The Difference Between 10K & 14K Gold

••• Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

Gold is too soft to be made into jewelry on its own, so it is alloyed to be harder, using the karat, a measure of gold-to-alloy ratio. It is called carat in other parts of the world, though in the United States the spelling carat is used for gemstones.

Karat

A karat is 4.1667 percent part of a substance, or 1/24th of the whole, making 24-karat gold pure gold.

10 Karat vs. 14 Karat

Ten-karat gold means that there are 10 parts gold to 14 parts of an alloying material, while 14-karat gold is 14 parts gold to 10 parts alloying metal.

Etymology

The word karat comes from the Middle English word "carrat," and dates from the 1400s.

Types of Gold

The color of gold can be altered by the alloy it is mixed with. Types of gold available include:

  • yellow
  • green
  • purple
  • rose
  • blue
  • white

Considerations

Different karat levels of gold are better for certain jewelry pieces than others. The lower the gold content is in the metal, the more durable the piece is.

Related Articles

What is Gold Filled?
What Types of Alloys Are Used in Jewelry?
How Much Gold Is in a 10 Karat Ring?
Types of Gold Refining
14Kt Gold Vs. 18Kt Gold
How Gold Is Recycled
How to Do Chemical Test for Gold
Can I Clean Gold With Hydrochloric Acid?
Refining Systems Used to Make Gold Bars
How to Use Bleach on Gold Ore to Remove Gold
What Is Zinc Alloy?
Gold & Platinum Recovery Methods
Geological and Geographical Characteristics of Gold...
Conversion of PPM to Oz
Can You Melt Gold With Propane?
What is Gold Filled?
302 Vs. 304 Stainless Steel
Different Types of Alloys & Use
What Is Mexican Silver?
Which Metals Are the Heaviest?