What is the difference between 14k and 18k white gold engagement ring?
“My girlfriend has indicated that she wants a pave set engagement ring without a halo surrounding the center stone, and I think that she will really like the 3 row domed pave setting from Brian Gavin, however it appears to only be available in 18k white gold or platinum; is there a reason why it is not offered in 14k white gold? My local jeweler told me that 14k white gold is better for an engagement ring, but I don’t remember the basis for that opinion. It seems like Brian Gavin and a lot of other jewelry designers only offer their designs in 18k white gold or platinum; can you tell me the difference between using 14k and 18k white gold for an engagement ring?”
The difference between 14k and 18k white gold e-rings:
14k white gold is a popular choice for diamond engagement rings; however the reason might simply be because it is a popular choice among jewelers, simply because 14k white gold is less expensive than 18k white gold or platinum. The price difference between 14k and 18k white gold engagement rings is usually not enough to break the bank, and we feel that the difference in quality is definitely worth paying for; the look of 18k white gold is brighter and whiter.
One of the reasons why 18k white gold looks better than 14k gold is because it has a higher gold content; the gold content of a 14k white gold ring is 58.3% gold, and 41.7% other metals that are used to change the color of the gold from yellow to white, as well as make the ring more durable, because pure gold is extremely soft and thus is not suitable for jewelry items which are worn every day.
The gold content of 18k white gold is 75% which is why it costs more than 14k white gold, the lower percentage of other metals makes 18k white gold jewelry less prone to oxidization, which means that 18k white gold rings tend to look whiter and brighter than 14k white gold rings; it also makes 18k white gold a better choice for people who suffer from metal allergies.
Another benefit of using 18k white gold or platinum for an engagement ring, is that jewelry made from these alloys does not need to be rhodium plated, or electroplated white, because these alloys are not prone to oxidization like the majority of 14k white gold alloys that engagement rings are made from; thus 18k white gold jewelry is more cost effective over the long term, because it requires less maintenance.
14k white gold is more durable than 18k white gold:
One argument that we’ve heard retail jewelers use to explain why they inventory 14k white gold engagement rings instead of 18k white gold engagement rings, is that 14k white gold is more durable than 18k white gold, but this is an argument which is kind of lame…
From a technical standpoint, 14k white gold is harder and thus more durable than 18k white gold, however the difference is not substantial, and should not be a critical factor in deciding whether to choose an engagement ring made of 14k or 18k white gold, because if you do something severe enough to damage an 18k white gold ring, the reality is that it is probably something substantial enough to damage a 14k white gold ring also.
At the end of the day, the jewelry design staff of Brian Gavin Diamonds prefers 18k white gold to 14k white gold, because it provides an end product which looks and feels more luxurious, because it has a higher gold content, and it requires less maintenance to look its best, thus you will get more enjoyment out of your ring, and spend less time at the jewelry store having it cleaned and polished.
The most popular style of 14k white gold engagement ring is definitely our standard four prong solitaire, and six prong solitaire settings. These solitaires are the most popular style of 14k white gold engagement ring. However, it is unclear as to whether they are so popular because people prefer them above all other options, or whether they are popular simply because this is the ring widely recognized as being the traditional engagement ring. These settings feature a four or six prong head with straight prongs which are die struck. They are mass produced to accommodate a wide range of sizes.
Most popular 18k white gold engagement ring:
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most popular 18k white gold engagement ring is the classic six prong half round solitaire by Brian Gavin. The first thing you’ll notice about this setting is that the head configuration features a bit of extra flair, which creates the illusion that the head is actually a six prong crown. The ring shank tapers differently than the traditional six prong solitaire pictured above. The classic knife edge style solitaire by Brian Gavin features the same head configuration, set atop a knife edge ring shank, which is not actually sharp like a knife. Rather the outer edge of the ring shank comes to a slight point in a kind of > shape, hence the name.
Unlike the 14k white gold solitaire engagement rings featured above, which are die struck and mass produced to accommodate diamonds within a range of carat weight, e.g. 1.00 to 1.25 carats; these settings are custom made-to-order, the prong configuration is specifically designed to accommodate the dimensions of the diamond which you order.
Most popular 18k white gold halo setting:
The Anita halo by Brian Gavin has quickly become our top selling, most popular 18k white gold halo setting. This setting is named after our client Anita, who dreamed of an affordable halo setting that fully encompassed her diamond in a field of floating diamonds. As with all of Brian’s custom designed engagement rings, it is the honor of the client to decide upon the name used to feature it in our catalog. As with all Brian Gavin Signature engagement rings, this setting is custom made-to-order, so the halo is designed to accommodate the dimensions of the specific diamond ordered.
While 14k white gold remains a popular option, the reality is that we believe that 18k is the best option. As you’ve learned, 18k white gold appears to be brighter and whiter than 14k white gold, and maintains its luxurious appearance without the necessity of being rhodium plated.
18k white gold is a better option for people who suffer from metal allergies, although there is still the possibility that somebody might experience sensitivities to the other alloys which are mixed with the white gold, even if they do exist to a lesser degree. If you suffer from metal allergies, platinum is probably the best option since it is totally hypoallergenic.
Regardless of whether you prefer 14k white gold, 18k white gold, or platinum, Brian Gavin Diamonds has the engagement ring of your dreams.