Which karat gold is best for necklaces?

Buying beautiful jewellery that will last a long time can be quite a difficult task if you do not know what you are looking for. One of the hardest parts of this process to understand is the terminology used by jewellers. 


What is the difference between carat and karat?

Carat: Carats are used to describe the weight of diamonds and other precious gemstones
Karat: Karat is the measure of purity when referring to gold

Why is the karat of your jewellery important?
In its pure form, gold is a very soft metal that is too delicate for everyday wear. As a result, it’s often alloyed (or mixed) with other metals such as silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to improve its strength and resilience.

The most common mixtures of gold are 14K, 18K, and 22K. However, 14K and 18K are the most ideal for jewellery.

It is important to know what karat gold your jewellery is because this will help you determine its value and durability. If you are looking to purchase an everyday necklace, you will need a gold that can withstand the knocks, bumps and exposures to chemicals that daylife brings. If however, you are looking for a unique piece to only be worn on special occasions, your requirements will be different.


What are the different types of karat?

18 karat
18 karat gold is 75% gold and 25% alloyed metals. It is one of the most traditional mixes of gold and other metals and tends to have a deeper yellow tone than 14K. 

While this ratio of pure gold to alloyed metal is good and increases its value, it decreases its practicality in relation to other karats. An 18 karat necklace is more likely to get damaged and will be more susceptible to chemicals such as perfume. 

14 karat 
A 14 karat gold is 58% gold and 42% alloyed metals. It is the second most popular choice for necklaces and other jewellery because it is a little harder wearing than the 18K.

It’s ideal for everyday use and is the most popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands. If you have an active lifestyle, 14K jewellery would be the best option for you.

12 karat and below
The lower the karat of gold, the more it is mixed with nickel or other alloyed metals. It is due to this mixing of alloys that necklaces made of 12-9 karat gold, are actually far stronger, and therefore more durable, than softer 18 karat gold necklaces. It is for this reason that in the UK, a 9 karat necklace is one of the most popular. 


Need more advice? 

If you are still wishing to seek further advice on the different karats and which would be best for you, you can speak to one of our experts here at Cuttings Jewellers and Pawnbrokers. We are a family run business, based in Kent, that specialise in stunning jewellery. You can find our contact information here.

Alternatively, if you wish to search for necklaces or other jewellery pieces, you can shop our wide range of stunning pieces here

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