If you are a gold admirer, you already know that the 18K gold symbolizes one’s taste for luxurious things. Its stunning yellow color is an excellent choice for jewelry, and it goes with every style.
When looking to buy 18K gold jewelry, it is helpful to know how much is 18K gold worth and its primary characteristics. What determines its price is the actual amount of gold in a jewelry piece. Let’s see.
Gold is a soft metal and is difficult to process in a pure form, plus you can quickly damage or bend it while using. Basically, it is not resilient and durable enough for making long-lasting jewelry.
For that reason, jewelry makers add other metal alloys to the gold, such as silver, copper, zinc, palladium, nickel, and iron. They contribute to gold’s strength and slightly change the alloy color.
The amount of gold and other metals in the alloy is what determines gold’s purity. The marking for pure gold is 24K, but you will most commonly find 22K, 20K, 18K, 14K, or 12K pieces of gold jewelry on the market.
Sometimes, you can see 9K and 10K markings imprinted on the surface, but those jewelry pieces are of lesser quality. In many global markets, that gold type doesn’t even qualify to bear the karat markings. In the US, 10K is the minimum required for a jewelry piece to be marked as gold.
Meaning of 18K
The letter K you can see imprinted in a gold piece of jewelry stands for karat. Jewelers and other people who deal with gold use it as a measuring unit for telling the gold’s fineness or purity.
In other words, those markings tell you how much pure gold there is in your piece of jewelry. Higher karat means a higher percentage of gold.
Every gold alloy contains 24 parts. In pure gold, marked 24K, all of these parts are gold. In the 18K gold jewelry, 18 parts are gold, and the other six are made of some other metal alloy.
Fineness Markings on Gold
You should know that there is one more way to label gold’s purity, by expressing the amount of gold in percent. Most European jewelers use this marking type, so it is helpful to understand the system if you want to shop for gold in foreign markets.
The first thing to know is that pure gold of 24K contains 99.9% gold, and it is labeled with 999. Adding other metals to the mixture reduces the percent of gold. When you have a piece of 18K, it means it contains precisely 75% gold, while 25% is some alloy. That is why 18K gold bears the fineness mark 750.
The 18K Gold Price
When discussing the 18K gold jewelry value, it is necessary to consider its style, brand, and purity because the prices can significantly vary depending on these characteristics. The piece’s origin, the place where you buy it, and the conditions in the gold market also influence how much is 18K gold worth.
All things considered, you should be aware there is no fixed price for gold jewelry, particularly when you know that the gold price usually changes daily. Still, you can quickly calculate the approximate value of your piece if you know its weight and the live gold price.
The live gold price always refers to 24K gold. So, you need to multiply the live gold price by 0.75 or by 75% to calculate the 18K gold value at the required moment. Other metals in the mixture have minor values compared to gold, so their worth is not included in the jewelry price.
After calculating the price of one troy ounce or gram of 18K gold, all you need to do is to multiply that number by the weight of the gold piece of jewelry you have. That way, you will get its approximate value.
18K Gold vs. Other Gold Alloys
There is a fine appreciation for 18K gold among gold dealers and those who love wearing gold jewelry. Throughout history, people appraised gold as a symbol of prestige, so wearing gold jewelry was a way to show one’s social status to everyone around.
As you have probably known, people still tend to look at gold in this way, associating it with glamour and power. Therefore, it is only natural that they give higher value to jewelry containing more gold percentage.
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Manufacturers try to keep the gold as pure as possible while making it more practical to work with and more convenient to wear. Most people value 18K gold for its resemblance to pure gold, unlike lower carat jewelry that looks pale and less shiny.
The gold percentage directly affects the jewelry color. The rule of thumb is that the more gold your jewelry contains, the deeper yellow tones it gets. That is a reason for the color diversity of gold jewelry with different karats.
Color variations are the result of the various metals’ presence. For instance, white metals like silver and platinum cause the alloy to look paler, while red metals, like copper, produce a reddish shade.
You have probably heard about the 14K gold’s striking yellow color, but 18K gold has even more intense yellow tones. Still, it is impossible to compare 18K gold with 24K gold’s sensationally rich shade.
Given that gold is malleable and is not a strong metal, jewelry pieces with more gold are not particularly resistant to damage. Compared with 14K and gold types with lower karats, 18K is more likely to get scratched or dented.
However, that doesn’t mean 18K gold is not practical for jewelry. On the contrary, it has enough other, more durable metals in the alloy to be a sustainable solution for any design.
What’s more, 18K gold is almost always the highest karat that manufacturers use to make jewelry. The one made of 20K and 22K gold is too malleable due to a low percentage of metals that make it strong, and that is why 18K gold jewelry is always a better option.
Still, you should consider your lifestyle before deciding to buy 18K gold jewelry. If you prefer an active lifestyle, you need a harder jewelry type. In that case, pieces with lower gold content can be a safer choice for you.
Because of this feature, many people limit themselves to wearing 18K gold jewelry only on special occasions. Be aware that there is nothing wrong with wearing an 18K necklace or bracelet every day, but you need to be more careful with a ring, for example.
A great thing about gold is that it is hypoallergenic, and you can wear it even if you have sensitive skin. Some gold alloys can cause a skin reaction due to nickel content. Luckily, even when the 18K gold alloy contains this metal, its amount is probably not large enough to irritate your skin.
When you know the gold purity usually ranges from 24 to 10 karats, it is evident that 18K gold falls in the higher ranks. Gold lovers and jewelers particularly value the 18K jewelry for its attributes and high gold content.
Needless to say, a higher percentage of gold leads to a higher price. So, 18K gold costs more than 14K, but it is less expensive than 22K and 20K gold.
Buying 18K Gold
Knowing the real 18K gold value will lower the chances of overpaying it. Still, you should keep in mind that the price you can calculate using the live gold price is only a rough estimation because of other factors that affect the price of a final product, particularly jewelry.
The place where you buy gold jewelry is a crucial factor that will significantly influence the amount of money you need to set aside. The best option is to purchase gold jewelry from respectable gold dealers and jewelry stores since they give you guaranteed authenticity and a richer offer.
Since 18K gold is considered a more prestigious gold, you won’t often find it in flea markets, unlike 10K and 14K pieces. Even when you do, its authenticity is often questionable.
To sum up, the amount of pure gold in a piece of gold jewelry is the primary feature that determines its price. In 18K gold, there is 75% of pure gold, making it valuable. It falls in the higher ranks on the gold purity scale, so it is worth more than most other gold types.