Yellow is Just the Beginning
The answer is pretty simple .. they’re all made from pure gold, seen here in a gold bar. Naturally gold has a bright yellow hue. But even the yellow gold jewelry you see today it’s 100% pure.
Golden yellow is the only color of gold as it is found in nature and is by far the most common type of gold used in jewelry. However, pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like copper, silver, zinc and nickel to strengthen it.
You can see the difference between the gold bar and the ring. The bar is much darker. As shown here: round brilliant cut solitaire diamond ring twisted band 2 prong setting.
The measurement used to represent how much pure gold is found in an item is the karat (K): 24K gold is pure gold, 18K gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of another metal(s), making it 75% gold, 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of another metal(s), making it 58.3% gold, and so on. Therefore, how yellow the gold is will depend on its actual gold content.
Today, the most popular alternatives to yellow gold are white and pink gold (Also known as rose gold). White gold contains varying amounts of yellow gold, however in order to make the gold lighter it is combined with metal alloys that are white in nature. The most common white metals that form the white gold alloy are nickel, palladium, platinum and manganese while sometimes copper, zinc or silver are added as well. Isn’t as easy as you thought!
After this process the natural color of white gold is still actually a light grey, therefore white gold jewelry is usually coated with another white metal called rhodium which makes the white gold look even whiter.
The pink hue of rose gold jewelry, on the other hand, is created by combining yellow gold with copper. The more copper that’s used the stronger the shade of pink or red the gold will exude. The most common alloy mixture for rose gold is 18 karat, 75% gold and 25% copper.
The classic ring shown here in 18k pink gold: Round Brilliant Cut Solitaire Diamond Ring 4 Prong Trellis Setting.
The rings shown above in 3 gold colors: Round Brilliant Cut Solitaire Diamond Ring Channel Setting in 18k Gold.
While less common, with the development of new synthesizing technologies, many more colors of gold have been made available, such as blue gold, purple gold, green gold and yes even black gold. Purple gold is achieved by adding aluminum to a gold alloy consisting of about 80% content of gold, blue gold is created by mixing indium into a gold alloy, green gold is an alloy mixture combining gold and silver (which sometimes occurs naturally, known as electrum), while black gold is achieved via electro-deposition using black rhodium or alternatively ruthenium. Ok, some of these alloys we have never heard of either, but isn’t it interesting the lengths we will go to .. to experiment and produce different gold colors.
The Right Mix
Creating the right combination of gold and different alloys is not so easy. At Mazal Diamond we use only 18k gold for engagement rings and all of our jewelry versus 14k which is common in America. Why? We find the higher concentration of gold is better to help the metal retain its color.
Before creating each color of gold, we have to determine how the different metals will react with each other. Adding too much or too little of one metal or another can make the mixture too hard or brittle, and hence difficult to work with.
We’re proud to be a third generation diamond and diamond jewelry company. All of our jewelry is made to order, to your exact specifications. We invite you to tour the Mazal Diamond Factory.
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