Similar to silver, pure gold is actually extremely soft and not suitable for everyday jewelry. In order to solve that dilemma, gold is mixed with alloys to strengthen the metal. The higher the percentage of alloys in a gold and the lower the percentage of pure gold, the lower the karat will be. So for example: 24k is 99.9% gold, while 8k is only 33.3% gold. The higher the karat, the more expensive the jewelry will be. How much pure gold is in different karats can be seen in the illustration below.
In our opinion, 14k gold is the perfect balance between quality, price, and appearance, which is why it is what we use here in the Nolia studio!
Which leads us to another important consideration when purchasing gold jewelry. The karats will actually effect the color as well! Not all gold jewelry is created equal. Pure gold (24k) is actually a very dramatic, and in our opinion, a very unsightly and harsh shade of yellow. On the other end, 8k looks more dull and pale in color and is more likely to cause irritation with someone that has metal allergies.
That's why we LOVE 14k! It is a rich, but not overwhelming shade of gold, that is timeless and classic. It is the most popular choice amongst fine jewelers. More than likely, if you're imaging a yellow gold engagement ring, it's 14k.
PRO TIP: the color of 14k is also the reason we use 14k gold filled as our gold filled option. It looks IDENTICAL to solid 14k gold since it is literally a very thick layer of solid 14k gold that is pressure bonded over a core of brass. So if you are looking for a more economical option, but you love the look of solid 14k gold, try our 14k gold filled pieces!
BONUS TIP: all of our jewelry is lead + nickel free, and all of our solid 14k gold jewelry is marked with a quality stamp so you can be sure of the purity!