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Old 28 September 2019, 09:53 PM   #1
vesnyder
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18k vs 14k - Differences?

I have an old two-tone Datejust from 1984 that is 14k. I assume that means both bezel and band? What are the differences between the 18k and 14k two tone watches? Someone told me that since the 14k is not as soft, the band will wear better. Is there a difference in value? How about color - can somebody tell by looking that the watch is 14k when compared to 18k? Is there a value difference?

Thanks in advance ...
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Old 29 September 2019, 12:00 AM   #2
Dan S
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There is more gold in the 18k watch. ;-)
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Old 29 September 2019, 12:16 AM   #3
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The higher the carat, the more gold is in the amalgam. And the more gold, the softness increases, but not by a huge amount. I had one of those TT DJ. I sold mine, but you should do what you want with it. Visually they look the same as current 36mm DJs to my eye.
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Old 29 September 2019, 12:17 AM   #4
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I presume you mean the difference in Datejusts that are 14k vs 18k.

The properties of the gold itself are well documented on the web.

Despite the different weight and percentage of gold in the watch, a 14k DJ Thunderbird could have greater value than a routine 18k DJ made just a few years later.

So many of the answers depend on the unique characteristics of the watch and itís condition.

Letís see your DJ...


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Old 29 September 2019, 07:31 AM   #5
Racer X
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The higher the carat, the deeper the yellow color. If you hold a 14k item next to an 18k item, it's pretty clear. 18k is 75% gold (18/24), while 14k is around 60% gold (14/24). Personally, I really like the deeper gold color, but it is softer, so it can be damaged more easily.
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Old 29 September 2019, 08:14 PM   #6
BigJaJa
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The 18k 14k differences are assuming nothing else changes. In reality other factors can also affect hardness and color. Knowing Rolex it wouldn’t suprise if an 18k modern gold watch was more durable than a 14k vintage watch
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Old 30 September 2019, 03:46 AM   #7
Racer X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJaJa View Post
The 18k 14k differences are assuming nothing else changes. In reality other factors can also affect hardness and color. Knowing Rolex it wouldnít suprise if an 18k modern gold watch was more durable than a 14k vintage watch
That's just not true. There is no magic that Rolex can perform to change the nature of a material. Alloying gold with other metals increases the hardness. 18k will always be softer than 14k.
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Old 30 September 2019, 04:31 AM   #8
BigJaJa
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That's just not true. There is no magic that Rolex can perform to change the nature of a material. Alloying gold with other metals increases the hardness. 18k will always be softer than 14k.
The two sentences in the middle are correct, however they have nothing to do with what I said. Hardness is not just a function of gold percent, it is also related to what you alloy it to and how you alloy it.

Look at some of the work Apple has been doing for example on 18k gold. ( I canít post links but itís easy enough to find)
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Old 1 October 2019, 01:31 AM   #9
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There is simply no basis for the view that Rolex is alloying its gold with some "special" metal that somehow makes their 18k gold "more durable" than 14k gold. If you have evidence to the contrary, I'd love to see it.
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Old 1 October 2019, 01:34 AM   #10
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18K stands for 750 which means 75% 24K gold is implemented.

14K stands for 585 which means 58.5% 24K gold is implemented

18K is most of the time a little darker then 14K.
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Old 2 October 2019, 04:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
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There is simply no basis for the view that Rolex is alloying its gold with some "special" metal that somehow makes their 18k gold "more durable" than 14k gold. If you have evidence to the contrary, I'd love to see it.
Thatís not what I said.

And I stand by what Iím saying:
Percent of gold in alloy is not the only factor in hardness or colour, process and materials are also part of the equation.

It wouldnít surprise me if a modern 18 k Rolex was more durable than a 14k one.

Neither of these statements are controversial. For the first I suggested you look into Apple. The second is speculation anyway.

Do you like arguing for the sake of it? If you want evidence go find it.
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Old 2 October 2019, 09:46 AM   #12
Racer X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJaJa View Post
Thatís not what I said.

And I stand by what Iím saying:
Percent of gold in alloy is not the only factor in hardness or colour, process and materials are also part of the equation.

It wouldnít surprise me if a modern 18 k Rolex was more durable than a 14k one.

Neither of these statements are controversial. For the first I suggested you look into Apple. The second is speculation anyway.

Do you like arguing for the sake of it? If you want evidence go find it.
I'm simply tired of people posting false information on forums that is completely without any basis in fact. The OP asked for the differences between 18k gold and 14k gold. Everyone knows that 18k gold is softer than 14k gold, but then you suggest otherwise, again, without any basis in fact. That is not helpful. Not to the OP, not to anyone.
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Old 2 October 2019, 01:54 PM   #13
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Which is harder.

14k gold which is 58.5% 24k gold, 41.5% lead

18k gold which is 75% 24k gold, 25% titanium

As an example. I think that is what BigJaJa is inferring.

We don’t know what the “other stuff” is in 14k/18k gold... and it matters.
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Old 2 October 2019, 02:45 PM   #14
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We aren't talking about exotic alloys here, e.g. modern 18k vs vintage 14k. The question is specifically about 14k and 18k gold used by Rolex, 35 years ago. I think it's reasonable to assume that 18k is softer, and mechanical parts will show slightly more wear, e.g. bracelet stretch. However, if the watch was worn regularly, any two-tone bracelet will likely be badly stretched after 35 years.

The issue of color is trickier. For example, once you start adjusting the alloy composition to achieve a desired hue (e.g. various rose gold tints), all bets are off, and I think it's unlikely someone could distinguish 14k from 18k by eye.
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Old 2 October 2019, 10:35 PM   #15
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There are no "magic" gold alloys. Most use the same alloys, only making small increases/decreases to the % to affect the color. Silver, copper, and zinc are the alloys used in almost all yellow gold alloys. Varying the % changes the color. More copper makes rose/pink, more zinc makes green. White gold alloys generally remove the silver, and add nickel, unless it's a white gold/palladium alloy.
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Old 3 October 2019, 03:47 AM   #16
Racer X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan S View Post
We aren't talking about exotic alloys here, e.g. modern 18k vs vintage 14k. The question is specifically about 14k and 18k gold used by Rolex, 35 years ago. I think it's reasonable to assume that 18k is softer, and mechanical parts will show slightly more wear, e.g. bracelet stretch. However, if the watch was worn regularly, any two-tone bracelet will likely be badly stretched after 35 years.

The issue of color is trickier. For example, once you start adjusting the alloy composition to achieve a desired hue (e.g. various rose gold tints), all bets are off, and I think it's unlikely someone could distinguish 14k from 18k by eye.
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Originally Posted by goldfixer21 View Post
There are no "magic" gold alloys. Most use the same alloys, only making small increases/decreases to the % to affect the color. Silver, copper, and zinc are the alloys used in almost all yellow gold alloys. Varying the % changes the color. More copper makes rose/pink, more zinc makes green. White gold alloys generally remove the silver, and add nickel, unless it's a white gold/palladium alloy.
These^^. There is no magic "new 18k" that Rolex has used (then or now) that is harder than 14k gold. To suggest otherwise is, frankly, nonsense.
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Old 6 October 2019, 12:54 AM   #17
JeffK114060
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14k has less gold content making it harder then 18k.. 14k is less likely to stretch as easy as 18k. And less likely to ding or dent. But its gold so it is softer then steel so it will stretch and ding regardless over time with regular wear.

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