What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing 9ct Yellow Gold vs 18ct Yellow Gold for Your Wedding Band?

What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing 9ct Yellow Gold vs 18ct Yellow Gold for Your Wedding Band?

What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing 9ct Yellow Gold vs 18ct Yellow Gold for Your Wedding Band?

When you are preparing for a wedding ceremony there are a million tiny decisions that need to be made and the wedding band should be a simple thing to check off your list.

The wedding bands are a traditional symbol of commitment which you intend to wear for the rest of your life so the type of gold you select is more than just a matter of colour—it's about lifestyle, budget, and aesthetics. Gold, in its purest form, is measured at 24 carats, indicating 100% purity. However, for practical use in jewellery, gold is usually alloyed with other metals to enhance its strength and durability.

This brings us to one of the most common dilemmas: should you go for 9ct or 18ct yellow gold for your wedding band? Having helped people with this choice for nearly two decades, let's navigate these waters together, examining the practical, aesthetic, and sentimental factors involved. (Rose gold, white gold, and platinum are a whole separate subject!)

First of all, if you plan to wear your wedding band stacked with your engagement ring you should match the metals especially if there is a risk of grinding against stone settings. So if you know what metal your engagement ring is you can stop reading... now.

Practical Considerations


The answer might be surprising and requires a lot of science to explain fully. Most people know that pure gold is a soft metal so it would seem logical that the lower the percentage of gold, the harder the alloy but this is not the case. The Vickers Scale is one of several ways to measure metal hardness. While the precise “recipe” for each alloy is a trade secret and can vary from one caster to the next, 18ct usually rates higher on this scale than 9ct yellow gold.

  • - 9ct Gold: This option contains only 37.5% pure gold, with the remainder made up of other metals like silver and copper. The higher proportion of other metals in the mix can make 9ct gold more resistant to surface scratches but slightly more brittle and less dense than 18ct gold so it can wear down more quickly
  • - 18ct Gold: With 75% gold content, 18ct is slightly more prone to surface scratching compared to 9ct but in the long term may wear down more slowly. It is easy to conflate hardness and toughness in both gemstones and metals. Put simply, hardness is the resistance to scratching, while toughness is the material's ability to absorb energy and plastically deform without fracturing. If you are wearing something all the time, you want to have the best balance of hardness and toughness. For example glass is harder than rubber but glass will shatter. Overall 18ct gold does slightly better.

Either way, you should always take your rings off for manual activities, particularly things like rock climbing or weight lifting, see my jewellery care guide for more details!

Color and Corrosion:

  • 9ct Gold: The additional metals in 9ct gold can affect its colour, giving it a slightly lighter and more subtle, brassy hue compared to higher carat levels. Some of the alloys in the mix can also be more prone to tarnish.
  • 18ct Gold: The higher gold content not only gives 18ct a richer, more vibrant yellow hue but also means it's less likely to corrode or tarnish over time as gold is an inert element.

Aesthetic and Sentimental Value


  • 9ct Gold: If you prefer a more subtle gold colour, 9ct may appeal more to you. It’s often seen as more modern and understated, which could blend seamlessly with various styles and other jewellery pieces.
  • 18ct Gold: For those who adore the classic golden look, 18ct gold offers that rich, warm yellow colour that many associate with traditional luxury. It's particularly popular in wedding bands for its symbolic richness and aesthetic appeal.

Sentimental Worth:
Choosing the gold for your wedding band also has a sentimental aspect. Higher carat gold, being closer to the natural state of gold, carries a certain romantic allure. It speaks of tradition and enduring value, which can be a significant factor in a decision meant to last a lifetime.

Weight and Comfort:

  • 9ct Gold: Slightly lighter weight, making it potentially more comfortable for continuous wear, especially if you're not used to wearing rings.
  • 18ct Gold: Tends to feel heavier, which can be a reassuring quality for some, emphasising the permanence and significance of the marriage it symbolises. (Platinum is much heavier again!)

Cost Consideration

Price is inevitably a major factor in choosing between 9ct and 18ct gold. The higher the gold content, the pricier the ring will be. 9ct gold offers a more budget-friendly option without sacrificing much in terms of quality and appearance. However, if you view your wedding band as a lifetime investment and are less concerned about upfront costs, 18ct gold might be the way to go.

Making Your Choice

Choosing between 9ct and 18ct gold for your wedding band is a personal decision that hinges on various factors including lifestyle, budget, aesthetic preferences, and sentimental values. Here’s a quick tip: think about what you value most.

At the end of the day, both types of gold have their merits and will serve their purpose beautifully as symbols of your love and commitment. Consider what fits best with your daily life and aligns with your values. Remember, this is a choice that is uniquely yours, meant to reflect your personal story and how you wear your heart—not just on your sleeve, but on your ring finger!