Everything you should know about 18-carat gold jewellery

First published: 19-12-2017

White and yellow gold diamond neckpiece

Necklace: White and yellow gold diamond neckpiece (£1,460)

18-carat gold is highly pure and durable, making it perfect for creating beautiful jewellery. Its traditional warmth and irresistible shine mean it's a favourite for everything from classic gold rings and earrings to contemporary rose gold bracelets and white gold charms.

Find out what makes it so special and how to care for it, so you can choose a quality piece of jewellery that will look beautiful and remain valuable for years to come. Here's everything you need to know about 18-carat gold jewellery.

What is 18-carat gold jewellery?

Gold Plated bronze Purezza set of 3 Fantasy bangles

Bangles: Gold Plated bronze Purezza set of 3 Fantasy bangles (£139)

Gold is a soft, malleable metal, and so gold jewellery is often made from a combination of gold and other metals to make the material strong and robust.

18-carat gold jewellery is one of the most high-purity strains of gold jewellery, made up of 75% gold and 25% other materials (9 carat is 37.5% gold). Metals like zinc, copper, and nickel are commonly used alongside gold, with different tones creating a yellow, white, or rose gold finish.

The high concentration of gold used in 18-carat gold jewellery makes it an upmarket choice compared to jewellery made using 14ct or 9ct gold.

Choosing 18-carat gold jewellery

White gold diamond bangle

Bangle: White gold diamond bangle (£2,315)

18-carat gold has a timeless appeal, and it's used to create everything from simple earrings to luxury watches. The colours and tones available make it a versatile choice, so you're sure to find a piece of 18-carat gold jewellery that suits your unique sense of style.

Pure 18-carat gold jewellery tends to be on the higher end of the price scale, making it a perfect for a special gift or shopping for something to wear to a memorable event. If you're on a budget, 18-carat gold-plated jewellery is a more affordable variation that still has the same luxury appeal. It also could be a safe choice for those with sensitive skin who have allergic reactions to other metals.

We've picked out some of our favourite 18-carat gold pieces, to help you decide what sort of piece might be right for you.

  • Glitz and glamour

18-carat half eternity diamond ring

18-carat half eternity diamond ring (£1,335)

Because it has such a high concentration of gold, 18-carat gold jewellery has a special kind of shine with an unmistakeably glamorous appeal. It's a great choice if you're looking for jewellery to give as a gift or wear to mark an important occasion.

The brilliant-cut half eternity diamond ring (£1,335) showcases everything that's beautiful about 18-carat gold, with its rich colouring and classic shape. Inset with round diamonds that promise to catch the light, it'll bring a hint of sparkle to every occasion.

  • Pretty in pink

18-carat rose gold pink sapphire necklet

18-carat rose gold pink sapphire necklet (£775)

When mixed with copper, gold takes on a pinkish tinge to create the incredibly popular rose gold shade. The high amount of gold in the mix gives 18-carat rose gold jewellery an especially warm glow; perfect for a pretty and feminine piece

With a simple 18-carat rose gold chain and playful pink charm, the rose gold pink sapphire necklet (£775) is both a classic and fun piece, ideal for someone who can't resist a bit of girly glamour. The delicate design means it will bring a unique twist to a semi-formal getup - especially when paired with matching earrings!

  • Timeless class

18-carat gold spiga chain

18-carat gold spiga chain (£410)

An 18-carat gold chain is a necessity for every jewellery box. It can be worn as an everyday staple, subtly paired with blouses and t-shirts alike. Alternatively, you can dress it up with a charm to turn it into a statement necklace.

The 18-carat gold spiga chain (£410) is a traditional piece, with a delicate yet durable design that is sure to stand the test of time. Also available in white gold, its simplicity means you can style it to suit your personality, so it becomes exactly yours.

How to care for 18-carat gold jewellery

Earrings: Plated bronze rose quartz earrings (£89)

While it's more durable than 22-carat or 24-carat gold, the high concentration in 18-carat gold jewellery means it's still a precious and delicate material that needs to be looked after. With a bit of care and maintenance, you can keep your gold jewellery in beautiful condition:

  • Keep it away from harsh chemicals and products - always remove jewellery before bathing, swimming, and cleaning.
  • Because gold is a soft and malleable material, it can scratch easily, so be careful when wearing rings and bracelets that may get caught on something.
  • Store your pieces in soft jewellery bags or boxes to prevent them from scratching and tangling with each other.
  • To clean your gold jewellery, use a soft brush or cloth and warm water. Allow it to dry completely before putting it away.

When it comes to choosing jewellery, you can't go wrong with classic 18-carat gold. Whether you prefer traditional yellow, striking white, or contemporary rose gold, you can browse our full jewellery range to find your perfect piece.

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