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Why Choose 10k Solid Gold for Your Jewelry? | GLDN

Written by GLDN Team — September 26, 2023

Why Choose 10k Solid Gold for Your Jewelry? | GLDN

And what is 10k gold? Let’s cut to the case—10k gold jewelry has been one of the best-kept secrets in the jewelry world, and it’s slowly becoming a popular material for rings, bracelets, necklaces and more heirloom-quality pieces. While its more expensive alternative, 14k gold, has been in the spotlight for quite some time, 10k gold really hasn’t until recently. Now you might see it popping up more and more at your favorite stores and brands (and you might be wondering why)! 

Have you thought about buying 10k gold but took a step back because you’re not sure what it is, or if it’s even worth it? Or maybe you’re wondering how good 10k gold is compared to other alternatives (like 14k, 18k and so on)? Let’s dive in and see why you should choose 10k gold for your jewelry—because so many benefits await. 


Liquid Gold Chain


What Is 10K Gold Jewelry?

It’s one of the most affordable, durable and versatile varieties of solid gold on the market today! 10k solid gold jewelry is made of around 41.7% pure gold, plus an alloy of other metals to give it strength and durability.


Does 10K Mean Real Gold?

You ask: is 10k gold real? We say: YES, it’s legally considered real, solid gold!

Compared to other varieties of solid gold—like 14k, 18k and so on—10k solid gold is a paler yellow (since there is less pure gold in its alloy) but it’s just as tarnish-resistant as more expensive alternatives…and even more durable.


What Is Gold Karatage?

Before we get any further, let’s start with the basics: what is gold karatage, and why does it matter? What does 10k mean? To put it simply, “gold karatage” refers to the percentage of gold in a jewelry piece. There are four main variants of gold karatage, which you’ve most likely heard of before: 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k. Essentially, solid gold pieces are composed of a percentage of pure gold and other metals added in to improve the piece’s color and durability, because 100% pure gold is far too soft (and far too yellow) for everyday wear. The lower the karatage, the less pure gold the piece contains…but this isn’t always a bad thing (more on that later)!

Let’s chat about the karatage of 10k solid gold first. 10k gold contains roughly 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% other metals; you get this percentage by dividing the karatage (that would be 10, in this case) by 24 (AKA 100% pure gold). 

From there, 14k gold has around 58.3% pure gold (currently the most popular choice in the U.S.), 18k gold has around 75% pure gold and 24k gold is made of 100% pure gold with no other metals added in. 

At first glance, you might assume that the higher the karatage, the better the piece is—but this isn’t always the case! Since pure gold is soft and prone to scratching, the less pure gold in a piece actually means the piece is more durable and less bendable (and less expensive, too)!


Howdy Boot Necklace


The Composition Of 10K Gold

OK, let’s dive deeper into 10k gold jewelry—what this stuff is actually made of and what the benefits are. Because of its composition, 10k gold jewelry is one of the most affordable, versatile and durable varieties of solid gold on the market today! Also, quick note, gold jewelry can’t legally be sold as “real gold” or “solid gold” unless they use at least 10 karats of pure gold. 10k solid gold has even been globally recognized by the Federal Trade Commission as being real and can be sold and marketed as such! This means that 10k is the lowest solid gold alloy used in jewelry, but this comes with perks. 

As we mentioned above, 10k solid gold is composed of 10 parts pure gold and 14 parts other metals. Jewelers typically add silver, copper, zinc or nickel to the alloy—a combination of multiple metals—to strengthen the piece and alter its color to a soft, pale yellow! The lower the percentage of pure gold in a piece = the softer, less saturated the color. That’s why a 10k solid gold piece will be a lighter, more buttery yellow while an 18k solid gold piece will be a more intense, brash yellow.


Tiny Studs


What Makes 10K Gold A Good Choice For Jewelry?

Is 10k gold good? The question should be: what doesn’t make 10k solid gold a good choice? 🤩When it comes to buying solid gold jewelry—or any jewelry, for that matter—we all want something that’s both durable and affordable, which 10k gold passes with flying colors. Let’s look at the details!


