white gold rings

What is the Difference Between 10k and 14k White Gold?

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white gold rings

10k and 14k white gold wedding rings are very similar indeed.

They look like twin rings, but, with distant prices!

Let’s clarify the most important difference first:

14k white gold ring has a higher gold purity than the 10k piece. 10k white gold ring has a lower percentage of yellow gold, which makes it more durable than the 14k ring. It will also have a lesser price as there is a smaller amount of gold in its composition.

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What is white gold?

Gold is an element with symbol Au, short for Aurum.

It is a precious metal with atomic number 79, on the periodic table.

Gold has a natural yellow color.

This yellow gold is unsuitable for jewelry as it is too soft.

Thus, we use alloys of gold for jewelry pieces.

White gold is a gold alloy with mainly nickel and zinc.

Thanks to these added metals, it gets harder and also whiter.

White gold has a similar color to 925 sterling silver and platinum.

What is karat? What is 10k and 14k white gold?

Karat Stamp Gold parts Percentage Hardness Color Price
 10 Karat  10K  10 / 24  41,7  +++  +++  +
 14 Karat  14K  14 / 24  58,3  ++  ++  ++

The plus(+) signs in the table are used for illustrating the changes in hardness, color and price levels. They do not show a ratio relation in any terms.

The gold purity of gold pieces is measured in karat.

100% pure gold is 24k or 24 karat.

A fine gold piece has 24 parts in 24 gold in its composition.

10k white gold ring has 10 parts in 24 gold.

That corresponds to 41.7% gold purity.

The remaining 58.3% of the ring comes from other cheaper metals.

Likewise, 14k white gold engagement ring has 58.3% percent gold in the alloy.

Check rhodium plated white gold rings

Many times, white gold pieces are plated with rhodium.

This thin layer of rhodium protects the core gold and gives it a more uniform color.

With daily wear and tear, the coating may wear off letting day light reach the inner white gold.

In this case, your local jeweler may restore the initial look with a re-plating session.

This is a quick and simple process.

Will 10k white gold tarnish?

Gold does not tarnish.

Sterling silver does tarnish, but not gold.

Moreover, white gold is often coated with rhodium, which protects the inner gold alloy.

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Will 10k gold turn skin green?

The culprit of greenish color is copper.

Copper interacts with oxygen, humidity, perfumes and skin oil leaving behind a dark green spot or circle.

10K gold pieces may contain copper that could turn the skin to green.

We should note that this is more of a problem with rose gold.

Guess where the rose color comes from? Yes, copper.

However, note that white gold pieces are often coated with rhodium.

This plating will prevent copper touching the skin, until it wears off.

If you want to play on the safe side, choose high karat gold pieces like 18k or 20k white gold.

And, you can prefer rhodium plated white gold pieces for your jewelry.

Although, this is not your only choice: you can have your pieces without rhodium plating too.

How long does rhodium plating last on white gold rings?

Generally speaking you may expect the need for a re-plating session every two years for a frequently worn white gold ring.

This period will vary depending on physical impacts, friction, skin oil and perfume usage.

10K white gold has a stronger white color than 14K white gold

As the added metals increase the color will get closer to “real” white.

As 10k white gold has a 58.3% of addition to 14k’s 41.7%, its color is whiter.

10K white gold ring is harder than 14K white gold ring.

As we said above, pure gold is too soft for jewelry.

This is the reason we make gold into stronger alloys and then produce rings, bracelets, necklaces and other items.

Just like color, the durability and hardness increase with increases in added white metals.

As 14k has a lower percentage of added silver, nickel and zinc, it is softer than 10k white gold.

10k white gold has a higher scratch resistance than a 14k piece.

These pieces are harder than sterling silver and softer than stainless steel.

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The Verdict: Which is better 10k or 14k white gold?

10k and 14 white gold have both pros and cons.

14k white gold is richer in gold percentage.

But this high purity comes with a higher price.

10k white gold, besides its lower price tag, is more durable and scratch resistant than 14k pieces.

10k white gold also has a closer color to white as it has a bigger amount of white metals in its composition.

Don’t forget that if your white gold ring or necklace is rhodium plated, the inner gold base can only be seen after the outer layer wears off.

At the end of the day, both 10k and 14k white gold are real gold and both valuable.

Your ultimate decision will come to price and design and personal taste between these close gold alloys.

Where can I buy white gold jewelry?

You can enjoy Amazon’s wide selection by clicking here.


Related Questions

1. Is 10k white gold good?

10k white gold is made of real, yellow gold.

It is an alloy with 41.7% gold in its mix.

The remaining part comes from white metals like zinc.

2. How much is 14k white gold ring worth?

14k white gold ring has 58.3% gold in its mix.

You can calculate the gold weight by multiplying the ring’s weight with 0.583 .

Then you can multiply it with the trading price of gold and reach the gold value used to produce the ring.

Of course, the brand, design, supply & demand and any gemstones used will change the sale price.

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3. Does 14k white gold tarnish?

No, 14k white gold does not tarnish.

4. Is 14k white gold real?

Yes, 14k white gold is real.

It is made of a gold alloy with white metals making it harder and whiter instead of yellow.

5. Is 14k white gold hypoallergenic?

Gold is a hypoallergenic metal.

However, white gold alloys may include nickel and zinc.

Nickel is the usual suspect for metal allergies.

Does 14k white gold have nickel in it?

14k white gold may have nickel, zinc, silver and platinum in its composition to change its color.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon

6. Is 14k white gold magnetic?

No, 14k white gold is not magnetic.

7. Does 10k white gold rust?

No, 10k white gold does not rust.

8. Why is my white gold turning yellow?

White gold does not turn to yellow.

White gold pieces are many times coated with rhodium.

If this thin layer wears off, the inner color becomes visible.

The yellowy color you start to see is the color of the gold alloy.

You can easily have your jewelry re-plated with rhodium at your jeweler and restore its look.

9. Is white gold worth anything? Does white gold have resale value?

Yes, white gold is gold. It is a gold alloy.

Gold is a precious metal used as money for centuries.

Even today central banks hold gold reserves.

This is not without a reason.