The most common question asked at O.M.L Jewels when it comes to people buying their Gold wedding rings or other pieces of jewellery, is "What is the difference between 9ct and 18ct Gold?" and actually, this is a very important question! So, in this blog, I will be explaining the differences between the two golds.
Purity means the gold-to-alloy ratio.
If you look at the hallmark on a 9ct gold piece of jewellery, you will see a stamp that reads "375, " meaning that it is 37.5% pure gold and the other 62.5% is other alloys. Typically, the alloys are Silver and Copper (42.5% Silver and 20% Copper). 9ct Gold is a really durable gold, however, you see more cracks over long periods of time in 9ct than you do in 18ct and that is because that 9ct gold is a slightly more brittle material even though it is more resistant to scratches and bending, 18ct is just more flexible. However, it does take a lot to damage 9ct gold.
18ct gold is marked with "750" meaning that it is 75.0% pure gold and 25.0% alloys (12.5% silver and 12.5% copper). Although 18ct gold is more durable, it can be scratched and bent more easily compared to 9ct gold. However, 18ct is still more than durable enough to be worn as jewellery. 18ct gold will also give you a better return for your money if you come to sell it in the future as it has more pure gold in the piece of jewellery. 18ct gold is generally used more in significant pieces like wedding rings and bespoke jewellery that will be kept and handed down within the family.
Just because 9ct gold has physically less gold, does not necessarily mean that it is worse. Actually, you probably see more 9ct gold jewellery than any other gold. This is purely down to the fact that it is more affordable and hardwearing.
With Gold, you typically get 3 colours, Yellow, White and Rose and they still come in the same 9ct and 18ct. By doing this they just change around the alloys slightly to get that Rose or White colour so with Rose Gold they will add more copper and take some silver out to give it that more coppery rose colour whereas in White Gold they will take out the copper all together and replace it with more silver, this way they keep the gold to alloy ratio the same but swap around the alloys to give it a different colour.
As you can see, the 18ct rings have a brighter colour compared to the 9ct, that is down to the fact that there is more gold used in 18ct gold jewellery. You will also see that the White Gold is not exactly... "White". This is because white gold is also Rhodium Plated as well as mixed with more white alloy. Without the Rhodium plating, White Gold has more of a champagne colour as you can sort of see in the 9ct White Gold ring in the picture (it's clearer in person) and that is why it is typically plated as well to give it a whiter and shinier finish. There are downsides of course, the plating will wear off over time and go back to its original champagne-yellow tinge (which personally I really like, I don't think it should get plated). You won't see any colouring wear off the rose gold rings as that is its natural colour when mixed with more copper alloy.
There is no shying away from the fact that gold is expensive, but it is definitely worth the money. For generations, gold jewellery has been bought as gifts, used for wedding rings and also used to make family heirlooms.
Let's use wedding rings as an example when it comes to the price of gold jewellery. A 6mm 9ct Gold D-shape band is £600 whereas a 6mm 18ct Gold D-shape band will cost £1450. So why the £850 difference? Just like it was mentioned at the start of this blog, 18ct gold has more pure gold which results in a more costly price.
In conclusion, there is no better or worse gold out of the two, it is all preference in which one looks better to you and what you can warrant spending. Just because 9ct Gold is less expensive, that doesn't mean that is a worse gold, it has its benefits! It keeps its shape, is more scratch-resistant and more affordable.
If you have any questions on gold jewellery, please feel free to get in touch at email@example.com and we will gladly help you!