps to frame the design process and navigate the different ring options which could help represent what you hold dear. 

2. What is the function for this ring? Is it an engagement ring or a wedding band?

Usually engagement rings tend to have a larger focal gemstone, and worn to be stacked with a slimmer wedding band. That being said, there are no strict rules when it comes to this, and we have had many who have opted for a slim diamond band as an engagement ring; or a wedding band that is more sparkly. 

3. For engagement rings: what gemstone does she like?

Central to engagement rings is the focal stone which would help to tie in the rest of the design of the ring.

We would start with two main questions:

1) Diamond or coloured gemstone? And if the latter, what colour or particular gemstone does she like? Colours are represented in many different types of gemstones, for example, for red gemstones: ruby or garnet (it’s less expensive but has equally beautiful colour and tone); for blue: sapphire, aquamarine, or tourmaline. There are various choices available depending on the tone that you like, and your budget.

2) What shape does she like? For more rounded and classic shapes, there is the round cut or oval for an elongated profile, or a cushion cut for a squarish cut with rounded edges. If she prefers more edgy and clean lines, she might prefer a more geometrical cut like the asscher, princess, or an elongated rectangular asscher, or a radiant cut.

4. Is there a design in mind?

We regularly post our past custom work on our Instagram handle at @covenantjewellery. For engagement rings, if there is something that you think she might like there, feel free to send those photos along to us when you do get in touch with us. Also, if she has a Pinterest board of rings that she likes, that is always helpful for us to help to narrow down some options for you! 

For wedding bands, if you have certain elements that you like but are not sure how it can be incorporated into a ring. Just let us know and we can develop some options for you. 

If you’re drawing a blank at this point, do not worry! The first question that we ask about the story that you hope your ring represents will help us to suggest some design options for you. On top of that, you can send us some photos of her and based on her style and profile, we can work on something that we think might suit her.

5. What is your budget range?

We have ring options to suit various budgets. Gemstones and diamonds vary in price greatly depending on the size, colour and clarity. Some gemstones are a lot rarer than others and harder to find. Determining your budget range will help us to make suitable recommendations for both the design and the gemstone. Not sure how much to spend? Don’t worry. Take a look around at what is available in the market, and have a feel for the prices before you begin. Have a budget range in mind that you are comfortable with!

6. When would you need your ring by?

Our usual lead time is 6-12 weeks depending on the complexity of the design. If it is an existing ring design, we can expedite the order depending on how busy our workshop is. Just let us know and we can get back to you on what is possible! 

 

Drop us a note at our contact page here and we will get back in touch with you shortly!

 

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