What is 10k Gold? Is 10k or 14k Gold Better?

Posted on February 28 2021

10 karat yellow gold is one of the most popular materials used in jewelry today. Almost any jeweler you visit will have an abundance of 10 karat gold items. That’s why it's important to learn as much information about 10 karat gold, and what 10 karat gold is comprised of specifically. This article will also answer common questions about 10 karat gold jewelry, and why most consumers purchase 10 karat gold jewelry items. 10 karat gold and 14 karat gold are often compared to each other because they are similar in price points and look almost identical. This leads to the question, is 10k gold better than 14k gold? We’ll answer that question later in this article. But first, it’s important to remember when comparing 10k gold and 14k gold it’s not a competition for which gold material is “better.” It’s about understanding the differences and similarities of both materials, so you can determine which gold material is right for you.

 

14k Solid Gold 5mm Miami Cuban Link Chain

14k Solid Gold 5mm Miami Cuban Link Chain

 

Is 10k Gold Real Gold? What is 10K Gold?

10 karat gold, when compared to other gold karat materials used in jewelry, is sometimes misunderstood as being an inferior gold material. Most consumers wonder is10k yellow gold real, since it is the least expensive gold karat option in jewelry. Yes, 10 karat yellow gold is considered real gold because it has 41.7% pure gold in its mixture. The 10k gold meaning is that it contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloys and other mixed metals. Typically, 58.3% of 10k gold is made up of alloys and mixed metals.  These other metals in10k gold are typically zinc, palladium, silver, copper, or nickel. 10k gold in comparison to 14k gold, 18k gold, and 24k gold will have the least amount of pure gold in its mixture, which is why 10k gold is the least expensive gold material you can buy. Legally in the United States and some other countries, gold materials can’t be sold as “real gold” if they don’t use at least 10 karats of gold. If real gold jewelry is sold and advertised as anything less than 10k gold, that probably means the gold is fake. This is another reason why 10k gold is real gold, since it is globally recognized by the FTC and categorized as a real gold material. Even though 10k gold has the lowest purity count of gold in its mixture, 10 karat yellow gold is still a great material to use in jewelry because of its price point and long lasting durability. 10 karat gold, whether its yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold, are all considered real gold materials.

 

14k Solid Gold Franco Chain (6mm)

14k Solid Gold Franco Chain (6mm)

 

10k Gold vs 14k Gold

10k gold is most often compared to 14k gold because they are very similar price points. So the next question after price could be is 10k gold better than 14k gold. Aesthetically both 10k gold and 14k gold will look very similar to each other. 10k gold may have a lighter and softer gold tone to its coloring as opposed to 14k gold. 14k gold usually has a bolder golden appearance. 10k gold is traditionally a lighter golden shade. Remember, 10k gold has more mixed metals than pure gold in its mixture, which affects its coloring. But, this physical appearance is typically hard to determine to the naked eye without expert inspection. 10k gold jewelry is offered in yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold materials. Each color is made using a slightly different blend of metals, which combined with the pure gold, can manipulate the color to the perfect tone. 10k gold is better than 14k gold if you are a price conscious jewelry buyer. The affordable low price together with the durability of 10k gold makes 10k gold good for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, but wants a good piece of long lasting gold jewelry. In our article about 14k gold jewelry, we talk about the specifics of 14k gold and what 14k gold is comprised of. Here’s a quick recap; 14k gold is comprised of 58.3% pure gold. Compared to 10k gold, 14k gold has a higher pure gold percentage. Because of this, 14k gold will be more expensive compared to 10k gold. However, both 10k gold and 14k gold are more affordable than 18k gold and 24k gold. Both are considered durable long lasting gold materials for jewelry. There really is no right or wrong answer when comparing 10k gold and 14k gold. It all depends on the criteria the buyer is looking for. It’s common for most people to own both 10k gold and 14k gold jewelry items, depending on the occasion and circumstance of when they’re wearing their gold jewelry. For us at The GLD Shop, we offer 10k gold and 14k gold jewelry items because of their excellent price point and long lasting quality.  Check out our website to see our gold jewelry items offered in both 10k gold and 14k gold. You choose which gold jewelry piece is perfect for you. 

 

14k solid gold 4mm GLD Signature Miami Cuban

14k solid gold 4mm GLD Signature Miami Cuban

 

Is 10K Gold Worth Anything?

10k gold is worth buying if you are looking for a piece of real gold jewelry that will be long lasting and not expensive. Even though 10k gold will have less than 50% pure gold, (41.7% is the approximate amount of pure gold in 10k gold,) the other alloys and metals increase the hardness in 10k gold jewelry. This means it won’t bend or break easily, which is another reason why 10k gold is worth buying. If you are trying to determine how much 10k gold is worth, you should always consult a licensed professional who will examine your 10k gold jewelry piece. Since 10k gold has a percentage of pure gold, 10k gold is worth anything that a professional jeweler deems valuable.  Keep in mind though, the more wear and tear there is decreases the value of any real gold item. This is why its always important, no matter what karat of gold your jewelry items is, to always keep your gold jewelry in the best condition possible.

 

14k Solid Gold Ball Chain

Can I Shower in 10k Gold? Will 10k Gold Tarnish?

As we already mentioned in this article, 10k gold will have a lower count of pure gold and a higher count of mixed metals and alloys. This higher alloy count is great for durability and one of the main reasons why 10k gold is good because it is long lasting. Keep in mind though, the lesser purity of gold may lead to faster tarnishing if not properly cared for. 10k gold will tarnish quicker than 14k gold if it is exposed to sweat, chemicals, or oxidation at an excessive rate. You may be wondering, can I shower in 10k gold? You can occasionally shower wearing 10k gold, but it isn’t recommend to shower often or everyday wearing your 10k gold jewelry. 

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