When we think of gold jewelry, we think of a luxurious, bright yellow. It’s the classic jewelry look, after all. Diamond rings, necklaces, bracelets—gold is great for everything.
However, because of the way that gold jewelry is produced, the chemical lends itself to the possibility of being transformed into beautiful, unique colors beyond the classic yellow gold. You don’t have to rely on just colored gems to add some pop to your jewelry.
Gold jewelry is actually made of gold alloys. In its pure state, gold is too soft to become a durable piece of jewelry, so other chemicals are added to make it more durable and capable of withstanding wear. The chemicals that gold is mixed with determine its color.
A Golden Rainbow
The possibilities for colored gold jewelry are pretty extensive.
Yellow Gold: This is the most classic gold look. To create it, pure gold is alloyed with silver, copper, and zinc. This color gold is the most hypo-allergenic and requires the least maintenance of the colors.
White Gold: Another classic, white gold is most often mixed with just palladium, or palladium, nickel, and zinc. The chemicals added make it more durable and scratch resistant than yellow.
Rose Gold: Rose gold is at a peak in popularity right now. This soft pink hue is created by mixing pure gold with copper and silver. Because copper gives it its signature pink tinge, it is the least expensive of the gold jewelry colors.
Green Gold: Green gold is not so often seen in the world of jewelry, but this forest color makes for very unique jewelry. It is created by mixing pure gold with silver and sometimes a small bit of copper.
Blue Gold: Though, like green gold, this is rarely seen, it can definitely be created in a number of ways. One way is by mixing indium with pure gold. In a more involved process, a mixture of gold and iron or rhodium can be treated with heat to create a blue layer.
Purple Gold: An amethyst-like hue can be created by adding just aluminum to pure gold. However, this color is not as durable as the others because the compound used to create it is brittle.
Black Gold: If you’re interested in making a gold jewelry statement, consider this unique alloy. Like blue gold, it can be created in one of multiple ways. In a simple way, the surface of other gold jewelry can be covered with a layer of black compound. Additionally, the surface of another gold alloy can be treated with certain chemicals to transform it into a black color.
The higher the carat size, the more gold makers use to create the specific piece.
The Two Cs: Color and Carat
The carat size of the gold makes a difference in the color of the gold jewelry. Pure gold is 24 carats, but it is rarely seen in jewelry because it is too soft. A higher carat size indicates that a larger amount of pure gold is used in an alloy.
The amount of each component in the alloy changes its color, so naturally, different carat sizes will be different colors. As a rule of thumb, the higher the carat size, the richer the color of the gold will be. Eighteen carat gold is a deeper, richer yellow than 14 carat. Higher carat rose gold will be more yellow-brown than pink, as the copper content is what changes its hue to that soft, romantic color.
Are you looking to add colored gold jewelry to liven your collection? Reiner’s Fine Jewelry can make a custom piece for you.
Jewelry should be personal. At Reiner’s, custom and handmade jewelry is created to fit your needs and personality, ensuring a one-of-a-kind piece that is perfect for you.