Most people believe that when they purchase a gold ring, bracelet, watch, or necklace that they are purchasing pure 100% gold, but the truth is that rarely is any of the gold jewelry that we purchase made of pure gold. Jewelry is often mixed with other metals to strengthen it and it more affordable. So, what is 18k gold made from? We will cover this in the section below.
What is 18k Gold Made Of?
18k gold is made of 18 parts gold and 6 parts of other metals, such as silver, copper, or zinc. Each piece of jewelry is different, but the main thing is that it contains 18 parts of gold, meaning it’s made of 75% gold and 25% of other metals, such as silver, copper, zinc, or nickel. To determine the amount of gold that is in jewelry, you should divide the karat by 24 karats. For example, if you have an 18k piece of jewelry, divide 18 by 24 and multiply by 100. 18/24 is 0.7500 x 100 = 75% gold. 18k gold is commonly known as 750 gold, having a fineness of 750.
So, why are other metals added to jewelry?
Other metals are added to jewelry to strengthen the structure of an item of jewelry. 24k pure gold is very soft, scratches easy, and is very malleable, meaning it deforms really easily. So, to keep jewelry from scratching easily and changing its structure, other metals, such as nickel, copper, and zinc are added to jewelry to give it strength and reduce the wear and tear of an article of jewelry.
What are the Advantages of 18k Gold?
18k Jewelry vs Jewelry with Less Gold Content
The main advantage that 18k gold jewelry has over jewelry with lower gold content is that it’s more valuable thanks to its higher gold content. By having more gold than, let’s say 14k jewelry, 18k jewelry typically has a nice, rich orangish yellowish color.
The more copper that’s added to jewelry, the more reddish the jewelry becomes, so if you’re looking for jewelry that has the rich orangish, yellow color of gold, you want to stick with gold that’s 18k or more because the lower the gold content, the less gold-like the color becomes.
18k Jewelry vs Jewelry with More Gold Content
18k Jewelry is the most common type of jewelry that’s currently available and sold throughout the world because of the balance between color and sturdiness. 18k jewelry offers that rich gold color that people love, as well as the sturdiness to avoid deformation and wear that happens with jewelry that has higher gold content, such as 22k and 24k gold jewelry.
22k, for example, is made from 22 parts gold and 2 parts of other metals and 24k gold is made from 100% gold that’s not mixed with any other metals. The purer the gold, the more it scratches and the more brittle it becomes because pure gold is malleable and soft.
18k gold is more affordable than 22k gold and 24k gold because 18k gold contains 75% gold, 22k gold contains 91.6% gold, and 24k gold is made 100% from gold. Since 18k is 75% gold, it’s more affordable than 22k gold and 24k gold.
That said, 22k gold and 24k gold has more of that golden color that people want their jewelry to have. However, even though 22k gold and 24k look better, they scratch a lot easier than 18k gold and wear out more easily.
Less Likely to Cause Allergies
Since 18k gold has a high content of gold, it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction. This is so because some of the other metals that are often added to 12k and 14k gold cause allergies. 18k jewelry has more gold and fewer of other metals that have the potential to cause allergic reactions, which makes it more suitable for people with allergies to certain metals. 18k gold very rarely causes an allergic reaction, making it the perfect blend of gold and other metals for those with allergies.
Perfect For Jewelry Worn Every Day
18k gold is perfect for someone who wants to wear her jewelry every day. This is so because 18k jewelry tends to be stronger, making better able to handle small shocks that occur as we perform our daily tasks. Although more pure gold, such as 22k and 24k tends to have a deeper, more rich color, it breaks and scratches much more easily than 18k gold, making it less attractive.
It’s especially important to choose 18k gold if you have a piece of jewelry that has stones, such as diamonds and gemstones. 18k gold is more durable and ensures that your ring or bracelet’s grip won’t loosen with time and your gem or diamond will remain in place.
Is 18k Gold Good Quality?
Now that you know that 18k gold is not pure gold, is it good quality? The answer is yes, 18k is good quality gold because it strikes a balance in terms of color, price, and build quality.
In terms of color, 18k gold has a decent gold color that is not as rich as 22k gold, but decent enough to impress your friends.
In terms of price, 18k offers the best value for the quality of the jewelry you’re getting. This is so because it’s 75% gold, meaning it has a decent quantity of gold, yet it’s cheaper than 24k, for example, because of the reduced gold content.
In terms of build quality, 18k jewelry is strong enough to keep your jewelry from easily scratching and warping, yet provides a nice gold color for the gold content it has.
Is 18k Gold Expensive?
Currently, 18k gold costs $35, so if you have a necklace or bracelet that weighs 15 grams, expect to pay more than $525 for it. Although this is the price of gold, jewelers often charge more for a piece of jewelry because of the cost of designing the jewelry, making, marketing it, and selling it.
The point we are trying to make is that if you’re thinking about buying gold, you can’t just look up the price of gold and ask a jeweler to sell it to you at that price because the prices for gold that we quoted doesn’t take into account the costs associated with making a piece of jewelry and selling it.
Is 18k Gold Worth Buying?
If you want to buy a nice piece of jewelry that has a decent gold color, is reasonably strong, and won’t break the bank, then 18k gold is the way to go. We mentioned the benefits of 18k gold jewelry several times in this post, but we’ll mention them again below.
18k gold is reasonably strong and has a decent golden color. The color is not as deep as what you’ll find with 24k gold, but it still stands out. Since gold is mixed with other metals, it’s stronger than 22k and 24k gold.
Does 18k Gold Scratch Easily?
18k can scratch quite easily, but it’s still more resistant to scratches than 22k and 24k gold. If you want gold that does not scratch easily, you should go with a lower karat piece of jewelry, such as 14k or 10k gold. They may not be as shiny as 18k gold and that’s because they have more metals mixed in and less gold.
The more gold (the higher the karat) the more easily your jewelry will scratch. If you have scratched jewelry, you can always take it to your local jewel shop as most shops have specialized tools that can remove scratches and dirt that has accumulated on your jewelry. The results may be so good, you might not even believe that it’s the jewelry you sent in for cleaning.
What is 18k Gold Made From?
At this point, you should know that 18k gold is made from 18 parts gold and 6 parts of other metals, such as zinc, copper, and silver. Rarely, will you ever find jewelry that is made from pure gold because it’s too soft and scratches pretty easily?
Most gold jewelry that is sold in the United States is mixed with other metals to make it stronger and more affordable. 18k gold looks nice, has a nice golden color, but 22k jewelry and 24k jewelry has a much richer orangish-yellow color that is due to the higher gold content found in them.
We covered some of the pros and cons of 18k gold and compared it to jewelry with more gold content and jewelry with less gold content. We also covered the quality of 18k jewelry, as well as the cost of it.