What's The Difference Between 9ct, 14ct, 18ct, and 24ct Gold?

What's The Difference Between 9ct, 14ct, 18ct, and 24ct Gold?

Gold calculates its purity by the measurements of 9–24 carat (or karat. Both spellings are correct.)
The higher the carat of gold can determine the malleability of the precious metal. Lower-carat gold is tougher and more resilient, which makes higher carats of gold easier to shape, but also easier to damage.
Thus, purity of gold is divided based on carat. 9ct is 37.5% pure, 14ct is 58.5% pure, 18ct is 75% pure, 24ct is 100% pure. Now, with each percentage, this is only to give an idea of its purity; Especially the 100% pureness of the 24ct gold, which is not entirely true, even though it is considered to be "pure gold." 

What Are The Differences?

In England, we traditionally only do 9ct or 18ct gold. While some stores around the UK may do 14ct and 22ct or even 24ct, we are not one of those stores. We will list the reasons and the differences of what we sell below.

9ct gold is one of the most popular choices when it comes to metals in engagement rings and wedding bands. It's the most durable out of all other choices, and also the cheapest. 9ct gold has some downsides, but it makes up for it with how tough it is. One drawback is that 9ct tarnishes easier than the rest of the carats. 24ct is too expensive, too soft, and rare to use. 

18ct gold is the most expensive carat used in modern high-end jewellery design. While 18ct gold is much less likely to tarnish compared to 9ct or 14ct, it is easier to scratch or become damaged. When wearing 18ct gold jewellery (and any other jewellery), you will need to take extensive care not to catch it on raised surfaces where it may snag and bend or break. 

As these are the two carats we deal with, we do not recommend using 14ct or 24ct. 14ct gold is used more in foreign countries and is harder to source in England. 24ct gold would not traditionally be used in jewellery making as it is too soft to effectively work with. The  chance of damaging it is much higher than with other carats. 

Variants of Gold

Yellow gold is of course the most popular choice with it resembling traditional gold. Its sparkling distinct colour is recognised all around the world.
White gold, looking similar to platinum, is also very popular. It's also cheaper than platinum, but is obviously not as durable.
Rose gold is the least popular out of all options, but is no less desirable. More of a niche metal, it can be cheaper than both yellow and white gold depending on the jewellery. 


If you have any questions about gold jewellery we sell, give us a call on 0121 523 3417 or email us at contactus@bicknells.com.