Different Types of Gold: Colours, Karats

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When purchasing different types of gold jewellery, you frequently encounter choices in terms of gold colours, karats, and plating options. What do these factors signify, and is there a significant distinction among the various types of gold? This brief guide aims to provide insights into how many types of gold colours, karats, and coatings are in the market.

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Types of Gold Karats

The majority of gold used in jewellery is alloyed or combined with base or other valuable metals. The karat system is used to quantify the purity of gold alloys, where higher karat values indicate more gold content. A quality mark may occasionally be applied to gold jewellery to indicate its purity.

The following are possible reasons to create distinct types of gold:

Give the gold more strength- You can bend pure gold with your fingers since it is so flexible. It gets significantly harder when combined with other metals.

Create different gold colours- Pure gold looks like brilliant yellow. Other metals like copper and zinc must also be added to get hues like white gold and rose gold.

Bring down the price of gold- Pure gold is pricey. It may be made more economical by combining gold with less expensive metals.

The four most popular types of gold karats for various types of gold jewelleray are 24, 18, 14, and 10 karats.

  • 24K (100% pure gold)

    Though it's natural to think that 24K gold is the "best" to purchase because it's the highest karat, that isn't always the case. Pure gold is the costliest gold types in India but is not suitable for everyday wear since it is easily twisted and damaged. Wearing a set of 24K bracelets while doing chores might not be the best idea, but if you want to make a statement and are preparing to attend an event on the red carpet, that's another story.
  • 22K (92% gold and 8% alloyed metals)

    22-karat gold is somewhat stronger and resilient compared to pure gold, even with a moderate composition of only 8% alloyed metal. It's still the softest type of mixed metal jewellery; therefore, proceed with caution while handling this mixture.
  • 18K (75% gold and 25% alloyed metals)

    This is one of the most common combinations of alloys and gold. 18K jewellery has a richer golden tone than 14K. Because of the increased gold content in 18K types of gold jewellery, they will command a higher price than 14K and are typically indicative of a higher quality piece of jewellery.
  • 14K (58% gold and 42% alloyed metals)

    This alloy is highly resistant to wear and tear than 18K or 22K types of gold jewellery. It is the most preferred choice for wedding bands and engagement rings and is perfect for everyday usage. If you lead an active lifestyle, 14K jewellery is the perfect choice for you.

Different Types Of Gold Colours

Gold jewellery isn't composed of pure gold; instead, it is an alloy, a blend of various metals. The alloying of gold with metals such as silver, copper, zinc, palladium, and nickel results in different gold colours, with yellow, white, rose, and green being among the most prevalent.

  • Yellow Gold

    The creation of yellow gold involves blending pure gold with copper, silver, and zinc. This colour is considered the purest and most hypoallergenic and demands low maintenance among all gold colours.
  • White Gold

    White gold is crafted from a mixture of platinum (or palladium) and gold, or it can be composed of nickel, palladium, gold, and zinc. Not only is white gold durable and resistant to scratches compared to yellow gold, but it also comes at a more affordable price point than both platinum and yellow gold.
  • Rose Gold

    Rose gold, also known as pink gold, is formed by alloying gold with silver and copper. This gold variant is more budget-friendly compared to other gold colours, as it incorporates the cost-effective copper to achieve its distinctive rose hue. The presence of copper enhances the durability of rose gold when compared to both yellow and white gold.
  • Green Gold

    Rose gold is created by blending gold with silver and copper. These types of gold jewellery are more cost-effective than other gold colours, utilizing economical copper to achieve its unique rose hue. The inclusion of copper also boosts the durability of rose gold when compared to both yellow and white gold.
  • Grey Gold

    Grey gold is produced by combining gold and palladium, typically in an 18-karat composition. However, without the inclusion of palladium, a more economical method can be employed. This involves the addition of manganese, silver, and copper to achieve the desired grey gold alloy.
  • Spangold

