Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: What is Better 18k or 24k for Gold Plating? 

What is Better 18k or 24k for Gold Plating? 

18k gold plated jewelry by statement collective

What is gold plating?

Gold plating is a process that involves coating a base metal with a thin layer of gold. This process is part of creating a wide range of gold plated jewelry. The jewellery can mimic the appearance of solid gold. But this kind of jewellery is available at a much more affordable cost. As a result, plating of gold is incredibly popular for costume jewellery and high-end pieces.

The thickness and quality of the gold covering can vary. Therefore, it is essential to know about gold covering before investing. In addition, gold layering does wear off over time. Consequently, it is necessary to care for plated jewellery to ensure its longevity properly. So take care, especially if its usage frequency is higher. But overall, gold plating is a great way to enjoy the luxurious look of gold without breaking the bank.

Definition of 18k and 24-k gold plating

To understand the process of gold layering, it is first essential to know about gold itself. Gold is measurable in karats (k), with 24k pure gold. However, pure gold is too soft to use in jewelry pieces. Often, people mix it with other metals to increase strength. Here is where the difference between 18k gold and 24-k gold plating comes in. 

18-k gold comprises 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. On the other hand, the 24-k gold covering is a layer of pure gold. It has come into existence through electroplating onto a base metal. While 18-k gold is more durable and less likely to tarnish than 24-k gold, 24-k gold plating has a richer, more luxurious look. Ultimately, the choice between the two types of gold plating depends on the jewellery piece's desired look and intended use.

Composition of 18-k and 24-k gold plating

Regarding gold layering, people commonly use two compositions. They include 18-karat and 24-karat. The primary difference between them is the gold content in each. 18-karat gold enamel contains 75% gold, while 24-karat gold enamel is, in fact, pure gold. The process involves electroplating a thin gold layer onto a base metal. Hence, Both types of gold enamel use either the electroplating or electroless plating processes. 

Electroplating involves passing an electric current through a solution containing gold ions. In contrast, electroless layering involves a chemical reaction. The reaction is between the metal and a concocted solution of gold ions without electricity. Both methods offer effective, even, in-depth plating, providing unique finishes for diverse applications.

Colour differences between 18-k and 24-k gold plating

The colour differences between 18-k and 24-k gold plating are noticeable, especially regarding rose and white gold appearances. However, people often mix other metals, such as copper, silver, and zinc, with 75% pure gold to make 18-karat gold. This results in a gold appearance that is more yellow and not as bright as 24-k gold. 24-k gold, on the other hand, is pure gold. In addition, the process alters the surface of the metal, thus making it much softer and more prone to scratching but also brighter in appearance.

If you're looking for a rose gold finish, 18-k gold plating is the way to go. 18-k has a pinkish hue that results from the copper blend. However, 24-k gold is the better choice for a white gold look since it is closer to a silver tone. Ultimately, choosing between 18-k and 24-k gold plating comes down to personal preference and what you want to achieve aesthetic-wise.


18k gold plated rings by statement

Durability and wearability of 18-k and 24-k gold plating

Regarding gold plating, durability and wearability are essential factors to consider. For example, 18-k and 24-k gold plating are more durable and long-lasting than lower-karat options. These options include 14k gold or 10k gold. However, even this amount of gold plating can wear off over time, primarily if not appropriately handled. Therefore, it is a recommendation to avoid exposing gold-plated jewellery to harsh chemicals or abrasive surfaces. Also, avoid wearing it while swimming or showering. 

Regular cleaning and polishing can also help maintain the appearance and durability of gold-plated jewellery. However, the gold plating will eventually wear off despite regular care, revealing the base metal underneath. While 18-k and 24-k gold plating are more durable options, proper care and maintenance are necessary to prolong their wearability.

Typical uses of 18-k and 24-k gold plating 

Jewellers commonly use gold because it is relatively soft and can easily scratch or become damaged. 18 karat (18k)n gold plating contains 75% pure gold and is a popular choice for jewellery. It balances durability and cost-effectiveness. It is an ideal material for wedding bands, bracelets, and necklaces, as it is sufficient even for daily use. 

