Colors of Gold

Colors of Gold

There are so many options out there for beautiful gold jewelry. With various types of gold available, it's important to learn about the ins and outs of each color before you decide what's right for you. Here's a guide to understanding white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold.

Choosing Gold for Your Jewelry

Image via Flickr by slgckgc

Whether you're going for a bold gold piece or something streamlined and delicate, you'll want to consider which color of gold you want. The key difference between white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold is their coloring. There are a few other factors that can play into your choice as well.

Consider if you have allergies to different metals when selecting the right gold color for you. You'll also want to take your skin tone into consideration, as different golds complement different skin tones. You'll want to think about the durability of each gold type and your ability to maintain the piece as well.

Finally, think about your personal preference! Are you looking for a classic piece of jewelry, or do you want to go more modern? There are plenty of possibilities depending on the gold you choose.

What Is White Gold?

If you're looking at a piece of jewelry listed as "white gold," this means that the metal is made from a mix of pure gold along with white metals. This includes silver, nickel, and palladium, and typically the gold has a rhodium coating as well. Don't worry, though — your jewelry is still real gold! The other metals in white gold help strengthen the gold, making it more durable when creating jewelry.

As with other gold pieces, the value of white gold jewelry will vary based on the karat of the piece (such as 14K or 18K). How much metal a jeweler used to make the piece will also play a role in its overall cost.

You'll find a variety of benefits to white gold. If you're wondering about platinum gold or other metals, white gold is something to consider. White gold is more affordable than platinum but has a similar appearance. It complements rosy or fair skin tones well.

White gold has also grown in popularity in recent years. Because white gold is alloyed with stronger metals than the ones you find in yellow gold, it is more resistant to scratches and more durable than its yellow counterpart. Many believe it complements white diamonds better than yellow gold does, too.

Keep a few things in mind if you're going for white gold jewelry. To keep its luster and color, white gold will need to be dipped every few years, and the rhodium plating will need to be replaced. Fortunately, this process is not expensive. If you are allergic to nickel, you should also pay attention before wearing white gold as it will generally include nickel in the mixture. White gold is not hypoallergenic unless it's mixed with other alloy metals besides nickel. If you've had allergic reactions to nickel, check if you're allergic before purchasing white gold jewelry.

What Is Yellow Gold?

When you have classic gold in mind, you're most likely thinking of yellow gold. Jewelry created with yellow gold has that traditional golden coloring. To make yellow gold, pure gold is mixed with alloy metals. In this case the alloy metals generally include zinc and copper.

The number of karats of a yellow gold piece will indicate the amount of pure gold used to create it. The higher the karat amount, the purer the gold content. A 24-karat piece will be 99.9% pure gold. 18-karat gold is about 75% pure, while 15-karat gold is about 58.3% pure.

Yellow gold is less durable than other metals. As a result, pieces like engagement or wedding rings will typically use 14K or 18K yellow gold.

Yellow gold offers the purest gold color of all gold options. It's also the most hypoallergenic gold option out there. Because it has historically been the most popular metal for engagement rings and wedding bands, it's a great choice if you're looking for vintage-style designs. Yellow gold tends to look great with olive skin and darker skin tones, and is easy to match with diamonds that have a lower color grade.

Though yellow gold will need regular cleaning and polishing, it's still the easiest type of gold to maintain. Yellow gold is also the most malleable of gold types, making it easy to manipulate when creating jewelry pieces. However, that also means that yellow gold is easy to scratch or dent. You should take care of your yellow gold pieces to make sure they don't accidentally get scratched.

What Is Rose Gold?

Much like white gold, rose gold is real but not entirely comprised of gold. This lustrous, pink-tinged metal adds a modern touch to jewelry. Pure gold is combined with silver and copper alloys in this case. The copper and silver added to the gold metal strengthens the gold. This mix also gives it its unique rosy hue. Rose gold will appear redder as more copper is added to the alloy. The term rose gold applies to a range of rose, pink, and red-gold shades.

Rose gold does not tarnish, but it will need regular cleaning and polishing (as with any color gold you choose). You'll find rose gold in plenty of popular women's and men's styles today. Many people think of rose gold as a romantic type of gold thanks to its coloring.

Copper, the alloy that helps create rose gold, costs less than other metals. That makes rose gold more affordable than other options. It also means that rose gold is very durable. Because of the copper in it, rose gold is tougher than its white and yellow gold counterparts. This color also tends to look good with any skin tone. However, rose gold is not hypoallergenic, and so may cause allergic reactions for some people.

Whether you're looking to sell your gold or invest in a new piece of jewelry, it's important to understand the differences between white, yellow, and rose gold. Find a gold style to love at Martin Busch Jewelers today!