The Difference among Different Percentage of K Gold Jewelry
Why 100% pure gold is rarely seen in jewelry market
Pure gold (100%) is sometimes referred as 24-carat or 24k gold. It, as a very precious metal, has no impurities. Even if the 24-carat gold is not degraded or damaged, it is very soft and tough. Therefore, it is not suitable for many jewelry applications. You don't want to see an expensive diamond ring badly deformed or scratched after wearing it only for a few times. This can clearly explain the phenomenon that you rarely see them sold anywhere in the world except for traditional Chinese wedding jewelry or collectible gold bars in Asian markets.
The solution for making long lasting gold jewelry is to mix other metals such as silver,zinc and etc. (to increase hardness) and copper (to change color). The percentage of alloy metal is reflected in the K number, and the most popular grades are 14k and 18k.
Characteristic of different K gold
18k gold consists of 75% gold and 25% alloy. In the original form, 18k gold has a higher yellow hue than 14k gold due to its high gold content. Although 18k gold is softer than 14k gold, it can be used in jewelry with proper care.
14k gold consists of 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy. In essence, the chemical composition consists of 14 parts of gold and 10 parts of alloy. It can tolerate proper overuse. 14k gold provides the best balance of practicality, economy and aesthetics.
10k gold consists of 41.7% gold and 58.3% alloy. Interestingly, when the composition of gold is less than half that, people mark 10k as gold, and I think it's funny. Because of the higher composition of alloy, 10k gold jewelry is more likely to change color than higher k gold jewelry. That's one reason why jewelers with stricter quality standards don't use 10k or lower grade gold. In terms of pricing, the discount on 10k gold is smaller compared to 14k gold. However, when you buy a ring with lower K, the overall quality of the ring is definitely not as good as higher K gold.
How does K credit rating affect pricing and value
As you probably know, gold is traded around the world as a commodity. The price set by gold depends largely on the current market value of gold. Obviously, the more pure gold you use, the more expensive the jewelry is.