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Gold is the most popular choice for men's and ladies wedding rings and engagement rings. Gold is also very popular in dress rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets.




There are two things to consider when looking at gold. First, which gold carat to choose and second, the gold color or the combination of gold colors available.




Gold Karat

There are several carats available for gold.

The carat is the gold content of the metal. The carat measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with another metal alloy to make up the final metal.

The carat of gold is represented in many countries by the abbreviation ct. Carat can also be called karat, represented by kt or K.   

You may notice that carat or ct is also used to measure the weight of diamonds and gemstones. Although the same name is used, the two measurements are measuring different characteristics of jewelry.

The gold carats normally used in men's wedding rings are 10kt, 14kt, 18kt, and 19.2kt (Portuguese gold).

The higher the proportion of gold used in the final metal, the more valuable and expensive the metal will be. So all other things being the same, a 19.2kt ring will be more expensive than an 18kt ring, an 18kt ring will be more expensive than a 14kt and a 14kt ring will be more expensive than a 10kt ring.


14kt gold contains 58.5% pure gold (585 parts per thousand parts). 

18kt gold contains 75% pure gold (750 parts per thousand parts).

19.2kt (Portuguese gold)gold contains 80% pure gold (800 parts per thousand parts).


Other gold carats are used in different parts of the world including 9kt, 22kt and 24kt. It is generally considered that 22kt and 24kt gold are too soft to be used to make men's wedding rings.

Jewelry is normally stamped with a marking to show the type of gold.

For 10kt gold the stamp will normally be either the number 417, 10kt, 10kt or 10K.

For 14kt gold the stamp will normally be either the number 585, 14kt, 14kt or 14K. 


Portugual, by the Portuguese law, for 19.2kt gold use a stamp showing a deer with 800 on the bottom.

10kt, 14kt, 18kt and 19.2kt gold are each relatively hard and durable metals and are suitable for use in all types of fine jewelry. Gold is also suitable to be used in jewelry that is worn on an everyday basis.

When choosing jewelry, particularly rings, many people consider the hardness and durability of gold to be used in their ring.

Metal hardness is measured by what is called the Vickers scale where harder metals receive a higher Vickers score than less hard metals.

10kt has a Vickers hardness of 120 and 19.2kt has a Vickers hardness of 125. This shows 19.2kt as harder, but the difference is so slight that in practical terms 10kt and 19.2kt are much the same in terms of hardness.


Gold colors


Gold is available in several different colors. The most popular is yellow gold, followed by white gold and rose gold, though other gold colors are sometimes also available such as bronze, red and lime gold.

Jewelry can also be made using a combination of different gold colors. These jewelry items are sometimes called two-tone, three-tone or multi-colored gold. 


As the color difference is due to the metal components in the alloy mix, the color of yellow gold and rose gold will not chip, fade or wear off with age.

Yellow gold is made by mixing pure gold with alloy metals such as copper and zinc.


White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as silver and palladium.

Traditionally nickel was used in white gold, however, nickel is no longer used in most white gold made today as nickel can cause reactions with some people.

The rhodium plating is used to make the white gold look more white. The natural color of white gold is actually a light grey color. The rhodium is white and very hard, but it does wear away eventually. To keep a white gold ring looking its best it should be re-rhodium plated approximately each 12 to 18 months. Most local jewelers are able to rhodium plate jewelry for a cost-effective price.

As each gold color contains the same proportion of pure gold all gold colors with the same carat weight when measured on the Vickers scale have the same Vickers score. 


19.2kt, 18kt and 14kt. yellow gold is more yellow than 10kt yellow gold, making 19.2kt, 18kt and 14kt yellow gold a more popular choice of yellow gold than 10kt for ladies engagement rings.

10kt, 14kt., 18kt and 19.2kt white gold have a similar white color (as normally both have a rhodium plating finish).

When comparing the price of the gold colors in the same carat, white gold is normally a little more expensive than yellow gold. Yellow gold and rose gold normally have approximately the same price.  


  1. The metal's performance with everyday wear 
  2. The difference in color.
  3. The difference in price between the gold carats. 


10kt, 14kt, 18kt. and 19.2kt are each suitable equally suitable for use in dress rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and necklaces. Many people choose 10kt and 14kt for their earrings and pendants due to its lower price. 

For engagement rings 14kt, 18kt and 19.2kt is a better choise.



Quick Reference - What types of jewelry are suitable for gold?

Ladies engagement rings


preferred gold type is 14kt, 18kt and 19.2kt (portuguese gold)

en's engagement rings


preferred gold type is 19.2kt and 18kt, though 14kt and 10kt are also suitable

Ladies wedding bands


preferred gold type is 19.2kt and 18kt. Ladies wedding rings are normally made in the same metal as the engagement ring

Men's wedding bands


preferred gold type is 19.2kt and 18kt if it falls in your budget. Otherwise, 14kt and 10kt are both suitable.

Ladies and men's dress rings


19.2kt, 18kt, 14kt and 10kt are each suitable

Earrings, pendants, bracelets, and necklaces


19.2kt, 18kt, 14kt and 10kt are each suitable