• Lia Gormley

Jewelry Materials: 18K Gold

Lia's best known for her 18 karat gold jewelry. While Lia enjoys working with Silver and Platinum, almost all of Lia's work is made with 18K gold. Lia does not work with 14K gold and the following information may be helpful to you in better understanding the differences with these two gold "grades".


14K gold vs 18K gold


From a purely statistical level, 14K gold is made up of 58% pure gold. This is based on 24K as our foundation for defining pure gold. The balance of materials in 14K gold are known as alloys. On the other hand, 18K gold has substantially more pure gold, coming in at 75% pure gold and 25% alloys.


Despite some popular beliefs, 18K gold is very durable. Generally, 18K gold wears very well and durably, but like anything more precious, some care is certainly encouraged. You'll also notice 18K gold has a richer, warmer gold color. And finally, you'll feel a tangible difference in the "weightiness" of 18K gold versus 14K gold.


18K gold, diamonds, pearls and sapphire pendant with matching 18k gold and diamond earrings

Lia's preference for 18K gold is part of her passion for creating heirloom quality jewelry with intrinsic natural value. As a hand-fabricator of jewelry from 18K gold sheet and wire, part of the allure Lia has is an homage to history and the traditions of jewelry making.


22K gold


While we're on the subject of high karat gold, Lia also commonly uses 22K gold (92% pure gold). Lia will sometimes use 22K for her bezels (the part that encircles a gemstone to hold it in place). Additionally, Lia employs a difficult technique called granulation, and uses 22K gold for this. Granulation is the process of making tiny "beads" of gold and placing them into the design.

The pink sapphire ring shown on the right features 22k gold granulation adornment

Finally, the gold you choose is yours to make, but Lia only works with 18K gold or higher, so please keep that in mind if you're looking for a unique, handmade ring or other jewelry from Lia. To visit Lia in Portsmouth, NH or to make an appointment, please visit Lia's contact page for gallery hours or to schedule a private appointment.


Visit Lia's home page to see more jewelry and more pages.

Lia Gormley Fine Jewelry | 18 Ladd St Portsmouth, NH 03801 | lia@liagormley.com