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Distinguish the Difference Between Gold Colors

Posted on 21st Apr 2012 @ 10:50 AM

While most of us accept that gold is a yellow precious metal, when it comes to buying gold jewelry you will find that not all pieces are the same color. Generally the choice will include white gold, yellow gold, and even green and rose (or pink) gold. Some jewelry items even include different colored gold in one piece.

The idea of different gold colors is further complicated by the fact that the true colors of metallic gold are quite different to colors we see on a printed page or on a computer screen. Recorded gold colors used for materials other than jewelry also vary quite radically. For example “old gold” which is one of the colors worn by members of Texas State University’s sports teams is quite different to “satin sheen gold” which featured in Captain Kirk’s uniform in the movie Star Trek.

While pure gold mined from the earth does have a distinctive “gold” color, because it is relatively soft, alloys are usually added to the gold before it is used for making jewelry. And alloys have different colors. So when a white gold alloy like nickel or palladium is added to pure gold, the result is some variation of white gold. Copper has the effect of creating the pinkish tones that make gold appear to be a rose hue. Green gold generally has silver and/or zinc added to it.

Yellow gold usually has silver and copper added to strengthen the metal, but in different quantities. The deeper the color, the more gold there is in the metal. If more of the alloys are added, the yellow will tend to look brighter and lighter. 

You can get more information regarding gold collor and alloy in our education section Gold Facts