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Gold Colors Explained

May 14, 2018

Natural gold comes in one color when it is mined: yellow. To be more specific, pure gold is actually usually a reddish yellow color when it is naturally mined. The jewelry industry has survived centuries on the presumption that yellow gold was the most popular color of gold jewelry and therefore yellow gold has been a clear favorite in the jewelry world for decades. Although it is still a very popular hue of the available gold colors, there has been significant growth in the popularity of white gold and rose gold recently. So how does a goldsmith create white gold and rose gold? The simple answer is in the alloy and rhodium plating.

 

White Gold

To take the natural yellow color of gold and transform it into the classic color of white gold, it is melted, heated and alloyed with other silver colored metals. Those metals normally include nickel, silver or palladium. The combination of the natural gold with the other silver colored metals gives the piece the final elegant white gold color. Many people who query the difference between the colors in gold are concerned that the white gold will not be as pure as the “true” or “natural” yellow gold color. However, fourteen karat white gold is every bit as pure as fourteen karat yellow gold. When the jewelry is stamped as fourteen karat gold, it means that fifty-eight and a half percent of the metal alloy is pure gold, with the other forty-one and a half percent of the composition being the alloyed metals such as nickel, silver or palladium. The finishing touch of rhodium plating is added by the goldsmith which makes the white gold display a white gold uniformity.

 

Rose gold

Rose gold is sometimes called pink gold due to the pink hue in the color and shine of the metal. Rose gold is alloyed together with copper. The natural yellow color of gold and the pinkish orange color of copper combines to form a beautiful pink hue called rose gold. This has become increasingly popular over the past decade as an alternative to the more popular yellow and white gold settings. Whether it is because this color is more unique than white or yellow gold, or if it is because of its luster we are not at liberty to say, but we at Hogan Fine Jewelry love rose gold mountings. Many people refer to rose gold as pink gold, but these two terms refer to the same color and quality of gold and can be used interchangeably. With a fourteen karat gold setting, fifty-eight and a half percent of the metal alloy is pure gold, and the other forty-one and a half percent of the composition is alloyed from copper. The combination of yellow gold and the pink-orange color of copper gives this gold a pinkish hue, and we love it! Rose gold is also completed with rhodium plating in order to achieve a beautiful uniformity in the jewelry.

 

 

Yellow Gold

Believe it or not, yellow gold is also alloyed together with other metals in most cases. Many people choose yellow gold not because they prefer the color but because they believe they are getting a more pure gold. This is not the case, and we always encourage our customers to find a mounting in the color gold that they truly prefer. In fact, the only time yellow gold is not alloyed with other metals is when you are buying twenty-four karat gold which is generally considered to be at least ninety-nine percent pure gold. Therefore you will never see twenty-four karat white or rose gold. The purity is nearly complete and therefore the natural yellow gold color is what you will always see in twenty-four karat gold. The term karat refers to the purity of the gold unlike the term carat spelled with a “c” which is actually a measurement in weight of gemstones. Eighteen karat gold and twenty-four karat gold are not often used in jewelry because they are a very high purity, and gold is not a particularly hard metal. When high purities such as twenty-four karat gold are used in a setting, the jewelry is more susceptible to damage due to the malleability of pure gold. Yellow gold jewelry is also rhodium plated just like white and rose gold.

 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to set up an absolutely free consultation with the writer of this article, you may e-mail Kevin Jack at kevin@hoganfinejewelry.com today.

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Jeff@hoganfinejewelry.com

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