14K Gold: Price, Purity and Jewelry Styles

By Michael Fried

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14 carat gold band

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14K gold is an excellent choice for an engagement ring or any other piece of fine jewelry. As a beautiful and durable metal, 14K gold is also reasonably priced. The color of gold you decide on should primarily be based on personal preference, skin tone and current fashion. Consider a yellow gold setting like this pave engagement ring, a solitaire rose gold setting like this or a white gold halo setting like this. For assistance in selecting a stunning setting or diamond, be sure to contact our experts.

What is 14K Gold?

Represented by the chemical symbol Au and atomic number 79, gold is a naturally occurring element. As the most malleable of all metals, gold makes for an ideal material when creating fine jewelry. 14K gold is a mixture consisting primarily of gold, blended with durable metals such as zinc, nickel and copper along with a rhodium plating. Gold by itself is relatively soft, so the alloy metals strengthen the composition. 14 Karat specifically refers to the metal mix that is 58.3% gold, compared with 18 Karat that is 75% gold. 14K gold is used for engagement rings, eternity bands, pendants, earrings and other fine jewelry pieces. With 14K gold, the metal is beautiful but also durable for everyday wear.

To determine if a piece of jewelry is made with 14K gold, you can look for a stamp that indicates its metal mixture. Some gold jewelry pieces are well-marked with a bold 14K stamp, though in other cases, stamps are fake or indicate the piece is only gold-plated. In some instances, a stamp does not exist at all, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the piece is not gold. If you’re uncertain if a metal is 14K gold, or gold at all, it’s best to consult with an expert.

The following stamps indicate that a setting is made of 14K gold:

  • 14K stamp
  • 14K with company logo
  • 14K P (indicating plumb gold)
  • 583 or 585 (meaning 58.3% or 58.5% gold)

Purity

Because pure gold is too soft to be worn everyday, it is essential to create a metal mixture when using gold for jewelry. 14K gold is an alloy composition made of gold and durable metals like zinc, nickel, silver and copper along with a rhodium plating. This sturdy blend is resistant to corrosion, rust and tarnish.

Karatage, which is expressed in 24ths and designated by a number followed by “k,” denotes the purity level of the gold. 24K gold, for example, is 100% gold. 18K gold is 75% gold and 14K gold is 58.3% gold.

14 vs 18 carat white gold

Although a higher karat indicates a purer gold content, it also means a less durable metal. For this reason, 14K or 18K golds are usually used for engagement and wedding rings.

Color

When selecting a 14K gold setting, you’ll notice three options: white gold, rose gold and yellow gold. While similar, each color differs in composition. The type of metal alloys used and percentage of each metal indicates what color the gold is.

Selecting the color of gold for your engagement ring or jewelry should be based primarily on personal preference, although composition and price may play a small role in your decision.

14K White Gold

White gold is a mixture of pure gold and white metals like silver, nickel and palladium, usually with a rhodium coating.

Advantages of 14K white gold:

  • Currently more popular than yellow gold
  • More affordable than platinum (but offers a similar color)
  • Mixed with stronger metals than a yellow gold alloy, making it more durable and scratch-resistant
  • Complements white diamonds better than yellow gold (according to some vendors and buyers)
  • Complements rosy or fair skin tones

Disadvantages of 14K white gold:

  • Requires dipping every few years to retain its color and luster, and to replace its rhodium plating. This maintenance process, though, is inexpensive and many jewelers offer it as a free service.
  • Usually has nickel in the mixture, causing allergic reactions for some wearers. White gold is not hypoallergenic unless mixed with alloys other than nickel.

14K Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is formed of pure gold and alloy metals like zinc and copper.

Advantages of 14K yellow gold:

  • It’s the most hypoallergenic of the three gold types
  • Historically the most popular metal for wedding and engagement bands
  • Works well for vintage style settings
  • Represents the purest color of all gold types
  • Is the easiest gold color to maintain over time
  • Is the most malleable and easiest for jewelers to manipulate
  • Complements olive and darker skin tones
  • Matches easily with diamonds of a lower color grade

Disadvantages of 14K yellow gold:

  • Must be polished and cleaned regularly to maintain its beauty
  • Is subject to scratches and dents

14K Rose Gold

Rose gold refers to and encompasses the whole family of red, rose and pink shades of gold. With these colors, pure gold is alloyed with copper to produce the rose color. The more copper present in the mixture, the redder the gold appears. Similar to white gold, “pure rose gold” doesn’t exist—it is always an alloy.

Advantages of 14K rose gold:

  • In style for both men’s and women’s rings
  • Considered to be the most romantic metal due to its pinkish-red hue
  • Usually more affordable than other metals because copper costs less than other alloys
  • Very durable due to copper’s strength (rose gold is slightly tougher than white or yellow gold)
  • Complements all skin tones

Disadvantages of 14K rose gold:

  • Is not a hypoallergenic metal, which can cause allergic reactions for some wearers
  • Not as widely available as white or yellow gold, even though it’s in style

Price of 14K Gold

When looking at the price of 14K gold, it’s helpful to compare it to other fine metal types: platinum and 18K gold. Generally speaking, 14K gold will be less expensive than both of these options, and considerably cheaper than a platinum setting. For example, the platinum setting for this solitaire ring costs $1,090. A similar 18K white gold setting, like this one, costs $770, while this similar 14K gold setting only costs $480. 14K gold offers durability and beauty while being the most affordable of fine jewelry metals.

The price of 14K gold doesn’t change much when it comes to color. For instance, this white gold solitaire setting costs $420, a similar ring in yellow gold costs $420 and a similar setting in rose gold is priced at $430.

When is 14K Gold the Right Choice?

The metal you choose for your jewelry should depend mostly on appearance, but also on longevity and cost. 14K gold is affordable compared to platinum and 18K gold options, making it an excellent choice for many budgets. 14K gold is ideal for engagement rings, but also pendants, bracelets, earrings and other fine jewelry pieces.

When it comes to determining the color of gold for an engagement ring, you’ll want to make sure the diamond looks white in relation to its setting. For instance, this J colored Oval diamond, which sometimes has a slight tint, looks white in relation to its 14K yellow gold setting. Yellow gold is often a great match for a stone with a lower color grade. This G color graded diamond pairs well with a white gold setting, though would certainly still look colorless in yellow or rose gold as well.

No matter the color you choose, 14K gold is an ideal choice for jewelry that will be worn daily and carries special meaning.

Popular 14K gold jewelry

14K gold remains the most popular metal for engagement rings, at nearly 90% of all rings sold. It is durable, not easily tarnished and beautiful in any color.

14K gold engagement ring inspiration

14k gold chain inspiration

14K earrings inspiration

14K bracelets inspiration

To create the perfect ring or another piece of fine jewelry, reach out to our experts who can help you find the highest quality diamonds and 14K gold—all while staying within budget.

Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well. For a very limited time, take advantage of their 25% OFF "Black Friday in October" Sale!
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
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  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
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