Gold is a valuable commodity in any industry. Not only is it a popular choice for jewelry, but it’s a useful material for dental and medical applications as well. Above even that, it’s an economic commodity that intertwines with currency and finances. Gold traders and collectors of every type need to know the details about gold’s purity, applications and value in the market from moment to moment.
14k gold is particularly valuable for jewelry and coins because it has a good proportion of both gold and other metals that make the gold physically stronger. Read on to learn about the price of 14k gold, reasons for choosing 14k gold and common applications for this type of gold and others.
What Is the Price of 14k Gold?
As of September 11, 2020, the 14k gold price is $1,134.96 per ounce . However, it’s important to note that the cost of gold is constantly shifting every day. Not only does the price of pure gold fluctuate with the market, but the prices of other metals in 14k gold (such as tin and silver) also change over time.
Even the gold’s form has an impact on its total price and the likelihood of finding a buyer. When you’re ready to buy or sell 14k gold, it’s important to know the current valuation for this type of gold on the market.
How Are 10k, 14k and 18k Gold Values Determined?
First, it’s important to understand what 10k, 14k and 18k even mean. 24k ” or 24 karat ” gold is 100% pure gold. Every type of gold with a different karat level is a certain proportion of pure gold . 10k gold, for example, is 10 parts pure gold and 14 parts other metals, or roughly 42% gold. Similarly, 14k gold is 14/24 gold, and 18k gold is 18/24 gold.
Not only does that ‘k’ value matter when assessing different types of gold, but the filler in the remainder of the alloy is also important. A gold and brass alloy, for example, can be an excellent choice for jewelry or home decor, but a mix of gold and lead is potentially dangerous.
However, the dollar price per unit of gold is continuously fluctuating. We recommend that you turn to charts and live analyses that report the per-ounce value of gold in as close to real time as possible.
As a general rule, the higher proportion of pure gold in an object, the higher the melt price. That means 14k gold will typically be more valuable than 10k gold but less valuable than 18k gold.
How to Determine the Pure Gold Content in Jewelry and Valuables
One way to determine how much gold is in a valuable item like a necklace or bracelet is to look for a hallmark. These small tags or engravings display the number of karats. Some may even show the percentage of pure gold as a three-digit grade ” 75% pure gold, for example, would be represented as 750. Therefore, 14k gold, at 14/24 proportions of gold or 58.33% gold, would be earmarked as 583.
Without this earmark, you can turn to a professional appraiser or jeweler to determine the pure gold contents of your item as well as its potential dollar value.
Pro Tip: Any gold item earmarked as 925 isn’t 92.5% real gold ” instead, it’s gold-plated sterling silver.
How to Choose Between Different Gold Purities
The ‘right’ gold purity level is different depending on the circumstances. This includes the budget for a given item, the expectations for durability and wearability, the different properties of the alloys and the expected retail value. Some of the most important factors to consider include:
- The price: While the price of gold is constantly shifting, it’s still generally safe to assume that lower karat values of gold are more affordable. If all other aspects are equal, such as the gems included, a 10k gold piece of jewelry is less expensive than a 14k gold piece of jewelry.
- The hardness: The non-gold portion of a gold item has a significant impact on the hardness of the entire item. Gold for jewelry is frequently combined with metals such as copper, silver, tin or zinc. Since gold is a soft material on its own, these materials add extra hardness. 10k gold is often harder than 14k gold, which means it will be more durable.
- Resale potential: If you’re buying investment gold pieces or jewelry that will rarely be worn, it may be better to choose pieces with higher proportions of pure gold in order to make sure they will have a higher resale value down the line.
Different Applications of Different Types of Gold
Different types of gold have different ideal applications because the addition of other metals changes the characteristics of the material. 24k gold is most frequently used in the form of coins and gold bars, but it isn’t often used for jewelry because it’s too soft. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 10k gold may not be the right choice for dental applications because the other metals may corrode.
Here are some applications of the three most common types of gold:
- 18k gold: This is used for fine, rarely worn jewelry. It has the rich luster that comes from a higher proportion of gold, and its inherent softness can be protected if the jewelry is worn and stored carefully.
- 14k gold: This class of gold is commonly used for all types of gold jewelry because the other metals in the material make it harder and tougher without taking too much away from its gold appearance. 14k gold is an excellent choice for both form and functionality.
- 10k gold: This gold may be used in fashion and costume jewelry. It has a pale color and is the lowest class of gold that is still considered ‘gold’ in the United States.
Pro Tip: Nickel is a common addition to 10k, 14k and 18k gold , but many people experience skin irritation after prolonged contact with this metal. Be careful to consider the non-gold materials of any valuables before making a purchase.
Knowing the pure gold content of 14k gold and the relative value of gold at different moments in time can help both owners and shoppers make the best choices as they sell gold valuables, buy new 14k gold items and jewelry or even invest in gold shares on the market.
1. Britannica. ‘Karat,’ https://www.britannica.com/technology/karat. Accessed September 10, 2020.
2. Gold Price. ‘14K Gold Prices Per Ounce Today,’ https://www.goldpriceoz.com/14k-gold-price-per-ounce/. Accessed September 11, 2020.
3. International Gem Society. ‘Jewelry Metals 101: Gold, Silver, and Platinum,’ https://www.gemsociety.org/article/jewelry-metals-overview/. Accessed September 10, 2020.