14 Karat Gold is a common and popular gold alloy. It contains 58.3% gold and 41.7% impurity. The impurity consists of silver, copper, and zinc. In some cases, jewelry companies add nickel and palladium.
The millesimal representation for 14K gold is 585 or .585, which means 585 parts gold out of 1000 parts. Practically 14K gold may have a purity ranging from 58.33% to 62.50% gold.
Adding impurities to the gold alloy affects its color. For example, if the percentage of silver is higher it will be pale yellow gold. If the copper mix is higher, the gold alloy will have a yellow or dark yellow color. Thus the alloy may be 14K yellow gold, 14K white gold, or 14K rose gold.
Since pure gold is too soft and easily bends or breaks, adding impurities makes it harder. 14 karat gold is one of the best gold alloys. Its color is quite like 18K gold and its hardness makes it very durable and safe to use. Especially for jewelry items that are exposed to being scratched like rings.
Also, the high percentage of impurities makes it cheaper than high karat gold alloys like 18K gold.
The downside of 14K gold is the pale yellow color. Its yellow color may not be as dark as high karat gold alloys. In the case of white gold, rhodium plating covers the surface which wears off after some time. And the yellowish color will be visible.
Also, it may contain nickel, which can cause allergic reactions for some people.