The difference between 14 and 18 carats is the percentage of pure gold. 18 carat gold is 18 out of 24 parts gold and is yellower and warmer in appearance – if you pick yellow gold, that is. Rose gold will look best at 18 carats, for instance. 14 carat gold contains a lower percentage of gold, making it somewhat more affordable, but also more resistant to wear and with its own quality appeal.