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A Side-by-Side Comparison of 14K vs. 18K Gold

Have you ever wondered, “what metal is right for for you?” If so, you have come to the right place! Finding the right metal for your jewelry can seem like a daunting task, but rest assured, our team has compiled the proper guide and resources to make the decision quick and easy.

What is 14K?

14K gold contains  58% pure gold. Since pure gold is a soft and malleable material other metals have been added to it to increase the material’s durability - making it great fit for everyday fine jewelry. 14K is the common karat choice in North America.

What is 18K? 

18K contains 75% pure gold. 18K is softer due to the higher density of gold and has a more buttery yellow hue and is the common karat choice in Europe, Asia, and other regions.

What's the difference between 14K rose, white and yellow gold?

- Yellow gold is made with a blend of alloys including  copper, zinc, and silver.
- Rose gold is made with a blend of alloys including copper and silver
- White gold is made with a blend of alloys including nickel, palladium, and zinc.

What about Platinum? 

Platinum is another durable metal that is commonly sought after for its pure white appearance. A more expensive option over 14K or 18K gold, platinum is made of approximately 75-85% pure platinum alloyed with other metals. At Valerie Madison, platinum is available for all custom rings and many wedding bands can be upgraded to platinum.

What metals are best for those with metal allergies? 

While it depends on what your metal allergies are specifically, nickel is a common metal allergy and thus platinum is a great substitute for white gold (nickel is the bleaching agent used to make white gold white). 

For those with sensitive skin, opt for 14K and 18K over vermeil and gold-filled jewelry as these semi-fine metals contain other metals that can activate skin sensitivities with daily wear and exposure to water, sweat, and sun.