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Have you ever wondered what does the K in 10K and 14K mean? Well, this refers to the purity of the gold. The higher the K number, the higher gold content there is. Most reputable jewelry stores will add the ‘K’ or ‘14K’ stamp on real gold jewelry because it signifies that the gold has been thoroughly tested to ensure it’s fine enough to be called 10K or 14K gold.
If you're not too familiar with gold jewelry, 10K or 10 karats can sound confusing. However, it’s simply a statement indicating how pure the gold is. Gold that has a purity of 10k is generally considered to be a good option for custom gold grillz. The higher the K number, the higher the gold content. 10K gold is 41.7% pure gold (10 parts gold and 14 parts alloy). Alloy simply means a mixture of different metals. The alloy metal makes the gold hard, durable and suitable for mouth jewelry. However, because of the high percentage of alloy mixed in with the gold, 10K gold grillz can tarnish faster than other more purer forms of gold. No to worry though, the tarnish on real gold can be easily removed using a jewelry polishing cloth.
In real solid gold jewelry, 14K gold stands for 14 karat or 14 carat. This means that the purity is 58.3% pure gold, and the rest of the metals being alloy. When it comes to fine jewelry, 14K gold is 7 parts gold and 17 parts silver /and or copper, nickel and zinc. Because of the higher K number, the gold is more durable and more resistant to oxidation than 10 carat gold. With higher purity gold such as 14K, the price is more expensive than 10K. However, 14K gold requires less care and maintenance, because its more resistant to tarnishing. Since moisture causes tarnish the alloy in real gold, the higher the gold content, the better. Another thing to consider its that 14K is somewhat softer than 10K gold, because of the higher pure gold content. For this reason, 14K gold grillz are an excellent option for mouth jewelry.
Although both 14K and 10K are real gold, the purity varies. As a reference, 24K gold is 100% pure gold. 14K is 58.3% gold, whereas 10K has less actual gold content at 41.7% gold. 10K gold is the more affordable option, however it is more susceptible to tarnish and requires more maintenance than 14K gold. Also, 10K gold is more durable because it is harder than 14K gold. Which means it is more resistant to nicks, scratches and physical damage. Aesthetically, 10K gold has a lighter yellow color than 14K gold, which has darker, deeper gold color. Custom grillz can also be rhodium plated over the 10K or 14K gold, for those that prefer white gold grillz.
As it turns out, both 10K gold and 14K gold are great options for real gold grillz. They both have properties that are desirable. 10K gold is an affordable but durable option, while 14K gold is a pricer alternative, but requires less maintenance. You may need to take out a loan to purchase a real 10K or 14K gold grill, but you'll be glad you did!