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The Many Colors of Gold Jewelry

Most people are familiar with yellow, rose, and white gold, however, what they don’t realize is that there really is only one real color of gold, which is yellow. Yellow gold is mixed with other alloys to get different karats and colors of gold. Since 24k pure gold is too soft to be worn as jewelry, it is mixed with other alloys and yields 14k, 18k, etc. depending on how much of 24 parts of the alloy are pure gold. The various colors of gold are made by mixing different alloys together with yellow gold.

How is white gold made?

White gold is made by mixing pure gold with a white metal, such as nickel, magnesium, or palladium. A strong nickel based white gold is often used for rings, while soft, pliable gold-palladium serves as white gold gemstone settings. Usually, white gold jewelry is covered with rhodium plating to enhance the white color, since the color of white gold actually borders on pale yellow, tinted brown, and even very pale rose.

What is Nickel allergy?

An allergic reaction to nickel in white gold when worn over long periods is characterized by a minor skin rash and is very common. Because of this, some jewelry companies do not use nickel when making white gold. Many companies advertise that they use save nickel in their jewelry, meaning that only an insignificant amount of nickel is mixed into their white gold. This is a healthier alternative for people who are allergic to nickel. Our advice – just choose nickel-free jewelry!

How is rose gold made?

Copper and yellow gold are mixed together to form what is known as rose gold. Copper is the opposite of nickel in that it actually has many healthy properties and wearing it over long periods is beneficial. Rose gold was very popular during the early 1950’s and is therefore used today in vintage style jewelry.

The many shades of yellow gold

As yellow gold increases in karat weight, so does its yellow color, making 22k the yellowest of yellow gold. The price of course also increases with karat weight for all gold.

There is a whole spectrum of colors of gold besides the more common white, yellow, and rose. They are also made by combining gold with various alloys.

1. Green gold is made by combining gold and silver. Sometimes the alloy cadmium can be used to tint the green light or dark. Make sure to avoid green gold with cadmium, as it can be highly toxic.

2. Grey gold is created by adding silver, manganese, and copper to gold.

3. Black gold is often used in jewelry. There are many different, complex ways to make black gold.

4. Purple gold is an alloy of gold and aluminum that is rich in gold-aluminium inter-metallic (AuAl2) and blue gold is an alloy of gold and indium. Both purple and blue gold are more brittle than other colors of gold and are therefore usually machined and faceted to be used as “gems” in jewelry. Direct skin contact with blue and purple gold elements should be avoided as exposure to sweat may result in metal leaching and discoloration of the metal surface.

Though the different colors of gold cover the whole spectrum of the rainbow, always remember that yellow gold is the actual color of gold and the basis of all the gold colors.
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