Types of Gold: Color, Properties, Value

An employee takes granules of 99.99 percent pure gold at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant, one of the world's largest producers in the precious metals industry, in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Pure gold is not suitable for everyday use because it is too malleable and cannot be worn in everyday life. Other metals are added to gold, known as a ligature, which changes its properties, value, and even color to solve this flaw. By the way, the color is of particular interest to jewelry lovers. On what it depends, let’s find out in this article.

Yellow Gold

The traditional and most familiar color of gold is yellow. This is precisely the color of pure metal. In jewelry, silver and copper are added to it. The more silver, the lighter the alloy. For a lemon color, the percentage of the silver ligature is increased. For a warmer, sunnier shade, copper is added.

The amount of ligature, the additional metals, determines the gold grade. For example, 585 yellow gold, which is most often used for simple dainty engagement rings and other jewelry, is a metal with 28% silver and 13.5% copper.

Bright yellow gold pieces look less noble and are of poor quality. They are made of gold alloyed with copper, silver, palladium and are of the lowest degree of purity, 375.

White Gold

Products with a cold steel hue are slightly inferior in popularity to the bright yellow color. White gold combines beautifully with diamonds, making their shine more pronounced. Gemless gold is also fashionable: it goes with everything and looks noble and refined.

This color is obtained by adding palladium, nickel, silver, or platinum to gold. The alloy with platinum is the most valuable and durable; the jewelry made of it does not scratch, is not deformed, and retains its attractiveness for a long time.

The cheapest white gold is the one with a nickel ligature. Products with such an alloy are much worse to wear and may cause allergies. Nickel gives white gold a slight yellowish tint.

Red and Rose Gold

The alloy acquires these nuances due to copper. Copper has a good effect on the finished products’ properties, giving them strength and durability.

Do not be confused between red and niello gold. The first contains about 50% copper alloy and has a reddish hue. 

The romantic pink color usually indicates a 585 metal. It is made in such proportions: 14 parts gold, 7 or 8 parts copper, 2 or 3 parts silver.

Green Gold

The unusual color is the result of an alloy of gold and silver. The greater the percentage of silver in the alloy, the paler its tone. At 30% silver, the metal practically loses its yellowish color: it becomes silver with a slight greenish hue. This alloy is called an electrum. If you alloy gold with cadmium and zinc in certain proportions, you also get a metal with a greenish tint.

Jewelry made of such an alloy is rare. It has an unusual look, but its composition makes it pretty fragile and almost unsuitable for wear. Green gold is combined with other colors, such as white.

Blue and Purple gold

A cobalt ligature is added to the metal to achieve a subtle shade of blue, or a rhodium coating is applied. Some producers add indium to produce “sky gold”.

Some manufacturers add indium to the gold and steel to produce an unusual metallic color, bluish as well. When potassium or aluminum is added, the alloy acquires a violet hue.

On the other hand, ornamental gold varieties do not have a pronounced color but a distinctive tint. If a vendor offers you gold in a rich color – red, blue, blue, or green – it is probably just a coating.  

Black Gold

One of the latest trends in jewelry. To obtain black gold, it is combined with cobalt and chrome, but the trouble is that these metals do not mix well. The exact technology of manufacturing this rare, expensive, and elegant metal is still a mystery to most manufacturers. But some have learned to achieve a similar effect with ruthenium or rhodium, with electroplating, or by patination with oxygen and sulfur.

The most popular is still yellow gold. But if you are bored with the shade of the sun or it simply does not suit your image, you can keep your favorite metal the same. You will find a piece to suit all preferences: black, white, color, different shapes, and designs.

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