Due to its alloy—10 parts pure gold, 14 parts other metals—10k is the hardest, most durable solid gold option out there! It’s even more scratch-resistant than 14k solid gold, and it’s equally as waterproof and tarnish-resistant, meaning you can basically wear 10k solid gold day-in, day-out and it’ll look great for a lifetime. So, does solid gold tarnish? It doesn’t—so wear it all you want!

Like we mentioned earlier, these other metals in the alloy (like silver, copper and so on) actually strengthen the jewelry, since pure gold is far too soft to be used in jewelry alone. This is why you’ll see higher-karat gold, like 18k or 20k, scratch and bend more easily, which, we’re guessing, isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.


The price of 10k gold is one of its loveliest features! Since it contains less pure gold, 10k gold is the most affordable solid gold you can get—even cheaper than 14k gold. Remember: the higher the karatage, the higher the price. If you calculate the price per ounce (or gram) for a 10k jewelry piece, you’ll see it’s much more affordable than purer alternatives. 

Combine this with its durability, and 10k just might be the best of both worlds—the perfect solid gold option for those looking for a price-conscious piece of jewelry that’ll last lifetimes.

Great For Everyday

When it comes to everyday jewelry, 10k gold is the one. Durable enough for daily activities—even showering, exercising and swimming (in non-chlorinated water!)—10k solid gold is waterproof, tarnish-resistant and ready for wherever life takes you.

We always recommend removing any jewelry before physical labor, chores or yard work just to avoid accidentally denting or damaging the piece, especially if it’s a dainty one! But for normal wear, 10k solid gold will totally hold its own.


Taiya Chain & Bracelet


Taking Care Of 10K Gold Jewelry

Now, the burning question: does 10k gold tarnish? Over time, there’s a small possibility that it might—but unlike lower-quality jewelry options, like gold fill or gold plating, tarnish can easily be removed from 10k solid gold pieces, meaning it isn’t permanent! Any small amount of tarnish on a 10k gold piece is due to the added metals in its composition, because pure gold doesn’t tarnish.

To remove the rare occasion of tarnish, just use a polishing cloth to carefully buff away the tarnish and restore its shine. Or, if your piece has built up a fair amount of tarnish, we recommend using lukewarm water and gentle dish soap to clean your jewelry with a soft-bristled toothbrush—and that’s it! Tarnish, be gone. ✨

To prevent any future tarnish, we recommend storing your pieces in a clean, fabric-lined jewelry box or soft pouch, and voila! (But, again, if any tarnish builds up on 10k gold, it isn’t permanent… so don’t sweat it too much.)


Emerald Green Studs


When 10K Gold Is The Best Choice For Jewelry

10k solid gold jewelry is the perfect option if you’re looking for your first piece of solid gold jewelry—it’s lower in price than higher-karat options (like 14k or 18k), it’s accessible and getting easier to find, and it’s super durable (great if you work with your hands or do manual labor!).

Whether you’re looking for new 10 karat gold rings, earrings, necklaces, anklets, or bracelets you want to wear often, 10k solid gold is an outstanding heirloom-quality choice you can cherish for a lifetime and pass down to future generations. If you’re looking for a wedding ring or wedding band, 10k solid gold is an excellent option for that, too!

That said, if you have any sensitivity to certain metals that might be added to the alloy (like copper or nickel, for example), reach out to the seller in question and they can let you know what’s being used in their 10k solid gold jewelry. In this case, if you are allergic to certain metals or prefer a more intense yellow gold, a higher-karat solid gold might be the one for you.


Our 10k Solid Gold Favorites

Looking for 10 karat gold earrings for everyday wear? Check out our collection of 10k solid gold studs and hoops you can put on and leave on—they’ll never tarnish or fade! 

We recommend building your signature stack in 10k solid gold, too, with a few of our favorite chains: the bright, shiny Liquid Gold Chain, the bold Taiya Chain and the delicate, airy Floating Pearl Chain dotted with tiny freshwater pearls.  

Peruse our full 10k Solid Gold Collection for more. Happy solid gold shopping!


Happy solid gold shopping! 

Team GLDN ✨

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