Metals - Yellow Gold

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Everything You Need to Know About Yellow Gold Engagement Rings 

<span>The purest gold you can get for an everyday ring is 18k yellow gold.</span> image
The purest gold you can get for an everyday ring is 18k yellow gold.

When most people think of gold, they think of yellow gold. Its rich, warm hue makes for beautiful jewelry - especially engagement rings. 

But what are karats, and should you buy a 14 karat or 18 karat yellow gold ring? How can you save money on your engagement ring with a yellow gold setting? And why can’t you buy 100% pure, 24-karat yellow gold engagement rings?  

Read on as we answer these questions (and a few others) below.

What is Yellow Gold?

Solitaire Natalie, 2 ct Emerald Moissanite, 14k Yellow Gold image

Solitaire Natalie, 2 ct Emerald Moissanite, 14k Yellow Gold

Yellow is gold’s natural color. But “yellow gold” actually refers to a number of different metals. These metals are easily identified by the karat weight, which represents the amount of pure gold in them. 

100% pure yellow gold is also known as 24 karat yellow gold. This gold has a beautiful golden hue, but is way too soft to be used in rings. It’s only used for decoration and for ceremonial purposes. 

This is why jewelers use alloys for engagement rings and other items. These alloys contain pure gold alongside metals like silver, copper, and zinc. 

The two most popular yellow gold alloys are 14k and 18k. 18k yellow gold is 75% pure gold and 25% alloy while 14k gold is 58.5% pure gold. Both 18k and 14k have their own advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll cover below.

18k and 14k yellow gold: differences and similarities

Hidden Halo Penelope, 1.5 ct Oval Lab Diamond, The 14k Is One On The Right image

Hidden Halo Penelope, 1.5 ct Oval Lab Diamond, The 14k Is One On The Right

24k gold is 99.9% pure, but it's much too soft to be made into jewelry on its own. That’s why it’s alloyed with other metals for use in jewelry. 

The purest gold you can get for an everyday ring is 18k. 18k yellow gold is 75% pure gold and 25% alloy metal. At Keyzar, we use a proprietary blend to give our 18k yellow gold a deep, rich, authentically golden hue. 

A slightly less pure alloy is 14k yellow gold. This kind of gold is 58.3% pure. It still has that beautiful golden hue - but is extremely durable. It’s perfect for an active lifestyle and for people who work with their hands, e.g. surgeons and nurses.

In real life, it can be hard to tell the difference between 14k and 18k. 18k looks a little more like pure gold; 14k is a lot tougher.

18k Vs. 14k Yellow Gold – What's the Right Choice?

Twig, 1.3 ct Pear Lab Diamond, 14k Yellow Gold image

Twig, 1.3 ct Pear Lab Diamond, 14k Yellow Gold

There is no right or wrong choice between 14k and 18k yellow gold. It's all about what's best for you. 

Advantages to 18k Gold 

18k gold is purer than 14k gold. It’s also a little more warm and lustrous. Most importantly, it’s highly hypoallergenic. It very rarely causes skin irritation because it contains so little alloyed metal.

18k is also popular for vintage jewelry. 18k was the “gold standard” of yellow gold for a long time, so rings cast in this metal have a classic feel to them. 

Advantages to 14k Gold

14k gold is 58.5% pure gold. The makes 14k more durable than 18k gold. It’s a great choice for anyone with an active lifestyle: doctors, housewives, etc. 

14k gold lends itself to creating strong prongs and designs that last. It’s also good for intricate rings and dainty designs like the Twig Emily. It’s also a little cheaper than 18k.

14k. Vs. 18k Yellow Gold

14k Yellow Gold

18k Yellow Gold

14k yellow gold contains 58.5% pure gold

18k yellow gold contains 75% pure gold

14k gold is the most popular choice for engagement rings in the US (90%)

Has a more rich and vibrant color

More affordable and durable than 18k

Costs more due to its higher gold content

Good choice for a combination of durability and purity

Least likely to tarnish due to its low alloy content

Does Yellow Gold Tarnish?

</b></span><b>Keyzar gold does not tarnish because it doesn’t oxidize, so no worries! image
Keyzar gold does not tarnish because it doesn’t oxidize, so no worries!

But if you like to err on the side of caution, there are a few simple things you can do to preserve the beauty of your 14k gold.

  • - Remove jewelry when washing hands or dishes 
  • - Store your gold in a nice jewelry box with a soft velvety lining

    Conclusion

    There is no right or wrong choice when choosing a yellow gold engagement ring. 18k Yellow gold is rich in color due to its purity and strong enough for daily finger wear.

    If you’re feeling the yellow look, love the classics, and want to wear your ring while you live your best active life, then 14k may just be the way. 

    In the end karat and color, all come down to personal preference. Yellow gold is an awesome choice for, well, anyone.

    To compare 14k and 18k gold, go to our settings collection and use our preview photos to see how each alloy looks.

    Rings Collection

    Choose your engagement ring from our Collections

    14k White Gold Twig Emilly 18k White Gold Twig Emilly

    Twig Emilly

    14k White Gold Textured Twig Emilly 18k White Gold Textured Twig Emilly

    Textured Twig Emilly

    14k White Gold Natalie 18k White Gold Natalie

    Natalie

    14k White Gold Lindsey 18k White Gold Lindsey

    Lindsey