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Does 10K Gold Tarnish Over Time?

March 07, 2022 7 min read

custom gold grillz

Classic will never go out of style, don't you agree? The same goes with gold, the most sought-after material in the world of jewelry. Gold is the most common and preferred metal because of some fantastic qualities and luster. High-end jewelers will choose gold over other metals in a heartbeat. Even in the grillz industry, gold is the number one preferred metal over anything.

Compared to all the gold karats, the least expensive is 10k gold, with 41.6% purity. With medium hardness, durability, and a bright luster, the next one is 14k gold with 58.3% purity. 18k gold has 75% gold, is also very durable, has a brilliant shine, and is perfect for fine jewelry.

Next to the highest is 22k gold; it has 91.6% purity and is too soft but ideal for permanent solid grillz. The one that takes the crown and has the highest purity is 24k gold, it is very pure with 99.9% gold, but it is too soft to make jewelry or grillz.

People always think that 10k gold isn't worth anything, or it tarnishes fast because it contains low gold purity, but that's what this article is all about. We'll go deep into the advantages and disadvantages of 10k gold, and it will answer all your questions and dilemmas.

People are always wondering what's in a 10k gold purity? Well, it is ten parts gold and 14 parts alloy.

It comes in three different colors: yellow, white, and rose gold.

The colors are made of different blends of metals that, when mixed with gold, appearance can change and create various colors. The most common isyellow gold or the classic gold look. It looks very warm and pretty when worn against the skin.

The next popular gold color is white gold, the mixture of yellow gold and white metals can create this color, and it looks very similar to sterling silver. The white metals act like bleach to make the gold appear paler. 

And lastly,rose gold, also known as pink gold or red gold, is a mixture of alloy and gold. 10k gold in different colors is also real gold; they are only the results of metals mixed to pure gold, metals like copper, zinc, palladium, nickel, and silver.

The exact ratio of pure gold to other metals affects the color and the piece's strength. The color is not as rich as higher gold karats because it contains less gold and might look whiter, and that's why many people shun 10k gold for reasons like it has less luster than higher gold karats. However, the difference in color to 14k gold might not look that much. But all in all, 10k gold is a good choice for people buying durable pieces that are good for everyday use and fit the budget. 

Recommended Read: 10K vs 14k Gold Grillz

10K Gold Jewelry

When it comes to picking jewelry like a10K gold grillz, picking a karat is also one of the things that we need to consider.

We need to ask questions like - 

  • Am I going to wear it every day?
  • Is it going to fit my budget?
  • Is it going to look good on me?

10k gold is the most substantial gold, unlike other higher gold karats. While 24k is the most valuable because it's pure gold, it can bend and scratch easily and is unsuitable for everyday use.

Higher karats will most likely dent, warp, scratch, and bend due to impact or pressure; this is all because the other metals used in producing 10k gold are more durable than pure gold. Low purity level also plays a role in why the color of gold is lighter or paler. It looks subtle compared to higher karats which look richer and have a bright luster.

Anyone looking for solid gold jewelry but on a budget will most likely get an affordable option which is 10k gold. But is it worth buying? Most high-end jewelry stores offer only 14k or 18k fine gold jewelry in solid gold, not pure gold. Making fabulous jewelry doesn't have to have pure gold; it needs to be durable to scratch easily.

The desired jewelry that is also considered high-end has lower gold purity because most people would prefer to have a piece that they can wear and retain the quality for an extended period. Even though 10k gold is only approximately 41.7% pure gold in them, the other metals and alloys that are mixed can help improve the hardness of 10k gold jewelry.

gold purity

This makes it hard to break and bend easily, which is a good reason why this metal is worth buying and definitely worth your money. To determine the worth of a 10k gold, a licensed professional is needed to examine the jewelry piece.

Another point that any jewelry owner needs to consider is the importance of keeping the jewelry piece in a pristine condition. The more tear and wear visible on the piece, the lower the value. 

