14K Vs. 24K Gold

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Two of the most common types of gold are 14K and 24K. The "K" refers to karats. This is a measure of how much pure gold is contained in the alloy compared to other metals that are combined with it.

Purity

  • All gold is an alloy, since it is impossible to remove all the impurities. However, 24K gold is considered "pure gold," even though it is 99.9 percent pure. Fourteen-karat gold is 58.3 percent gold. Gold is usually mixed with silver or copper.

Color

  • Since 24K contains more gold, it has more gold color and luster than 14K gold. Twenty-four karat gold is a deeper yellow color when compared to 14K gold.

Feel

  • Fourteen-karat gold is hard to the touch, as are most other metals. Twenty-four karat gold is soft and is easily bent and dented with bare hands.

Uses

  • Fourteen-karat gold is commonly used in jewelry and other fine luxury items. Twenty-four karat gold is almost exclusively used for gold bullion.

Value

  • Twenty-four karat gold sells at a very high premium compared to 14K gold. Nearly twice as much gold is contained in 24K gold, and it costs more to purify.

References

  • Photo Credit gold coin image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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