If you are looking for the very best of gold jewelry, it means that you’d be trying to choose between 18k and 22k gold. But what’s the actual difference between the two? Do you get more value from 22k gold than 18k gold or vice versa? What’s the main difference in price between these two gold alloys?
In this article, we’ll be sharing insights into 18k and 22k gold to help you make a more informed choice. To do this, we’ll take a look at the basics of these gold alloys and the reason for the differences in prices. So, let’s get right into this!
Understanding the Composition of 18k Gold Alloys
18K gold alloys are ranked high on the quality and value scale of gold jewelry, and buying 18k gold jewelry often means buying some of the best versions of gold jewelry. But what makes up the different 18k gold alloys – white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold? ( here we write a detailed post on gold alloy mixing ratio)
The first thing you should know about the different gold alloys is that they all have the same composition of pure gold at 75% pure gold. The metals that are used to make up the remaining 25% of 18k gold is what determines the type of the resultant gold alloy.
18k White gold is rhodium-plated, but the base metal (18k gold) is comprised of 75% pure gold that is mixed with 25% palladium or platinum. There are other versions of white gold, though, and they have 75% gold mixed with 10% palladium, 5% zinc, and 10% nickel. The latter is a more common version of white gold than the former because the metal alloys mixed with the gold are cheaper.
18k yellow gold, on the other hand, is made of 75% pure gold mixed with 25% silver. It is, therefore, the most expensive and the most desirable version of 18k gold.
How much is 18K gold worth per gram?
Today, the price of 18k gold per gram is $43.44. The price of gold will, however, change on a daily basis.
Understanding the Composition of 22k Gold Alloys
22K gold is regarded as the finest quality gold alloy. Well, it’s second to 24k, and since 24k gold is pretty much pure gold, 22k is the next best ‘almost pure’ form of gold. The use of 22k gold in jewelry is occasional because it’s quite soft, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not used to make jewelry. 22K gold jewelry is made of 91.67% pure gold and 8.33% metal alloys.
The creation of 22k gold comes from the need to create high-quality gold jewelry while getting to enjoy some level of durability in the jewelry. This blend also means that the resultant jewelry is not too malleable, and also, the color is not as bright yellow as is the case with 24k gold, which means that 22k gold jewelry features a more desirable color.
Notably, the only prominent alloy of 22k gold is 22k yellow gold. It is made of 91.67% pure gold, 2% copper, 5% silver, and 1.33% zinc.
Thanks to these metal alloys, 22k gold is more durable than 24k gold. However, it’s less durable than 18k gold, which has a higher percentage of metal alloys that change the metallurgical properties of gold and leave you with a gold alloy that lasts longer. So, if you are not sure about 18k gold and 24k is just too soft and too bright, 22k makes the perfect compromise between the two. 22k is also a preferable option to 24k gold because the market offers more options of 22k gold – there’s only one version of 24k gold.
How much is 22K gold worth per gram?
A gram of 22k gold is valued at $52.61. The spot market prices of gold change every day, but the fluctuation is hardly more than a few cents.
Which is more expensive, 18k or 22k gold?
Definitely 22k gold. The reason for this has to do with the value of the gold in relation to the percentage of pure gold present in either version of the gold alloys. 22k gold has more than 90% pure gold while 18k gold only contains 75% gold, which means that when the value of these two gold alloys is determined per gram weight, 22k gold will naturally have more gold, and it’s valued higher.
That said, 18k gold isn’t quite cheap, and being the most common version of gold used in jewelry, an alloy with practically the highest percentage of gold given what jewelers use to make the best of fine jewelry, then the 18k gold is also valuable, and a good option especially in jewelry making.
Which is better for investment 22k or 18k gold?
If you are planning to invest in gold jewelry and you need to choose between 22k and 18k gold, you might want to invest in 22k gold thanks to its high value compared to the value of 18k gold. 18K gold makes excellent fine jewelry, but for bigger returns or for the version of gold that holds more value, then 22k gold would be a better option.
22k gold is more expensive than 18k gold, thanks to the difference in the gold content in each of these alloys. With 91.67% pure gold for 22k gold against 75% pure gold, it would be more expensive to buy jewelry made of 22k gold than 18k gold.
The good news, however, is that the price difference per gram is about $10 only.
For investment purposes, 22k is preferable – it’s softer, and therefore, a better option if you need something to put away in a safe to protect your finances.