Most of us are very strict about where our money goes, and most of us want to get a bang for our buck; 10k gold is the way to go since it is the most affordable type of gold used in so many different pieces of jewelry like earrings, engagement rings, necklace or even gold grillz.

It is the go-to karat for people considering their budget but still wants to wear the jewelry every day. Let us know more about why we need to consider getting 10k gold. 

Why Go for 10K Gold?

One of the most impressive factors of 10k is durability. It is a good choice because of its hardness which can also be considered as an edge because it is not prone to damage since it is the most complex type of gold compared to higher-karat alloys since it is made up of other metals.

Since the color of 10k is not as rich as higher karats, it has a more subdued color, and it looks best when worn by darker-colored skin tones.

The jewelry rests against our skin; it is best to pick out the color that will work for our skin color. The most significant advantage of getting 10k gold is also the price; the price is relatively lower as compared to 14k or higher gold karats but can also be an advantage because, in that way, it has a higher resistance to scratches and dents. 

10k gold has its strength, but it also has some weaknesses that we need to consider in purchasing this type of gold karat. Although 10k gold has so many advantages, some people are still hesitant to buy it.

Questions popping up like, is it worth anything since it has a lower purity level? Is it good for the skin? 

10k gold has its drawbacks that every buyer should look into to see if it's worth buying.

Most people are looking for a very bright luster or an intense gold tone that only higher karats can provide and that makes it one of the disadvantages of a lower purity gold since it has a paler look. It contains less gold, and it may look whiter because of the added alloys.

Therefore, it will look less rich and less impressive for most people. Some may call 10k the gold that isn't the most aesthetically pleasing since it only has less than 50% gold, giving the less luster look, unlike higher karats that provide the most impressive gold color finishes.

Why not to Go for 10K Gold?

Only a handful of vendors use 10k gold since most will suggest upgrading the jewelry to 14k or more, especially for fine jewelry. The price difference is slight, but 14k has more gold than 10k. It is the least pure form of gold allowed in the market. The ratio of pure gold affects the piece of jewelry that you're getting.

One of the reasons people prefer higher karats more is that 10k has a high chance of triggering metal allergies. Some people are allergic because of a higher percentage of hypersensitive metals like nickel. This can cause contact dermatitis due to high impurities, and a high rate of metal alloys is added. 

Since pure gold does not combine well with oxygen, it does not tarnish. But on the other hand, gold needs alloy to create a piece of more substantial jewelry. Therefore, 10k gold may tarnish over time because it is not made in pure gold but also with metals and alloys. 

Tarnish is a natural occurrence on all gold that isn't pure when oxidized after being exposed to air. Exposure to harsh chemicals can also create a bad reaction to the gold color, like 10k gold grillz - acids can harm the surface of the piece, and so is smoke since it contains harsh chemicals that can change the color of the piece. Fear of getting a lower purity level because it can tarnish is one of the first concerns of people in dealing with 10k gold, but there is a market that loves this type of look.

Some people like the look of a tarnished 10K gold called a patina. It is a natural oxidation process that occurs over some time on metals. A thin layer with various colors is seen on the surface as a result. The Patina look can be recreated using everyday items; it is called applied or distressed patina. It creates a vintage look that many people prefer because it looks "old but gold."

How to Take Care of 10K Gold?

It's easy to remove tarnish from 10k and 14k; it is also very inexpensive. However, to keep our 10K gold shining, we need a mild soap cleaning and hand polishing. One affordable option for cleaning is using dishwashing liquid phosphate-free liquid and using it with warm water; it will remove some of the tarnish on the surface. 


Conclusion

All in all,  picking a piece of jewelry has its pros and cons. We need to consider many factors and familiarize the characteristics of what we're getting. 10k gold is an excellent choice for people looking for a great piece of gold jewelry that is affordable and durable at the same time. It is the least expensive option but the strongest of all.

It has many benefits, and it is pretty low maintenance. Like any other piece of jewelry, we need to maintain it well to keep them in good condition, keep its luster and shine, and prevent it from tarnishing. Many people highly recommend 10k gold because it offers the best value for money.