Does Zales Sell Real Gold? (All You Need to Know)

Does Zales Sell Real Gold

Do you know if Zales sells real gold? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Buying jewelry can be stressful because it is so expensive and special. But it’s also stressful because for many of us who don’t know a lot about jewelry it’s hard to know if we are getting ripped off or not.

Zales sells 18K, 14K, and 10K solid gold jewelry, which is considered real gold even though it is gold alloyed with other metals.  Some Zales jewelry is gold-plated brass, which is not solid gold. 

We have all heard the horror stories about people buying jewelry and then having it fall apart, flake off, or turn their fingers green.

When spending so much money, you want to be sure you know exactly what you are getting. Check out everything you need to know–is Zales Real? 

What is Zales?

Widely known as one of the largest and most recognizable jewelry brands in the USA, Zales is a brick and mortar jeweler located mostly in shopping malls.

Zales dubs itself “The Diamond Store” and specializes in diamond jewelry and engagement rings along with statement pieces. 

While most people recognize Zales from their mall stores, Zales does sell online and the website allows customers to design custom engagement rings and choose loose diamonds, though Zales also sells diamond rings in stores. 

In addition to diamonds, however, Zales also carries a variety of other jewelry for women and men, including rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and watches. 

It is owned by Signet Jewelers, which also operates Jared, Kay, Blue Nile, and James Allen, among others. 

Read also >> Are Zales Diamonds Certified? (Review, Quality + More)

What Is Real Gold?

First of all, what do we even mean by real gold? 

Pure 24 Karat Gold 

Pure gold is known as 24 karat gold. It isn’t mixed (alloyed) with any other metal.

It is beautiful and has the most golden color, but it is very soft, scratches easily, and therefore doesn’t make durable jewelry. 

So, jewelers mix 24 karat gold with other metals that are more durable and malleable and easier to make jewelry out of. Common alloys are silver, zinc, copper, iron, or nickel. 

18 Karat Gold 

18 karat gold jewelry has the most actual gold and the deepest gold color of any gold jewelry. It is also the most expensive because it has the most gold.

It still scratches fairly easily, but it is still suitable for jewelry and won’t cause allergic reactions if you have sensitivities to the alloys used in gold. 

14 Karat Gold

14 karat gold jewelry is also very popular, since it is more durable and still has a nice gold color (though a little more yellow).

Over 90% of engagement jewelry is made from 14 karat gold since it can stand up to daily wear and is a good value over 18K gold. 

10 Karat Gold 

Ten karat gold is the most affordable and durable.

It is 41.7% gold and is the most impure gold that can still be called “gold.” At times, the alloys used in 10 Karat gold can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people.

The color is in-between yellow and white gold, and it is a matter of personal preference whether you like it or not. 

Is Zales Gold Real?

Zales sells a variety of products in solid 18K, 14K, and 10K gold, though few are of the 18K variety.

These solid gold pieces are considered to be real gold (all of them can be legally labeled gold in the U.S. and most countries). 

All gold jewelry is alloyed with other metals, whether you buy it at Zales or Tiffany’s. Look for the karat weight and the term “solid gold” to know that your item isn’t gold plated or made from other metals. 

Is Zales Gold-Plated?

But what about that jewelry that looks like gold, but doesn’t hold up? Much jewelry is gold-plated, which means 14K gold is affixed to a metal core made of a different metals.

The outside looks gold (and is) but the piece itself is made from cheaper metals. 

The advantage of this is that gold-plated pieces look like gold but are much cheaper than solid gold. 

The disadvantage is that the pieces are not as durable, and gold plating can chip off, revealing the core metal below. For some people, the core metal may cause allergic reactions or skin discoloration. 

Some Zales jewelry is gold-plated, but will be labeled as such. For example, you may see an item that is “gold-plated brass.” This is not solid gold. 

Is Zales 10K Gold Real?

Zales offers jewelry at a variety of price points, and one of the ways it keeps prices down is by offering 10K gold jewelry.

Remember, 10K is still technically gold, but it is predominately another metal or metals mixed with gold. 

The advantage of 10K gold is that it is very durable and will last for years to come. You should check out the color of 10K before you buy–it is a very pale yellow and may not be for everyone.

It is a lot cheaper in price than 14K gold, but still gold.

Does Zales Sell White Gold and Rose Gold? 

Yes, Zales has jewelry in both white gold and rose gold options, and they are both real gold.

White gold is regular yellow gold that is mixed with other metals such as silver, palladium, copper, zinc, or nickel.

White gold is often coated with rhodium or platinum to improve the color and shine. (It will eventually have to be recoated after the coating wears away and the yellow color starts to shine through.)

Rose gold is regular gold mixed with copper or silver. Rose gold will need to be polished to maintain the shine, though the color stays the same. 

Both rose gold and white gold at Zales come in 14K and 10K varieties, which refers to the amount of yellow gold in the metal. 

Does Zales Sell Non-Gold Jewelry?

Zales sells jewelry in a variety of metals if gold is not your thing, or if you are looking for something a little more durable or cheaper. 

You can find a selection of jewelry in sterling silver, as well as durable metals such as titanium, stainless steel, and tungsten. 

Zales sells a small amount of platinum jewelry, though platinum is the most expensive metal and therefore makes up only a small part of Zales’s market. 

Is Zales Gold Sustainable?

According to the website, all suppliers of Zales gold are required to certify that their gold is ethically sourced and conflict-free. 

Zales also uses recycled gold and will purchase used jewelry in order to reuse gems and metals. 

Where Does Zales Buy Gold?

Zales has a gold-exchange program. You can mail in gold or platinum items for free and then watch the unpacking and assessment of your items. You get a quote and if you don’t like it, you can get your items back for free.

Is Zales Low Quality?

Zales strives to make its jewelry available to a wide range of consumers and using lower-quality gold like 10K or gold-plating is one way to make jewelry accessible to those who might not have the budget for 18K gold or platinum. 

If you are in the market for diamonds, you will be able to score much higher quality at the same price point if you go with an online seller such as James Allen or Blue Nile

Is Kay or Zales Better?

Kay Jewelers and Zales are both owned by the same parent company and are similar in price point and style. The diamond inventory may overlap in some areas. 

Both brands try to balance value and quality, though to many shoppers the brands remain indistinguishable from each other.

Some shoppers identify Kay with jewelry to mark occasions, where Zales might be more for fashion and style trends. For this reason, Kay might be the better choice for engagement or wedding jewelry. 

Keep in mind you can see a lot of their inventory online–so why not check out both and see what you prefer?  

What Costs More 10K or 14K gold?

14K costs more because it contains more actual gold. Many consumers like the bright yellow color of 14K gold as well, so it is a very popular choice for gold jewelry. 


James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices.

They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online. Save 10% off select lab grown diamonds and 25% off ring settings during limited time sale!


  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
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It’s important to distinguish real gold from gold-plating, and to understand the different karat weights of gold (and how they affect price).

Zales sells a variety of real gold jewelry. Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder–you may just like the look of 14K or 10K gold better, and that will save you a little money. 



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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