Gold, in other words, "Aurum (Au)", is a very precious yellow metal. It can be obtained from the surface of the earth and from the surfaces that occur due to various disasters. This takes a very important place among all the other metals because it's really expensive nowadays and also It helps people a lot in various cases. By using this gold metal we can mainly make jewellery. Also on another hand, in this developing world, we can see a lot of other stuff that is made from gold such as vehicles, mobile phones, costumes, houses etc.
However gold is a noble and precious metal because it does not undergo oxidation or rust. That is one of the main reason for using this metal for various cases.
When discussing about it, one of the main topics that must be discussed is "the types of gold". Because in the normal way, most people often use and most people often know it as a yellow-coloured normal metal, but in reality, it is a metal that has a wider variety than that. So in order to get an understanding of it, we must pay attention to the different types of it. So here there are many types. In this article, we will identify the varieties of gold under three main types.
- Colour of gold.
- Karat value of gold.
Colour of the gold.
This is a very expensive metal. So as we know in general usage, the pure form of this metal is a slightly reddish-yellow colour. But we have the ability to use that yellow colour to produce it in different shades.
One thing we know is that 24-karat pure ones are not used to make jewellery or other things. The reason is that it is very fragile and less strong, so it is not possible to use it to make jewellery. That's why we mixed the pure form with another strong metal and then we can have a high strength metal than before.
Anyway, silver, copper, zinc, palladium and nickel can be used as the main alloys used for that, and by using them, it is possible to make different types and give different colours too.
So here the most famous and common gold colours are;
But apart from that, you can also see a little bit of them in colours like green, black, purple, and blue.
Now let's see some of the above-mentioned colours in brief.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, yellow is the original and natural colour of gold. Also, many people automatically start thinking that the colour of gold is yellow. As stated by the World Gold Council all over the world, yellow can be mentioned as the popular gold colour among people.
Yellow gold comes in a different range of yellow shades. So here, it is possible to identify the range of the colours that are there according to the proportions of the other metals used to produce them. Here, we often use gold, silver, copper, zinc, or nickel metals. The percentages used to produce it by each of these metals are different to each other.
If we look at an example here, the average purity of 18k yellow is 75% pure gold, 12.5% copper and 12.5% silver.
However, as the most cases, it can be indicated that things with yellow will show more inclination and preference of people. Since ancient times it appears that many people have preferred to use yellow gold for making jewellery, coins and cubes.
While Yellow becomes the most popular type of colour, white is also the most popular colour used to make engagement rings in nowadays. However, yellow and other white metals are alloyed to make this white hue. In most cases, copper is used for this process. When we use less gold and copper in the alloy, it becomes whiter.
Also, the jewellery made of white gold is often plated with rhodium and the reason is to make it a silvery colour. Rhodium is a very shiny and white metal and is exceedingly hard. But it can wear off at any time. So if it is applied to jewellery to get the white colour, it is absolutely necessary to re-coat it with rhodium from time to time.
White Gold is often formed from 2 different alloys. They are Silver and Palladium. Palladium is an alloy of white gold, pure gold, palladium and sometimes a little bit of silver. They are hypoallergenic (not causing any harm to human skin) and precious metals exclusive to gold.
The common white alloy contains 90% gold and 10% nickel and rarely contains copper too.
Also, because of its colour and durability, it lasts longer than the yellow one and is more resistant to tarnishing. In some cases, white is preferred over platinum for creating diamond or gemstone jewellery.
This is another colour hue that was introduced to the world many years ago by the famous jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé. Although this is a newer type than yellow and white, it has become a very popular jewellery colour today.
This is made from a combination of gold, copper and silver. Copper is suitable for giving this a pink colour. Most rose alloys are 18k or 14k. From the two of them, the 18k rose has more gold content and is more shimmery, but has a pale blush pink colour. 14k rose contains more copper, which gives it a deeper pink colour and less lustre. It is also extremely helpful in strengthening the metal with the copper used in the pink-coloured one and giving it the appropriate pink colour.
Also, when talking about rose gold, we can see roses of several other colours that are similar. They are red, rose and pink colours. The reason for the different shades of the colours is the amount of copper that is used in the gold-making process.
Also, these are very strong and it has a long-lasting pinkish shine, so it is a more popular colour today, and it is commonly used for making engagement rings, bracelets, and many other jewellery items.
We have previously discussed the most common colours of gold like yellow rose and white. Apart from that, although not well-known and not easy to find, in recent times, we can see some other colours such as:
Those are also can be referred to as some other gold colours that use to create jewellery and other things.
Black gold is a type of gold that is hard to find and relatively unknown, but people still want to buy it. Solid black gold jewellery does not currently exist because there are no black gold metal alloys. So that's why people who make jewellery use methods like coating to give a black surface to jewellery.
We can identify different methods like Electroplating, Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) oxidation patination, and laser treatments as the main methods of blackening gold jewellery.
Also, laser treatment is the only way to give a permanent black colour to the jewellery we like. If the black colour is obtained by any other method, it can be tarnished rapidly and there is a need to do that method frequently.
- The green-gold colour is greenish-yellow. This is also produced by mixing gold and silver. A higher percentage of silver can give in a higher hue of green. Similarly, we call naturally occurring green gold as "Electrum".
- Blue gold is the least popular colour in jewellery making. This intermetallic blue-coloured gold is made from a mixture of metals like Indium and Gallium.
