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Brinker’s Jewelers Guide to Gold Earrings


The current trend in fashion jewelry is gold earrings! They transition perfectly between the seasons and can be worn in multiple settings as long as they are paired with the right outfit. Not to mention, they are both affordable and stylish!

It’s really not a question about whether or not you need them… it’s about which style fits your individual personality and fashion taste. 

We’ve put together a guide all about gold earrings to help you find the perfect pair for your style!

Gold vs. White Gold vs. Rose Gold: What’s best for you?

The obvious difference between yellow, white, and rose gold are their color differences. When gold is mined from the ground, it is naturally yellow. In order for gold to change color from its natural state, it has to be mixed with other alloys. For example, gold that is white has been mixed with nickel and other alloys to turn it white. Rose gold gets its color when mixed with copper and other alloys. 

There are many different factors that go into choosing which metal is best for you. Some of those factors include skin tone, skin sensitivity, and whether or not there are gemstones in the earrings. Moreover, certain types of gold accentuate certain stones differently.

For example, diamonds appear brighter and whiter when set in white gold vs. yellow gold. Citrines natural warm color pair better with yellow gold, as opposed to morganites which show up best in rose gold.

The chart below provides some ideas for what stones to pair with each gold type:

Popular gemstones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires pair nicely with any of these colors. Your personal taste, the quality of the gemstone, and the design of your piece will be the determining factor in what’s best for you!

Gold Popularity Changes Over Time

Historically, yellow gold has been the most popular choice when it comes to jewelry. Gold in its rare form is malleable, which means it is easy to shape and bend to create items that can be worn as jewelry.

Throughout time, yellow gold was used to showcase wealth and accomplishment, but like all things, taste and styles change over time. In the ’80s, a new era of jewelry was born when a new style caught the eye of many.

White gold became a favorite amongst jewelry designers and consumers in the ’90s primarily because diamonds appeared brighter and whiter when set compared to yellow gold. White gold contains nickel and other alloys that give it its classic color. The drawback of this for those with nickel allergies is its ability to cause breakouts and or other reactions depending on the severity.

If you have a sensitive nickel allergy but do not like yellow gold, platinum is a great alternative. Naturally white and hypoallergenic, the primary drawback to platinum is that it’s more expensive due to purity content compared to gold.

Compared to platinum, white gold typically requires more maintenance, as these items can lose their luster/white color more quickly than platinum. This is, of course, depending on the item and its wear and tear. The item may need to be dipped in rhodium, a sister metal to platinum, to maintain its bright white look.  

Finally, depending on your personal taste and budget, there is another alternative, rose gold. Rose gold started showing up more frequently in jewelry designs around 2010.

Rose gold’s vibrant color comes from its contents including copper and other alloys. This is a great choice for those who don’t want “old school” yellow gold, but want something different than white gold.

There is one minor drawback to rose gold and yellow gold if you don’t wear the items often. These styles tend to tarnish easier than white gold over time. This can easily be corrected with a polishing cloth or by taking the item to your local jewelry professional to be buffed and polished. Simple steps will bring your item back to its original color and luster!

Which Karat Should I Choose? 10
kt vs 14kt vs 18kt

There are four things to consider when deciding which karat is right for your earrings:

  • Quality/Value
  • Durability
  • Affordability
  • Purity/Tone

B Rating System

Our B rating system utilizes a scale of 1-5 to rate each karat from lowest to highest in each category.

B: lowest

BB: low

BBB: medium

BBBB: high

BBBBB: excellent

Why You Might Choose 10k

Quality/Value: B 10kt is the lowest quality used in jewelry. It’s normally sold in department stores and chain retailers. However, lower quality diamonds and gemstones are used in 10kt gold jewelry to keep the price point lower. 

Durability: BBBB 10kt is a very durable metal because it doesn’t contain much gold content. However, poor design and manufacturing processes in 10kt jewelry make a lot of 10kt jewelry repair prone.

Affordability: BBBBB It’s very affordable because it contains very little gold content and uses more alloys. 10kt jewelry is often lighter in weight to keep the price point lower.

Purity/Tone: B The purity content of 10kt gold is 41.7% pure gold. Therefore, it contains 10 parts gold, 14 parts other metals by weight. The tone of 10kt gold has less of a gold luster and appears more faded because it contains more alloys. 

PLEASE NOTE: 10kt gold is used in mass-produced jewelry sold in department stores and chain retailers throughout the world. Fine jewelry stores such as Brinker’s Jewelers does not sell 10kt gold.

When we repair 10kt gold jewelry, we use 14kt gold in the repair because it is better quality, and the repair will hold up longer. We recommend consumers only buy jewelry that contains 14kt or higher purity content.  

Why You Might Choose 14k

Quality/Value: BBBB Great everyday value and quality. Used by many popular name brand designers. Nice quality diamonds and gemstones are generally used in 14kt jewelry which is another reason its price point is higher than 10kt.

Durability: BBBBB 14kt earrings are very durable, and jewelers typically implement better manufacturing processes. However, these can be repaired more easily than 10kt jewelry if needed. Earrings that are made of 14kt gold last for generations.

Affordability: BBBB 14kt earrings are moderately affordable, because they contain more gold content and fewer alloys than 10kt gold. 

Purity/Tone: BBB The purity content of 14kt gold is 58.5% pure gold. Therefore, it contains 14 parts gold, 10 parts other metals by weight. The tone of 14kt gold has more luster and appears brighter than 10kt gold, because it contains more gold and fewer alloys.

Why You Might Choose 18kt

Quality/Value: BBBBB 18kt is the highest quality gold used in fine jewelry and is used by many high-end jewelry designers. Also, the highest quality diamonds and gemstones are generally used in 18kt earrings, which is another reason why the price point is higher than 10kt and 14kt gold jewelry. 

Durability: BBBB 18kt jewelry is moderately durable. However, it’s less durable than 10kt and 14kt because it’s softer. Like 14kt earrings, those that are made of 18kt gold will last for generations. 

Affordability: BBB 18kt earrings are less affordable for the masses, because they contains more gold content and use fewer alloys than 10kt and 14kt gold. 

Purity/Tone: BBBB The purity content of 18kt gold is 75% pure. Therefore, it contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metal by weight. The tone of 18kt gold has more luster and appears brighter than 10kt and 14kt because it contains more gold and the least amount of alloys of the 3 metals. 

Brinker’s Jewelers has the largest inventory of gold earrings in the Tri-State area, period. Come in to view our entire selection or get a sneak peek of the many earring styles we have in stock! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, our custom design department can surely create the pair of earrings you’ve been dreaming about. 

Stop by Brinker’s Jewelers showroom today to get your next pair of statement earrings, who knows, you may find more than one pair! 😉  

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