difference between 9ct gold and 18ct gold

What is the difference between 9ct gold and 18ct gold?

One of the most common questions asked about jewellery is what carats are and what they mean. Carats explain a lot about jewellery so it’s important to know what it means, especially when you’re looking to splurge on your next piece. If you are confused and would like to know the difference between 9ct and 18ct gold. Then keep on reading and let us explain!

What are carats?

A carat or ‘ct’ is a measurement used to indicate the percentage of gold in a piece of jewellery in comparison to the other metals present. Carats are used to measure all types of gold, including plating, vermeil, filled and solid and range from 9ct to 24ct.

When a piece of gold jewellery is made, an amount of gold is set over a base metal like silver, brass or copper. This is because gold is extremely soft which causes it to wear away easily so when it’s overlayed on a base metal, it becomes much more durable. If you’re creating a gold ring which is made in 9ct Gold. This means the gold content is 37.5% and the remaining 62.5% is the base metal. Increasing the carat means increasing the gold content so 18ct jewellery will have more gold than 9ct jewellery.

Solid 9ct Gold Jewellery is also stamped with 375 (375 parts gold to every 1000 parts) and solid 18ct Gold Jewellery is stamped with 750 (750 parts gold to every 1000 parts).

affordable 9ct gold18ct gold

Which is better – 9ct or 18ct?

Now that you know what carats are, you can probably figure out the difference between 9ct and 18ct gold. 9ct is on the lower end of the gold content spectrum at 37.5% gold and 18ct is on the higher end at 75% gold. The more gold, the higher the carat and more carats determine the quality and price of the jewellery. So, how do you tell the difference…and which is better? Below are three factors that will help you decide what carat to go for.


The amount of gold used in jewellery does determine the way the piece looks. 9ct has a lighter toned gold in comparison to an 18ct piece which has a warmer more yellow colour. This is also the same for coloured golds. If you prefer a light gold, go for 9ct but if you prefer something richer, go for 18ct.


The easiest way to tell the difference is by the price tag. As it contains more gold, 18ct jewellery will of course be more expensive than 9ct. If you’re looking for an investment piece that you plan on wearing forever, 18ct gold is probably a better choice. If you want a piece that looks beautiful but doesn’t break the bank, look to 9ct gold. 9ct Gold is also incredibly strong so can be good for everyday wear.


Durability is something you should always look for in a piece of jewellery. The way the jewellery is made, and the amount of gold used can determine how a piece looks. With less gold in 9ct Gold, it’s more likely to sometimes tarnish than an 18ct gold piece. But, if you look after your jewellery, clean it well and give it a break every now and then, 9ct gold can stand the test of time and is a hot contender when choosing between the high price tag of 18ct gold vs the more affordable 9ct gold.


Image credits: aureejewellery.com, larsenjewellery.com.au

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