Before discussing the different types of karats in gold, let's see what is "Karat value" is.
A karat is a unit that measures the purity of gold. In common usage, 24 karat means the purest form of gold. It means that 24-karat has no other metal or other substance mixed in it and it contains only pure metal.
Most of the time, various other metals are mixed with it when used to make jewellery. So we can find different karat values by comparing them with the mixing ratio. Also, in the production of gold, we can identify several reasons for making it alloys of different types using different metals.
- Mainly it has the ability to give great strength to gold. The reason for that is a goal is usually very soft and thin enough to fold easily using our fingers. So, if some metal is mixed with them, their strength can be increased.
- Another reason is to produce different colours. That is, the purest form is bright yellow. But in normal life, we have to use different colours in using ornaments and other items. For example, in order to produce it in different colours like white and silver mentioned in the article above, we have to mix other metals with gold.
- This is usually a very expensive metal in the market. For example, 24k is very expensive compared to others because it has no other metal alloy with it. So, mixing any other metal with it to make a piece of jewellery has the potential to reduce its price compared to others.
We have the ability to change the karat value by alloying other metals with it for many other reasons. Accordingly, we can divide it into 4 main categories according to the karat value.
- 24 karat
- 18 karat
- 14 karat
- 10 karat
As mentioned before, 24k is the purest form of this metal. Purity of 24k gold is measured as 99.9% pure. This is the shiniest, yellowish and one of the most expensive metals in the market.
Also, jewellery made of 24k is hypoallergic. That means, wearing them does not cause any harm to the human skin. It is also highly resistant to tarnishing and corrosion because of its purest quality.
Also, due to its extremely soft and malleable nature, it is not practical to use pure gold to make jewellery.
18K consists of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals such as copper and zinc. This is less bright and more durable than 24k.
The most important thing to mention here is that although it is said that the yellow colour of pure once is more intense than 18k, we cannot say that the quality of 18K is low. Because we rarely see 24K jewellery, most of the time we use the colour of 18k as yellow in common usage.
But another important point here is that some 18K alloys contain nickel, an element that can cause some skin infections. However in most cases, since the percentage of nickel contained in that is very low, it will not have any effect on many people. Even for those who have very sensitive skin, it will not have an effect.
14k is made from a mixer of 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% other metals. The bright of 18k is less than 24k and the bright of 14K is less than both of them.
But compared to the other two, 14k is much more affordable and durable. For example, if the same jewellery is made of 24k, 14k and 18k gold, the most expensive one is the one made of 24k, and the one made of 14k is very cheap compared to the other. Compared to other types of gold, the karat value is low and durability is high, even if it is worn regularly, the jewellery made with 14k is very suitable. But the nickel percentage here is a little higher compared to others, so if you have sensitive skin, don't forget to buy nickel-free jewellery.
Recently, jewellery made of 10k, which contains only 41.7% gold, was known as jewellery with a minimum standard in the United States.
However, it lasts longer than all other types, but due to the low purity of its pure gold amount, its colour looks very dark. Also, many people are not very interested in using jewellery made from this for engagements or various special events.
As mentioned above, nickel is a metal that has some negative effects on human skin. 10k contains more nickel compared to all others so it is more likely to cause sensitivity problems too.
At first glance, some jewellery made of this metal looks the same, but they are similar in terms of surface, but due to the quality and some properties, their price and durability can also be different. The main influencing factor for this is the process used to make them. We can mention these under several main categories.
- Gold filled
- Rolled gold
The term filled means that the metal is filled with gold. What happens there is that the base metal is coated with gold alloy. Thus the filled alloy needs to be filled with at least 5% of the total strength, so always the thickness and weight of this filled are very high and the quality is also relatively high. So this kind of jewellery made from the filling process has the potential to last for decades.
Rolled once is made by mechanical bonding. 2.5% gold is required for that. That amount is equal to half of the amount of gold metal needed to make a filled one.
This is often used to make high-quality jewellery and ornaments. These too can last for many years if used properly and carefully.
Vermile is made by placing sterling silver jewellery in a liquid gold solution and subjecting it to an electric current.
This requires gold alloys of at least 10k purity. However, sterling silver is much higher in value and money than the base metals used in both filled or rolled mentioned above, but the amount in it is very low, so the price of vermile is lower compared to the others. Also, Vermile jewellery pieces eventually tarnish when the layer wears away.
Gold jewellery is relatively expensive. So something we can use as a solution to that high cost is "plated jewellery". In many cases, plating is usually used to get products that fit the budget that doesn't need to last a long time.
Among all other gold-related products, plated ones are very cheap. Brass or copper is used as the base metal. Here, these are applied as a thin layer on the jewellery. In any case, the plated layer in this piece of jewellery can be removed or destroyed at any time. Therefore, if you want to wear up on an important occasion or event, a plated one may not be suitable for that.
This is one of the most expensive and valuable metals among all other metals. However, in this article, we have discussed the different types. We were able to classify them mainly into three categories. those are:
- Karat value
There, under the first category, colour, we talked about three main colours and they are:
Then we looked at the karat value too. There we have discussed 4 of the main karat values and they are:
Finally, we looked at the forms of encapsulations. There also we discussed four ways of processing them and they are:
So now you have a clear understanding about what are the different colours, what are the different karat values and what are their coating types.