You are looking for gold earrings, but you are not sure whether they should be made with gold that is 10 karats or 14 karats? Let’s see how 10K and 14K gold earrings differ.
Gold Content: 14K Earrings Are Made with More Gold
The biggest difference between 10-karat and 14-karat earrings is in the amount of gold they contain.
10K earrings are made with an alloy that contains 41.7% pure gold (10 parts gold for every 14 parts other metals).
14K earrings contain 58.3% pure gold, so they have higher purity than 10K ones.
This difference in purity can have an effect on you if you are allergic to nickel – one of the metals some gold alloys are made with.
If it is present and you are sensitive to it, you might get a skin rash if you wear low-karat earrings.
Because of the higher concentration of non-precious metals in 10K earrings, if they are made with nickel, they would be more likely to cause an allergic reaction than 14K earrings.
It’s not that 14-karat gold cannot give you a rash, but the likelihood is lower.
Price: 10K Earrings Are Usually Cheaper
Since they contain less gold, 10-karat earrings are likely to be less expensive than 14-karat ones.
Of course, price also depends on how large the earrings are, as well as on whether there are diamonds or other gemstones in them.
However, if you take the weight of an earring’s gold body and calculate a price per ounce or gram of gold alloy, 14K earrings will usually turn out to be more expensive per unit of weight.
Hardness: 10K Earrings Are Better for Everyday Wear
The lower purity of 10K earrings has an upside, though – they are harder (compared to 14K earrings) because of the lower percentage of gold they contain, which is a soft and malleable metal.
That’s why 10-karat earrings wear down more slowly and their delicate parts do not bend as easily as those in 14K earrings.
14-karat earrings, on the other hand, are softer, as they contain more gold. That makes them more prone to accumulating scratches over time, and their gold wears out more quickly.
In general, 10K gold is better for earrings that you will wear every day. 14K gold is preferable for jewelry that you won’t wear that often.
Tone: 14K Earrings Have a Richer Yellow Color
In terms of color, 14-karat earrings tend to have a more saturated yellow hue because of their higher gold content. 10-karat earrings, in comparison, may be less rich in tone, as they contain less gold.
The difference in color will not necessarily be visible, however. Jewelry manufacturers differ in how they prepare their gold alloys, and it is not uncommon for 10K gold to vary in tone depending on where it comes from.
And if your earrings have diamonds, there will be contrast between them and the gold, making its color seem richer compared to the white brilliance of the stones.