Why 10K Gold Is a Lesser Option for Gold Jewelry

Gold stack

No matter how gorgeous and near-flawless a gemstone is, when it sits on “pseudo-gold”, the fire and brilliance are instantly diminished. Pseudo-gold is a gold alloy that has less than 50% pure gold content. Ten karat gold is one such example.

Barely meets the true gold requirement

Ten karat gold is ten parts gold and 14 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 41.7% gold. It barely meets the minimum karat requirement that can be called “gold” in the United States.

Low quality gemstones for low quality gold

To the untrained eye, 10K gold is not as shiny as those with at least 50% pure gold content. It is dull, hard, and more difficult to polish. It’s no surprise that mediocre-quality diamonds and gemstones end up being paired with it on rings and other jewelry pieces! It doesn’t make sense to invest in jewelry that has sub-par quality.

Not worth its weight in gold?

Ten karat gold is packed with alloys such as zinc and copper, while higher karat metals have more pure gold content. This means that 14K gold weighs more than the 10K gold, as gold is heavier than the alloy metals.

Very little re-sale value

Unfortunately, the gold market does not place much stock in gold jewelry, no matter what the karat is. Gold bullions have the highest value and translate directly into currency because they are pure gold, without any alloy. However, in the case of jewelry investment, going for 14K and above is still recommended, as they can be resold in the future for a lot more. Less than half the weight of 10K metal is gold, so it won’t get anywhere near market value at resale.

It’s simple enough to tell if you’re getting 10K gold with your jewelry even without an untrained eye. All metal is stamped with the metal type. Simply look at the markings on a piece of gold jewelry before buying it, such as on the inner part of a gold band or on the clasp of a necklace. To be perfectly sure, however, only purchase jewelry in reputable stores and with the consultation of a professional. If you question the quality of the alloy, have an appraiser test the metal for you.

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