Talking about Gold, the image that comes to mind is of a metal with a soft, yellow
glow. Indeed, the incomparable golden hue of this precious metal GOLD
has been part of its appeal and fame for centuries. But for a jeweler, there are
more shades of gold available than just yellow - and in a spectrum of different
hues. The color the gold takes on depends on the metals it is mixed, or alloyed
Natural gold and color-saturated alloys are what give yellow gold jewelry its rich
shine. The alloys most commonly used, are copper with a red hue, and silver featuring
a green hue. An expert mixture of copper, silver and pure gold gives this precious
metal its original color.
Rose gold, also known as pink or red gold, is created by increasing
the copper-colored alloys mixed with the gold and decreasing the silver-colored
alloys. 14K rose gold is slightly pinker in color compared to 14K gold because there
is more copper in the alloy compared to the amount of copper in 14K gold alloy.
18 k gold, containing 25% copper is found in antique and Russian jewelry and has
a distinct, though not dominant, copper cast, creating rose gold.
To give White Gold its brilliant shiny white luster, the final process of making
White Gold involves plating the metal with a layer of Rhodium. Rhodium is a shiny
white metal, which is extremely hard and durable. Over time, with regular wear,
the Rhodium plating may wear off revealing the yellow Gold underneath, and can be
easily repaired by a jeweler who can redo the Rhodium plating. White gold alloys
can be made with palladium or nickel. White 18-carat gold containing 17.3% nickel,
5.5% zinc and 2.2% copper is silvery in appearance. Nickel is toxic, however, and
its release from nickel white gold is controlled by legislation in Europe. Alternative
white gold alloys are available based on palladium, silver and other white metals,
but the palladium alloys are more expensive than those using nickel. High-carat
white gold alloys are far more resistant to corrosion than are either pure silver
or sterling silver.