If you are looking to buy a gold necklace, you might find yourself trying to decide between a 10-karat and a 14-karat chain. But how should you compare them? Read this article to learn more about the differences between 10K and 14K gold necklaces.
Gold Content: Which Has Higher Purity?
The percentage of gold content is one of the main differences between 10K and 14K gold necklaces.
10-karat gold contains 10 parts pure gold and 14 parts additional metals such as zinc, palladium, copper, tin, etc. 14-karat gold, in contrast, has 10 parts other metals for every 14 parts gold.
As you can see, a 14K gold necklace has higher purity, at 58.3% gold content, compared with a 10K chain, which contains 41.7% pure gold.
Price per Gram/Ounce: Which Is Cheaper?
Because it contains more gold per unit of weight, a 14K gold chain will be more expensive on a per-gram/per-ounce basis.
If you want a more affordable gold necklace, pick a 10-karat one, which will be cheaper due to its lower gold content.
Durability: Which Will Last Longer?
Although 10K gold is less pure, the higher proportion of other metals actually makes it harder. This is why necklaces made of 10K gold are more durable and last longer than 14K gold ones.
14K gold is less durable in comparison – it contains more gold, which is actually a very soft metal. For that reason, 14-karat gold chains scratch more easily and wear down faster than 10-karat ones.
It should be noted, however, that 14K gold is still pretty durable compared with 18K or 20K gold.
Gold Tone: Which Has a Better Color?
It can be argued that a 14K gold necklace will have a color that is more like that of real gold, as the alloy contains more of the metal. Some people find that 10K necklaces look whiter and that their yellow tone is not as rich.
You should decide for yourself whether two particular chains, one 10 karats and the other 14 karats, really look different in terms of color.
The tone of a gold alloy depends not only on the percentage of gold in it but also on the type and amount of the other metals mixed in. That’s why you could see 10K necklaces that have a warmer color and other of the same karat that look whiter.
Tendency to Cause Skin Irritation
If low-karat gold tends to irritate your skin and give you a rash, perhaps wearing a 10K gold necklace is not the best idea.
Skin irritation in such cases is usually caused by the presence of nickel in the gold alloy, and low-purity alloys that contain this metal simply have it in higher concentration.
A 14-karat gold necklace would be a better choice if you want to avoid an allergic reaction to nickel.
Keep in mind that if you are too sensitive to the metal, you might need an even higher-karat gold chain, or a nickel-free one.
How to Choose: 10-Karat vs. 14-Karat Gold Necklaces
Pick a 10K gold necklace if you want a piece that is more durable and cheaper at the same time, and if you don’t care that much about how rich the yellow color of the gold will be.
Choose a 14K gold necklace if color is more important to you, and if you don’t mind paying a higher price for a piece that contains more gold but is likely to be slightly softer in comparison with 10K gold.