Looking to buy rose gold jewelry but are stuck with 10K and 14K as your options, but you aren’t sure which of the two would be best for you? This article shares insights into 10K, and 14K rose gold, their differences, and the reasons for or against these two gold alloys.
Pure gold is one of the brightest varieties of gold, and at 24K gold, the pure gold’s color leans more towards the bright orange than the rich and warm yellow color that most people associate with gold. For an improvement in the durability of the gold jewelry, the 24K pure gold is mixed with several other metals that allow for the crafting of the gold into high-quality fine jewelry.
The purity of gold is determined using the Karat system, whose measure is based on the ratios of pure gold along with secondary metals. These are used in the alloying process, creating hardier, more durable varieties of gold. Pure gold has a karatage value of 24K, which means that it has 24 parts out of the 24 parts that are made of pure gold. This is too soft and cannot be used in jewelry that is worn daily- but is often used as heirlooms or investment options.
What is 10K rose gold made of?
Because of the composition of 10K rose gold, this version of gold is known as discount gold, with only half of the metals in the 10K rose gold made of actual, 100% pure gold. This variety of gold is alloyed with copper and silver, and it’s stamped with 10K, 10Kt, and in other cases, .417.
Pros and the cons of 10K rose gold
- Extremely affordable
- Quite durable
- Low maintenance costs
- Resistant to scuffs, scratches, dents, and damage in all forms
- Low gold purity level
- It’s the least pure forms of gold sold legally across the US for jewelry
- It looks a little dull and isn’t as vibrant. It looks rather washed out
- Higher-risk of metal allergies, thanks to the low-purity level of the 10K gold, hence a high risk of allergies and skin sensitivities
- Low-quality metals/ jewelry
What is 14k rose gold made of?
14K rose gold contains a significantly higher percentage of pure gold; specifically, more than half the composition of the 14K rose gold is made of 58.5% pure gold. It is, therefore, one of the most popular versions of the rose gold – it is durable, available in a deep reddish hue rather than the soft pink champagne hue common with 18K rose gold.
Pros and the cons of 14K rose gold
- Great level of durability and high purity level for the gold
- Quite durable thanks to the 40%+ copper and metal alloys added to the pure gold.
- Ideal for everyday wear
- Free of scratches, warping, dents, or bending
- The high concentration of gold, at 58.5%, means that the 14K rose gold has a richer and warmer appearance than the 10K gold and not dull or without warmth.
- Lower risk of allergies thanks to the lower percentage of metals that would trigger allergies
- An overall affordable metal used in jewelry making
- A most popular choice for jewelry making across the US
- Not the purest forms of gold
- Not as rich in color as 18K rose gold
- Less durable than 10K rose gold
- The color might be too deep for some skin tones
The differences between 10K and 14k rose gold
The first thing you need to do as you try to figure out whether to buy 10K or 14k is to determine how the color differences between these two versions of rose gold match your preferences in both color and style.
As we pointed out earlier, and when it comes down to the color differences between 10K and 14K rose gold, the color differences between the metals are determined by the percentage of gold in the rose gold and also the percentage of the other metals added to create the alloy.
Pure 24K gold has this nice, warm, and bright yellow hue (almost orange), which is toned down by the addition of other metals such as copper and silver. So, between 14K rose gold with about 33.8% copper and 10K rose gold which has more copper than 14K and less gold, 14K rose gold has a more intense or saturated reddish color.
10K rose gold might even look darker and redder than 14K, but what stands out is the fact that the 10K rose gold is a lot duller than 14K gold. 14K rose gold is bright and shiny and also the most popular version of rose gold on the jewelry market today.
The difference between 10K and 14K rose gold lies in their prices. Essentially, rose gold prices are higher for the jewelry with a higher karatage because this translates to higher purity of gold.
In this case, 14K rose gold costs more than 10K rose gold because of the higher content of pure gold in 14k than in the 10k rose gold.
If you are looking for the most affordable version of rose gold, you will be happy to know that 10k rose gold is the cheaper option – lower purity of the precious metals and the blend of inexpensive metals in higher concentrations.
The other important consideration to bear in mind when looking for the best affordable rose gold jewelry is the durability of the rose gold.
Between 10K and 14K rose gold jewelry, the 10K is a lot more durable because it’s made of a higher concentration of the strongest, most durable metals – copper, silver, and/or zinc. 10k gold will, therefore, wear out a lot slower.
14k is also considerably durable, but it will not last as long as 10k before you notice signs of wear.
The other consideration to bear in mind is how the rose gold jewelry feels on the skin. If you are worried about the sensitivity of your skin, flareups, and irritations because you’ve had bad reactions in the past, you’d want to choose an option that is safer on your skin.
In this case, we’d recommend 14k rose gold because it has fewer impurities from the metal alloys added to the gold.
10K gold might have gold, copper, and zinc, or silver, but there is also a higher risk of there being metals that cause irritations, for example, nickel.
If worried about allergies or irritation of the skin, opt for 14k rose gold over 10k rose gold.
Choosing between the two?
If you are struggling to choose 10k from 14k rose gold or vice versa, this guide might help you make the best decision.
Essentially, 10k rose gold is affordable, and it’s also significantly durable. However, it lacks in many ways that people would find desirable. The dull color, for example, makes it undesirable, not to mention the fact that it is not hypoallergenic.
So, if you are to choose between these two, you may also want to take into account the higher value of the 14k rose gold resulting from the higher percentage of pure gold, and the fact that investing in a higher quality rose gold now, say, the 14k rose gold, would mean a long-lasting investment that could stay in your family for generations.
Whatever you choose, be sure that you won’t be compromising on the quality of the piece for a lower price tag. The 14k rose gold might cost more, but it’s with more, and it’s a great option for you.
Rose gold isn’t a naturally occurring variety of gold, but it is a gold alloy that results from the blending of pure gold with metal alloys that mostly contain copper. The addition of copper is the reason for the pink hue in rose gold jewelry.
10K rose gold contains 10 parts of pure gold plus 14 parts of the gold alloy, while 14k rose gold features 14 parts of pure gold, and the rest (10 parts) are made of the metal alloy.
For 10k and 14k rose gold, the copper concentration, hence a reddish/ deeper pinkish hue. Both give off a nice, romantic vintage appeal, and they are durable, unique, and trendy. However, 14k rose gold is a better investment than 10k rose gold.