18K gold jewelry is seen as the supreme choice for engagement and wedding rings. Rich and warm, it’s a durable and classic option. Today, we’re going to dive deep into everything you need to know about 18K gold and how pricing works for 18K gold rings.
We’ll walk you through essential factors to consider when selling (or buying) 18K gold rings and how to ensure you snatch the best deal. Let’s begin!
What Is 18k Gold?
Humanity has been making stunning jewelry for millennia. We’ve found gold jewelry dating from 4000 B.C.! Even if you’re not one to wear a lot of ‘bling,’ you know its rich yellow hue and the substantial value we attribute to it. So it’s natural that it would be one of the most timeless and popular wedding and engagement jewelry choices.
Not only is it exquisite to look at, but the high value of gold means it can be seen as an ‘investment’ piece that retains value, too. In fact, this is why more primitive societies used so much gold jewelry- it was a little like a personal bank you could wear and sell if needed!
Gold is rated on the karat system (we’ll explain more about this in a minute). You’d imagine the very best jewelry would be made from 100% gold, which rates at 24K. However, pure gold is exceptionally soft and warps and scratches easily.
And thus, the beauty of 18K gold, the purest you’ll find used in high-end jewelry, was born. It is rich, warm, and gorgeous to the eye, with a notable luster instead of the dullness some lower karat values have.
18K gold means that your ring is composed of 75% gold mixed with 25% of other metals, including copper, silver, and alloy. In comparison, a 14K gold ring would have about 58.3% pure gold in the mix.
Such consistency makes your 18K gold ring immensely durable, unlikely to cause any allergic reactions, and, most importantly, a piece of true value and beauty.
How Much Is an 18K Gold Ring Worth?
18K gold rings are rather valuable and can be an excellent investment, too. However, understanding the actual worth of your ring is tough. Let’s see how we can help you understand more about 18K gold ring pricing.
First of all, there are two general factors to pricing a ring – intrinsic and resale (or retail) value of the piece. The intrinsic value focuses only on the current price of the materials in your ring, including metals and precious stones. On the other hand, we have the resale or retail value of the 18K gold ring, which evaluates it in terms of style and appeal; basically, is it trendy or not?
Generally, the retail value will combine intrinsic value, styles and trends, and the ring’s artistry. The brand name of the jeweler or being a limited edition piece can factor into this amount too. Last but not least, you have to consider the market price of gold which fluctuates on a daily basis. You can monitor gold prices and daily changes here.
An 18K gold ring will cost you somewhere between $500 and $1,100. Let’s break down essential factors that will determine which price point will your 18K gold ring land on.
Investment-savvy readers have likely already realized this key aspect of the worth of 18K gold rings- the gold price. Gold is sold and traded globally (as 24K ingots) on commodity markets, like most other precious metals. This global price sets the basis for what jewelers pay when they purchase the gold that will soon become your perfect wedding or engagement ring.
The market’s gold value is calculated in ‘Troy Ounces.’ One of these ounces is 31.3 grams of pure gold. However, prices are not fixed as anything to do with investment. Sometimes they can rise and fall rapidly- even by the hour.
It is affected by current currency values but also by market ‘speculation’- which is pretty much what it sounds like. The great news, however, is that gold is one of the least volatile commodities and has always retained a high value, even if the exact dollar cost fluctuates.
At the time of writing, the price of gold is $59.00 per gram, which is a $0.74 decrease from the previous day. As we explained earlier, your 18K golden ring contains 75% pure gold, which will always have a “raw” value.
The equation to use for estimating the value of an 18K gold ring is as follows: (weight of ring x gold content) x current price of gold + labor. On average, an 18K gold ring contains 7.5 grams of pure gold.
So, with the current price of gold at $59.00 per gram, an 18K gold ring would be worth a little over $440 just for the gold. Then, we have labor, design, gems, brands, etc., further boosting the ring’s price.