On the other hand, 24 karat (24k) gold plating contains 99.9% pure gold and is the purest gold that can become jewellery. It adds a luxurious look and lustre to the jewellery piece. 24 karat is a popular choice for high-end products such as luxury watches, cufflinks, and earrings. However, due to its softness, there are more durable options, and it requires more care and attention to maintain its shine.

People commonly use 18-k enamel in electronics, jewellery, and car parts for a decorative finish. Simultaneously, people use 24-k enamel for specialized applications such as medical implants and high-end luxury goods. While both types of enamel serve unique purposes, 24-k gold plating is generally more valuable. It is due to the high concentration of pure gold. However, 18-k is still popular due to its durability and ability to mimic the appearance of more expensive materials.

barbed wire necklace in gold

Cost differences between 18-k and 24-k gold plating  

When considering gold plating, it is essential to understand the differences between 18-k and 24-k gold. 18-k gold contains 75% gold and 25% other metals, while 24-k gold is 99.9% gold. It means that 24-k gold enamel has more gold and is more expensive than 18-k gold plating. The cost difference between the two can vary greatly depending on the specific project. Still, generally, a 24-k gold covering is a luxury option for products such as jewellery or high-end electronics. 

However, if you want an item to come in handy frequently, you might choose 18-k gold layering. It is more durable and less prone to tarnishing. When considering these options, it is vital to understand the need to know about gold and how it affects the cost difference between different types of plating.

This difference in purity directly translates to a difference in cost. For example, pure 24k gold is more expensive than 18k gold due to its higher percentage of gold. Investing in gold plating is worthwhile because it adds value and longevity to the item. Ultimately, the cost difference between both will depend on two things. They include the size of the thing that needs enamel and the amount of gold required. Therefore, it is essential to consult a trusted professional before deciding which gold plating option to choose.

Quality and purity standards for 18-k and 24-k gold plating  

Quality and purity standards are crucial for 18-k and 24-k gold coating. People often use these precious metals in jewellery and other decorative items. So it is vital to ensure they are of high quality, and purity is essential. International standards' benchmark for quality and purity dictates the gold percentage in the plating. 

In addition to meeting international standards, quality checks are necessary to ensure the coating is uniform. Moreover, it should be free of defects and adhere well to the surface. These standards and inspections ensure that the end product is high quality and satisfies the customers' needs.

Regarding gold plating, meeting various standards ensures the end product's quality and purity. The most trusted source for verifying the quality of gold plating is the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They have established benchmarks for the purity of gold alloys used in jewellery. 

It is also essential to use reliable suppliers for gold plating materials. It guarantees that the gold used is authentic and of good quality. By following these standards, individuals and businesses can ensure that their 18-k and 24-k gold plating meets the required quality and purity standards.

Benefits and Drawbacks of 18-K gold plating 

18-K gold plating offers several benefits, making it a popular choice for jewellery and other decorative items. Firstly, it is more durable and wear-resistant than lower-karat gold plating. Therefore, it is an excellent option for heavy-wear applications like wedding rings or earrings. Additionally, 18K gold plating is more scratch-resistant, ensuring the item stays beautiful for extended periods. 

Furthermore, it is often more affordable than solid gold. Therefore, it allows people to achieve a luxurious look without breaking the bank. In addition, a wide range of colour options is available, allowing for greater customization and versatility in design. Its benefits make it an excellent choice for a beautiful, durable jewellery finish.

While 18-karat gold plating sounds like a luxurious option for jewellery, there are drawbacks. Firstly, the gold in the coating could be purer and of better quality than solid gold. It can affect the piece's durability. Secondly, some people may experience allergic reactions to the added metals used in the plating process. 

It can be a severe concern for people with sensitive skin or metallic allergies. Finally, the colour of the coating may differ slightly from solid gold. Therefore, it can concern those looking for an exact shade or colour. Overall, while gold coating can be an attractive and cost-effective option for jewellery, it's essential to consider these drawbacks before purchasing.

gold cuban link bracelet

Benefits and Drawbacks of 24-K gold plating  

24-K gold plating is the purest form of gold enamel available in the market. It is renowned for its unmatched lustre and shine. This type of plating is suitable for fair jewellery applications, where a rich and luxurious look is desirable. Pure gold plating is also famous for electronic contacts as it resists tarnishing and provides optimal conductivity.

