14k vs 18k Engagement Ring: Which One Is Best For You?


Written by Rachel


Finding the perfect engagement ring is a journey filled with lots of decision-making. Aside from choosing the diamond for the ring, there are other things to consider, such as the band’s type, color, and karat. As soon as you step foot inside a jewelry store, you’ll find yourself with so many options that it can get overwhelming. Before starting on your journey to find the best engagement ring, here are a few important things to know about a 14K vs 18K engagement ring and more.

What Kind Of Gold Is Best For Your Engagement Ring?

One of the most common things people ask about engagement rings revolves around the K attached to it. 

K is short for karat, which refers to gold’s purity when used in jewelry. In the most basic sense, a higher K means the gold has a higher purity. While there is a wide range of engagement rings with different K, the most popular debate is between the 14K vs 18K engagement ring.

According to James Allen, 14K is the more popular choice because of its practicality. It’s harder and more durable than its 18K counterpart. If you have allergies, 18K will be a better choice because of its composition (more gold, less alloy).

Gold purity aside, another factor worth looking into are gold colors. Today there’s more than just one gold color. There are now three gold colors to choose from: white gold, rose gold, and traditional yellow gold. A few things to consider, yellow and white gold are universally flattering, but white gold pairs better with gemstones. Rose gold, on the other hand, is a bold and modern choice plus, it’s more durable than yellow and white gold.

Having different colors can make finding the best engagement ring a little more complicated. Still, when it comes down to it, the perfect engagement should be based on your personal style, preference, lifestyle, and budget. It is your engagement ring, after all. So your personal choice is what matters in the end. 

What’s The Difference Between 14K vs 18K Engagement ring?

While a 14K gold engagement ring is not as pure as the 18K gold engagement ring, that doesn’t mean it is less superior. 

To put these purity ratings in numbers, 18K gold means it contains 75% gold with 25% alloyed metals. Meanwhile, 14K gold rings are composed of 58% gold and the rest with alloyed metals.

The alloyed metals used in these rings vary depending on the ring maker. Silver, nickel, copper, and palladium are the most commonly used metals. The addition of these alloyed metals also results in one of the biggest differences between 14K vs 18K yellow gold rings, a change in their hue. Since 14K rings have a higher percentage of alloyed metals, they tend to be a lighter yellow than 18K, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your preference.

Pros and Cons Of 14K Gold Engagement Ring

It is a common mistake for people to think that a 14K gold engagement ring is less desirable than an 18K ring– that’s its biggest downfall. While its gold purity isn’t as high 14K gold jewelry also comes with a few benefits. The main benefit of 14K vs 18K rose gold is their durability. Thanks to their higher alloy content, 14K rings are generally more durable and best for people with an active lifestyle.

The 14K ring is also ideal for people who want to use their rings every day. Wear and tear, scratches, and dents, don’t show up easily on 14K rings, making it the practical choice. Of course, in the 14K vs 18K white gold ring debate, price is also an important deciding factor. Thankfully, 14K rings are more affordable. Their price makes them more accessible to more people which is why almost 90% of all engagement rings are 14K.

Any 14K jewelry is popular among many jewelers because it perfectly balances durability, appearance, and affordability. However, keep in mind that the lower the gold purity the higher the risk of an allergic reaction. Since these 14K rings are considered the middle ground, they aren’t typically viewed as fine jewelry, but more of a casual choice. If you’re attending a black-tie event or something similar rings with a lower karat won’t stand out. 

Finally,  if you’re expecting a deep yellow color, the 14K gold will not meet your expectations. However, the warmth of a 14K yellow gold ring is timeless and classic which is why it remains one of the most popular engagement rings today.

Pros and Cons of 18K Gold Engagement Ring

People who prefer elegant, rich, and more vibrant colors favor 18K gold rings, whether yellow, white, or rose. Thanks to a higher gold ratio, 18K rings will always have better and darker coloring when compared to 14k rings. These rings are very delicate but stunning. Plus, an 18K gold engagement ring is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction due to its higher gold content. You should choose 18K gold over 14K if you have sensitive skin. 

A quick 14K vs 18K yellow gold comparison will quickly highlight the stark difference in their color. If you are looking for a yellow gold engagement ring, an 18K ring is the best choice. However, remember that 18K rings are not as durable although beautiful and more attractive. These high-purity rings are best worn on special occasions by people with a less active lifestyle. Otherwise, the metal will get scratched and tarnished easily. The only exception is vintage jewelry, the oxidation of the metals gives vintage 18K gold rings an authentic look and feel.

One of the biggest advantages of an 18K gold ring is its middle ground between 14K and 24K. While 14K is seen as the practical and sensible option, 24K gold rings are too delicate to be worn regularly. However, 18K rings can be worn on all special occasions without fear of damaging it. These gold rings still look beautiful and special, making them the best of both worlds. 

Of course, when choosing between 14K vs 18K white gold, the 18K will cost more on the get-go. You also need to consider maintenance and cleaning costs. However, if you value elegance over durability, it’s worth the price.


Whether you are debating the choice between 14K vs 18K rose gold rings or the usual white and gold colors, in the end, all that matters is you. Choose an engagement ring that you or your partner will cherish.

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