Types of Gold – When we talk about jewelry, the first most thing that comes to our mind is gold. Right from ancient times, gold has been one of the most precious metals for human beings. This mental is widely used for coinage, religious artifacts, trading, commerce, and making beautiful jewelry.
In the purest form, gold is a chemical element that is recognized with atomic number 79 and symbol Au. It is generally available in a bright, soft, dense, slightly reddish yellow, and malleable metal form which attracts people with ease. As gold displays low reactivity with other elements, it is considered a perfect choice for day-to-day jewelry. However, it is generally difficult to use gold in its pure form due to its highly malleable nature. Therefore, experts prefer combining it with few other metal alloys to improve overall strength.
The addition of different alloys can change the overall appearance of gold. In most cases, gold jewelry is alloyed with nickel, palladium, zinc, copper, and silver to achieve different color ranges. Some of the most common colors include rose, white, yellow, and green.
Purchasing gold for a gift or personal needs can be a confusing process. This is because this precious metal is now available in a variety of forms. The price and quality of gold jewelry may vary depending upon several factors such as purity levels, colors, and special markings.
Types of Gold and main differences:
If you are interested to invest in gold jewelry, it is first important to know about types of gold. Here we have listed few details about the most widely used gold types to boost your knowledge base. By the end of this article, you will be able to make reliable decisions about gold investments.
When buying gold jewelry, we usually prefer to go ahead with the yellow gold. It is basically the naturally occurring, purest form of metal. In order to make jewelry, this pure gold is mixed with some alloys such as zinc, silver, and copper to boost its strength. One of the best examples of common alloys used to prepare 18K gold are:
For 18K darker yellow gold – 10% silver, 15% copper, and 75% gold.
For 18K yellow gold –12.5% silver, 12.5% copper, and 75% gold.
Rose gold is widely known as red gold and pink gold. It is developed by mixing copper in pure gold which leads to a red tinge in the resulting metal. Note that the color of this gold usually varies with the specific proportion of copper mixed into it. Higher content of copper leads to redder color. The most common combination is 25% of copper with 75% of gold.
The main aspect of rose gold and white gold is that the pure metal must be combined with any other metal to achieve the desired color. Therefore, it is impossible to have pure rose gold or white gold. However, the great news is that rose gold is generally more affordable as compared to pure gold as it contains inexpensive copper to achieve the color. The durability of rose gold is also higher as compared to white and yellow gold due to the copper content in it.
Green gold can be also called Electrum which is designed by mixing gold with silver and copper sometimes. The mixture of silver in pure gold is useful to get a greenish finish. Note that green gold was widely used by the ancient people, during 860BC. At that time also, it was named electrum and was considered as the naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. However, instead of appearing purely green; it generally has a greenish-yellow appeal.
In some cases, professionals also prefer to add Cadmium into gold alloys to achieve green color; however, this type of metal can cause some serious health problems due to its toxic nature. When the alloy of gold is mixed in 75% proportion with 6% copper, 15% silver, and 4% cadmium, it provides a dark-green alloy.
The grey gold alloy is made up of palladium and gold. This is a widely used, cheaper alternative to pure gold which is developed by combining copper, manganese, and silver to gold. The experts follow a specific ratio of all metals to create the final material which can be further used to design a variety of ornaments.
Here is another popular version of gold that can be used to make jewelry. There are multiple methods to produce black colored gold. One of the widely preferred technique is oxidation. The process includes the application of sulfur oxygen-based compounds. Another option is controlled oxidation which involves gold containing 25% of cobalt and 75% of gold.
Depending upon the mixed proportion, it is possible to achieve a range of colors ranging from brown to black. This kind of treatment also requires the use of potassium sulfate. Note that the cobalt-containing alloys include 25% cobalt, 75% gold along with a black oxide layer providing black coloring to the gold. It is also possible to achieve this type of effect by using titanium, iron, and copper.
Blue gold is another popular alloy of gold mixed with indium or gallium. While preparing gold-indium alloy, the professionals mix 46% of gold with 54% of indium. This resulting intermetallic compound use to have a rich blue color. On the other side, when mixed with gallium, the resulting intermetallic substance has a slightly bluish hue. It is also possible to get rich blue colored gold with a 20 to 23 karat rating by mixing rhodium or ruthenium materials.
As yellow gold is available in its natural state from the earth, it is the most preferred version of gold. Right from ancient times, people prefer wearing jewelry made up of yellow gold. The price of gold also varies depending upon the mixture of other alloys into it. Other than this, the quantity of karats also leaves a considerable impact on the durability of the jewelry. If you are planning to buy gold jewelry, it is good to make a careful decision about what percentage of pure gold you need in it.