One thing’s certain – an 18K gold ring will most certainly retain its cost over time. In fact, the price is expected to skyrocket in 2023 on a worldwide basis. It might not be the best time to buy, but if you’re trying to sell your old 18K gold ring, now it’s the perfect time to!
18K gold isn’t as garishly orange as pure gold and is not as light and white-toned as gold with lower carat values. It comes in yellow color, while gold and rose gold varieties allow for stunning combinations with gems of various colors and styles.
An 18K gold ring can come in different colors because of the alloys added to the gold. Now, the amount of gold remains the same – 75%; however, it’s how jewelers allocate the rest.
Let’s take a look at some gorgeous examples of 18K gold rings of different colors. Remember, color doesn’t impact the price as much as you think.
For instance, the gold band of this absolutely gorgeous Heiress Halo Diamond Engagement Ring from Blue Nile remains $1,690 regardless of what color gold you select.
In this case, you can go for either rose or yellow gold.
Remember, fake gold can look whiter and more “silvery” than real gold- although some very good dupes are out there! If you want to be sure your ring is genuine gold, it’s smart to take it to a jeweler and allow them to test it for you.
Other Factors that Determine the Price of an 18K Gold Ring
Now that we’ve covered the basics, a.k.a the intrinsic value of an 18K gold ring, what else is there? Well, a lot. When it comes to the retail (or resale) value, we have to look at factors like shape, artistry, brand name, and more. Those are heavily influenced by trends, unlike the value of “raw” gold.
Who doesn’t remember the Victorian-inspired domed-oval-shaped white gold ring Edward gave Bella in the Twilight Saga “Breaking Dawn”? Years after the movie’s release, the demand for similar-style rings can still be felt across jewelry stores worldwide.
Now, let’s go through some other price-determining factors.
Vintage vs. New
Unlike numerous metals that form in the Earth’s crust, gold comes from space. Therefore, all gold is old. Putting the buzzword “vintage” in front of an 18K gold ring listing doesn’t necessarily mean that the ring is worth an enormous price tag.
What can boost that price tag, though, is if it’s made by a renowned company (like Tiffany) or if it’s a one-of-a-kind, jaw-dropping piece. (On a personal note, old 18K gold rings have a lovely warmth and a subtle blush tone, and many prefer it to the bright yellow of a newly-made 18K gold ring.)
Round is the classic ring shape and will always be popular and sought after. However, there are so many different shapes to choose from these days, and yes, they affect the final price. For instance, this classic 18K gold band is $600.
Meanwhile, this more unique 18K white gold band of this Split-Shank ring is $2,790.
Some jewelers go above and beyond to create a unique-looking piece that, although jaw-dropping, it’s so custom that it becomes difficult to sell. A vintage one-of-a-kind 18K gold ring, although of greater value than mass-produced jewelry, might be off-trend.
This can lower the price. Also, sellers would probably have to wait a little longer for the right customer.
We love traditional simple wedding bands; however, for most people, gold is just the background of a stunning centerpiece, which greatly affects the final price of the ring.
For instance, if the center jewel stone of your 18K gold ring is opal, the price will be different than an 18K gold ring with a centerpiece that’s one of the four precious stones (ruby, emerald, diamond, or sapphire). This classic Petite Twist Diamond Engagement Ring with Emerald-Cut Amethyst in 18k Rose Gold is $1,950.
Now, if you change the center jewel from amethyst to sapphire, the price goes up to $9,750.
Ultimately, an 18K gold ring is an excellent investment! Not to mention that wedding bands or engagement rings are not going anywhere, meaning there’ll always be a market for selling and buying rings.
Gold has historically increased in worth and remains one of the most valuable precious metals in the world. You can trust the intrinsic value of a gold ring to at least stay steady, if not rise.
So, if you’re buying, it is worth picking yourself a stunning piece of jewelry you can wear and enjoy for its beauty and quality, too. And, if you’re selling, we hope this guide helped you get a sense of what you need to consider before listing it online.