How Are 10K and 14K Different?
The karat number of your jewelry indicates what proportion of it is made up of gold. Thus, the most fundamental difference between 10-karat and 14-karat gold is in the amount of gold content.
10-karat yellow gold band
10K gold contains 10 parts pure gold and 14 parts other metals, such as copper, zinc, silver, tin, etc.
14K gold contains more of the precious metal – 14 parts of the alloy is gold and 10 parts consists of non-gold metals.
In terms of percentage, 10 karats corresponds to 41.7% gold content, while 14 karats is equivalent to 58.3% pure gold.
Looking at these numbers, it is interesting to note that less than half of the material in 10K jewelry is actually gold, whereas almost 60% of the alloy in a 14K piece is gold.
How Is 10K Gold Better Than 14K Gold?
It might seem that 14-karat gold is better just because it is purer than 10K gold, but the latter actually has some advantages over the former. Let’s see what they are:
10-Karat Gold Is Cheaper
10K gold is cheaper than 14K gold – per gram. This is a result of the lower purity of 10K gold, which contains less of the precious (and expensive) metal.
The price of 10K gold is perhaps its biggest selling point. Although most people who prefer 10-karat jewelry do so mainly because it’s cheap, it has another important advantage – greater hardness and durability.
10-Karat Gold Is Harder
Since 10K gold contains less pure gold and more other metals, the resulting alloy ends up being harder than 14K gold.
Gold is a very soft metal, and the more of it is in a piece of jewelry, the softer the item is. As a result, higher-karat gold is easier to scratch and wear out compared to lower-karat pieces.
So, since 10K gold is harder, jewelry made with it is more durable and less prone to bending than 14K gold