Differences between gold purities

Differences between gold purities

While the first pieces of jewelry in history were made in pure gold, the craftmans soon realized that pure gold was too soft for daily use and could be easily scratched and deformed. That's why gold alloys were invented to make it harder and open new creative perspectives, with more sophisticated designs, by adding to gold other metals like silver or copper, in different proportions.


Today the standard in European luxury jewelry is 18K, or 750/1000, or 75% of pure gold among 25% of other metals. It guarantees the long term value of your jewelry. It is also now the worldwide standard in branded luxury jewelry.


14K jewelry with 58% gold purity is mainly a US specificity, and was popular for cost reasons. The US market is now divided between the common jewelry market in 14K, mainly unbranded, and brands proposing 18K jewelry in a shift towards the higher end of the market, like their europeans counterparts.


Middle-East and the Indian subcontinent is still mainly a 21K / 22K purity market as jewelry is also seen as an investment, therefore the closer of 24K the better to buy and sell easily. However younger generations prefer now to wear modern luxury brands with innovative designs, which are mainly in 18K.


Asia is shifting progressively to 18K thanks to the younger generations looking for brands, while a big segment of the market is still in 22K or 24K for more traditional jewelry.


9K jewelry with 38% purity is the entry level market, most of unbranded pieces of jewelry sold in bulk on internet are made of 9K, customer have to be careful because this not always mentioned.


Finally, gold plated jewelry with a thin layer of 2 microns on silver or brass is dedicated to the accessory and fashion market with limited life-span.


ZEVA is using exclusively 18K purity in gold, and we offer two purities in platinum, 60% or 95%, the difference is the weight as pure platinum is heavier than gold, while platinum 600 is a bit lighter and more comfortable.