You'll notice that Marke offers different karat options when it comes to gold. While you visually can barely (if at all) tell them apart, there are definitely differences in what they're made of.
What's the difference between Marke 10 karat, 14 karat, and 18 karat gold?
Rarely will you see a pure gold (24 karat) ring for sale. Almost all gold bands are made from an alloy (mixture) created by combining pure gold with a variety of other metals, like copper and bronze.
The reason for this is that pure gold is very soft. If Marke bands were made using pure gold, they’d scratch, scuff, dent and warp extremely easy, often just from shaking hands.
For this reason, Marke uses gold that’s mixed with other metals. The purity of this gold is measured using something called the 'karat' system, which provides information on what percentage of any type of gold is made up of pure gold.
Gold 'karatage' is expressed in parts out of 24. For example, pure gold is 24K, as all 24 out of 24 parts consist of pure gold.
18K gold consists of 18 parts pure gold mixed with 6 parts other metals. Expressed as a percentage, 18K gold is 75% pure gold. That's why you'll see a tiny '18K' or 'Au750' engraved on the inside of your band.
14K gold, on the other hand, consists of 14 parts pure gold mixed with 10 parts other metal. As a percentage, the pure gold in a 14K Gold band accounts for 58.3% of the total metal.
10K gold, as you can imagine, consists of 10 parts pure gold mixed with 14 parts alloy. This calculates to 41.7% of pure gold.
Alright, you get it. What else should you know?
Any difference in color?
A bit, but hardly noticeable. That's why you won't find different images on our product pages as you toggle between golds. If you'd like a little elaboration though, we've got you.
10K Gold color: Pale-ish yellow/rose. Because it's got the lowest % of actual gold, you'll find a slightly lighter shade of yellow/rose. Figure 5 out of 10, with 10 being a saturated, rich, almost mustard yellow.
14K Gold color: Warm and well-balanced yellow/rose. Side-by-side with 10K gold, 14K will look slightly more rich and warm since it's got a higher % of pure gold. Figure 7 out of 10.
18K Gold color: Lustrous yellow/rose. Think of 18K as the richest of the options with intense warmth and saturation. 8.5 out of 10.
It's worth noting that White Gold karat options are basically impossible to differentiate. If you think differently, then definitely let us know!
14k Gold Classic Slim, Polished shown above
Makes sense, right? A few more notable points before deciding which to buy:
Naturally, 10K will be less expensive than 14K, which will be less expensive than 18K. Reason being, pure gold is more valuable than the alloys it's mixed with. The more real gold, the higher the cost.
So, this actually works the opposite of how you might think. Because pure gold is softer than the alloys it's mixed with, an 18K gold ring is more prone to scratches, nicks, scuffs, and other daily wear & tear than a 14K or 10K ring.
Again - gold is a soft, malleable metal that scratches, bends and warps easily. This means that the purer a gold ring is, the easier it becomes to scratch it on door frames, desks, tables, the ground and other surfaces.
All that being said, 14K gold is more than durable enough for the average person. It’s also significantly more durable than 18K gold, making it the better choice if you and your partner have an active lifestyle.
If you’re not concerned about durability and want the purest form of gold that’s still practical for a wedding band, 18K gold can be a better choice. Just be aware that you'll need to be a little more careful.
Your Marke wedding band will not tarnish or rust, and it is the most corrosion-proof and oxidation-resistant metal. What that means is, it'll last forever - regardless of which gold option you choose. That's why you won't find alternative metals on our site. We don't want to mess around with silver, titanium, or carbon fiber because more often than not, they simply just don't last.
Please note that the sample bands in the Marke Home Try-On Kit are plated replicas, so they are not meant to match the exact colors of gold. They should definitely give you an idea of the color differences between White, Yellow, and Rose, but aren't meant to represent the different karat options of gold between them. We do our best to keep them in tip-top shape, but please understand that the plating does wear and slightly discolor over time.