Did you know that the ancient Egyptians were some of the first people to use gold for jewelry?
For thousands of years since then, gold has been a greatly sought-after option for jewelry as well as currency. That means it’s not only a fashionable accessory, but you can even sell your gold to your local jeweler if ever in need of money. While most people think of gold as shiny yellow metal, gold does not always exist in this form.
In fact, there are a few different forms that gold can take when used in jewelry. Luckily, if you’re interested in the different types of gold, you’ve clicked on the right article. Here, we’ll explore the various forms of gold in jewelry and how they are different from each other.
With this information, you’ll be able to always choose the perfect type of gold for whatever type of jewelry you may want to buy. To start off, let’s take a look at one of the most popular types of gold: yellow gold.
What Is Yellow Gold?
Yellow gold is what comes to mind for most people. This is likely because yellow gold is the single most popular type of gold around the world. However, yellow gold is not all the same since it is not always pure gold.
The shade of yellow gold, as with other types of gold, is dependent on the types of alloys used to mix with gold. Alloys can make gold harder but they can, of course, lessen the percentage of gold which can also lessen the value of the gold object. The purity of gold is measured by karats.
24k gold is the purest gold that you can buy. It is 99.9% pure gold. This is the yellowest and shiniest type of gold that you will ever be able to find.
Because of this, this kind of gold will never irritate the skin because it is hypoallergenic. It is also resistant to corrosion. This, however, doesn’t mean that pure gold is invincible.
In fact, 24k is almost never used in jewelry because it is too soft and damages too easily. Instead, it is ideal for when people buy gold coins for collecting or investing.
18k gold, on the other hand, is what is usually used for jewelry. 18k gold might not be as yellow as 24k gold, but it is still 75% pure gold and sturdy enough to wear without issues.
The reason why 18k gold is not as yellow as 24k gold is because of the other metals mixed with it to make it more durable. The other metals usually consist of nickel, copper, or zinc. Nickel can cause skin irritation in some people, but since it occurs in such low amounts in 18k gold, even people with the most sensitive skin shouldn’t be too concerned.
14k gold is the most popular kind of gold sold in America. It is more durable than 18k gold, but it is only 58.3% gold and is a paler yellow than other types of yellow gold.
It is, on the other hand, more affordable because of its lesser gold content. However, it is more likely to cause skin irritation unless you specifically buy 14k gold without nickel.
What Is White Gold?
White gold is gold made pale on purpose due to the mixing of other metals with gold. This, however, does not mean that white gold is of low quality. In fact, white gold is often used for engagement rings due to its unique appearance.
White gold can exist in 18k, 14k, and 10k forms such as yellow gold can. However, when making white gold, cheaper metals such as copper or nickel are usually avoided since they can compromise the whiteness of the final metal. Instead, whiter metals are necessary to give white gold the right tone.
For white gold, metals such as silver or palladium are necessary. Since gold has its own unique yellow color, the less gold used, the whiter white gold can be. White gold can also become covered with another metal, rhodium, to give a more brilliant white sheen.
For cheaper white gold, nickel may be necessary. While more people can afford this type of gold, it is not hypoallergenic and may not be as brilliantly white as white gold mixed with silver or other higher-quality metals.
What Is Rose Gold?
Rose gold has become especially popular in recent years. However, it was invented quite some time ago in the late 1800s by the jeweler of the Russian Imperial court. It is a unique type of gold characterized by its rosy pink color.
This pink tone is achieved by mixing copper with gold. There is a tradeoff between 18k and 14k rose gold. This is because while 18k rose gold is worth more because of its higher gold content, the rose tint to the gold may be so faint that it can be nearly unnoticeable.
On the other hand, 14k gold contains less gold and is, therefore, more affordable. However, because less gold is involved, the rosy hue of the gold is more intense. Also, 14k rose gold may be duller and not as brilliant as 18k rose gold.
Other metals may be added with rose gold to adjust its color. Silver is always avoided since it will make the gold color too pale.
Choosing Between the Different Types of Gold for You
By the end of this article, you should know all about the different types of gold that are used in jewelry. With this information, you can make better choices when you decide you want to buy gold.
To learn more, explore our fashion section.