The benefits of using 24-K gold plating extend beyond just its aesthetic appeal. Aside from its luxurious appeal, its high resistance to tarnishing and its suitability for use in electronic applications are a testament to its practicality. Overall, it is an excellent solution for those requiring high-quality coating applications offering aesthetic and practical advantages.

24-K gold plating is a popular way to enhance the aesthetics of jewellery and other decorative items. However, several things need improvement in this process. Firstly, it is more expensive than other forms of plating, which may only be cost-effective for some users. Secondly, the plating could be more durable and prone to wear and tear. So it only lasts as short as other plating methods.

Additionally, 24-K gold plating can easily scratch or rub off. It is a considerable concern for those who invest in high-end jewellery. Lastly, the process leaves items with less bendability than before, which may impact the comfort and functionality of wearable items. Therefore, it is essential to consider these drawbacks when considering 24-K gold plating for your valuable possessions.


In conclusion, choosing between 18-k and 24-k gold plating ultimately depends on personal preference and intended use. 18-k gold contains 75% gold and is more durable and scratch-resistant than 24-k gold, which holds 99.9% gold but is soft and vulnerable to damage. However, 24-k gold has a richer, deeper colour and higher purity. 

Therefore, if the item is worn and exposed to daily wear and tear, 18-k gold plating may be the better option. But if the article is meant for display or has a sentimental value, 24-k gold plating may be preferable for its purity and aesthetics. Therefore, considering the intended use and durability needs is crucial before deciding on a gold plating option.


jewelry FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Does 24K gold plating tarnish?

24K gold plating does not tarnish. Pure gold is a non-reactive metal that does not rust or discolour over time. Some manufacturers can also use other metals as a base for the plating. However, they can tarnish, which may affect the appearance of the gold plating. Regular cleaning using mild soap and water, or a specialized gold cleaning solution, can help maintain the shine and lustre.

How long will 18k gold plated last?

The lifespan of 18k gold-plated jewellery depends on several factors. They include factors such as the thickness of the gold plating, usage, and maintenance. Generally, high-quality gold-plated jewellery can last several years if properly cared for. But ultimately, the durability of 18k gold-plated jewellery depends on how well the owner takes care of it. 

Can you wear 24k gold in the shower?

Gold is one of the most precious metals, and people prefer wearing jewellery made from it. However, while some claim that 24k gold is safe to wear in the shower, others argue it is not advisable. In truth, 24k gold is the purest form of gold and is a soft metal. When exposed to water, boiling water and shampoo can quickly tarnish and corrode.

Additionally, it can scratch, affecting the look of the jewellery. Also, prolonged skin exposure to anything made of gold can cause irritation, rashes and allergic reactions. Moreover,  it is not advisable to shower with them on, as this can lead to infections. As a result, it is best to remove your 24k gold jewellery before going to the shower.

Is 24k gold okay for everyday wear?

There may be better options for everyday wear. Its high purity level means it is soft and malleable. Thus, making it prone to scratches, dings, and other damage from daily wear and tear. Additionally, a pure piece of jewelry is more expensive than other gold alloys. Therefore, it is best suited for special occasions.

Which is more expensive 18K or 24K?

The price of gold depends on its purity, measured in karats or KT. The highest karat gold is 24K or pure gold. As pure gold is the highest quality, 24K gold is generally more expensive than 18K gold. However, the price difference between the two types of gold can vary. It can depend on the market and the demand for each.

Whether you're stepping out for a classy event or heading to a street party, gold jewelry will always have an extra touch of class that make a look appealing. If you're looking to add some 18k gold shine to your collection then shop our complete range of gold jewelry HERE


gold jewellery collection

Read more

How to Keep Gold Plated Jewelry From Tarnishing?

How to Keep Gold Plated Jewelry From Tarnishing?

Introduction how to keep gold plated jewelry from Tarnishing should briefly cover the basics. It should include preserving the shine and appeal of your jewellery. Maintaining it properly over time...

Read more
Gold Rings Unisex By Statement Collective

4k Gold Filled vs 18k Gold Plated Jewelry : Our Guide

  Jewellery comes in different types, such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. People make them from various materials, such as gold, silver, and bronze. One of the most valuable types o...

Read more