Comparing 18K White Gold Vs. 14K White Gold Wedding and Engagement Rings

Comparing 18K White Gold Vs. 14K White Gold Wedding and Engagement Rings
The design to the left is 14K White Gold; to the right is 18K White Gold. Note how the right ring, which is 18K, has a slightly more yellow tint, which reflects its greater yellow gold content.
What is the difference between 18K White Gold and 14K White Gold? The simple answer is 18K white gold is 75% gold, and 14K white gold, is 58.5% gold. Twenty-five percent of the 18K gold and 41.5% of the 14K gold is made of alloys. The different alloy contents lead to distinct advantages and disadvantages.
18K White Gold vs. 14K White Gold: In comparing 18K white gold vs. 14K white gold, for wedding and engagement rings, one must consider color tone, hardness and pricing.
Appearance
In terms of appearance, the differences between the different karat rings are subtle. Both 18K and 14K white gold in wedding and engagement rings are still considered the "white" color spectrum by jewelers. However, as shown in the photo, an 18K white gold ring will have a slightly more yellow tinge than a white gold ring simply because it has more gold which is yellow and less white alloy. The more alloy, the whiter the ring.
Hardness
Gold is an extremely malleable metal with a rating on the MOH scale of only a 2.5 out of 10. Alloys are added not only to change the color, but also to make the metal harder and more durable. Rings made with 14K gold are harder and wear less over time than rings made with 18K gold. The jeweler determines hardness by how much yellow gold s/he mixes to make white gold. The most common alloy in our white gold wedding and engagement rings are a combination of nickel, copper and zinc. Palladium and silver combinations can also be used, though it is more expensive.

If you want white gold, we recommend the 14K white which has more alloy to make it whiter and more durable. Plus, the 14K white is less expensive.

Karat
Some customers believe it is best to have a higher karat of gold. Also, some jewelers will only offer 18K White Gold in their wedding and engagement rings, or recommend 18K over 14K.

A higher carat of gold is believed to make a better gold ring because it has more value. However, as we see it, the value of a white gold wedding and engagement rings lie in what it symbolizes and represents in your life, and the beauty and pleasure you get from its spiritual sparkle.
Plating Issues
One practice that is common with white gold wedding and engagement rings is rhodium plating. Rhodium is part of the platinum family. This plating creates an extremely white coat on top of the ring.

There are two issues with this type of plating. First, rhodium plating is a highly toxic process. Second, plating is not permanent. It may only last a year or two before rubbing off. You will have to go back to your jeweler for re-plating. We see no advantage to having a wedding ring that has to be "serviced" to have it look good.
Our Recommendation
While we will sell 18K white gold wedding rings to anyone who wants them, we recommend 14K white. If you desire white gold, we recommend the 14K white, which has more alloys to make it whiter and more durable. Plus, the 14K white is less expensive. If you want a whiter metal, we suggest palladium or platinum.

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