    The treatment of certain gold-copper alloys, when subjected to intense heat, results in a fine-textured surface that produces a sparkling effect. After cooling, a quasi-martensitic transformation occurs, followed by boiling the polished item in hot oil at temperatures ranging between 150-200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes and then cooling it to 2 degrees Celsius. This process gives rise to a surface characterized by sparkle and tiny facets throughout, known as Spangold. Its composition is 76.5% gold, 19% copper, and 5% aluminium, resulting in a yellow colour. If the aluminium composition is increased to 6%, the colour transforms to pink.
  • Purple Gold

    This gold variant is characterized by increased brittleness and reduced malleability, with a total gold content of 79%. Consequently, it is often machined and polished to serve as a "gem" in traditional jewellery rather than being used independently. At lower gold concentrations, the material consists of an intermetallic phase and a solidified phase rich in aluminium.
  • Blue Gold

    Blue gold is a gold alloy that includes either indium or gallium. Gold-indium, for instance, is comprised of 46% gold and 54% indium.
  • Black Gold

    These types of gold are commonly employed in jewellery, while Black Gold finds its application in highly technical uses rather than serving as a gem or ornament. Alloys containing cobalt, such as 25% cobalt and 75% gold, develop a coating of black oxide on the gold, resulting in its distinctive black colour. Copper, titanium and iron can also be utilized to achieve this effect.

Types of Gold Jewelry

Although different types of gold pieces may seem alike at first glance, their quality and cost can differ significantly, contingent on the manufacturing processes employed.

  • Gold Plated

    Usually, the most economical choice, gold-plated jewellery, is crafted from a base metal such as brass or copper, coated with a thin layer of gold (0.05% gold or less). The gold layer on gold-plated jewellery may experience fading or tarnishing with the passage of time.
  • Gold-Filled

    Gold-filled jewellery of superior quality is crafted from a base material like a jeweller's brass, featuring a solid layer of gold that is mechanically bonded to the base. In comparison to gold-plated jewellery, gold-filled jewellery contains nearly 100 times more gold, and the mechanical bonding process ensures that the gold remains securely attached without rubbing off.
  • Gold Vermeil

    Spoken as "ver-may," gold vermeil jewellery comprises a sterling silver base coated with a substantial layer of gold plating. Similar to gold-filled jewellery, it boasts higher quality and durability compared to gold-plated counterparts. Authentic vermeil involves the application of 2.5 microns of gold. One notable distinction between gold vermeil and gold-filled jewellery lies in their manufacturing methods: gold vermeil utilizes an electroplating process. In contrast, gold-filled relies on a bonding process involving pressure and heat.
  • Solid Gold

    Solid gold is precisely what the name suggests—a piece of jewellery crafted entirely from gold without any base metal. It is available in different karats, as discussed earlier, where higher-karat jewellery correlates with increased quality, purity, and cost.

Which Gold Type is Best for Jewelry?

Based on various designs, types of gold and purity levels, yellow gold stands out as the most common and favoured choice. For those prioritizing the highest gold purity, there are gold coins available in 22K and 24K gold. White gold has gained popularity in recent years, particularly for engagement rings and wedding bands, as some individuals prefer it over the traditional yellow hue. Rose gold, known for its trendy appeal, is also gaining popularity, particularly among women worldwide.

Regardless of the chosen gold colour, it's essential not to overlook the hallmark and detailed pricing of your gold jewellery piece. The gold rate value remains consistent across the country, irrespective of the different types of gold, making it a crucial consideration wherever you are located.

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In conclusion, gaining an understanding of the distinctions among different types of gold enables you to make an informed decision while selecting the best piece of jewellery or planning to make a good investment. Each karat, ranging from 24K gold's rich elegance to the 10K gold's balanced charm, presents a unique combination of strength, purity, and affordability.

You may be attracted to the timeless appeal of 22K gold for daily wear, the intricate designs of 18K gold, or the durable yet delicate characteristic of 14K gold. So, whatever types of gold you choose will reflect your personal style. Armed with knowledge about the different purities of gold, you can now select and discover lightweight gold jewellery at your preferred store. Stay informed about types of gold by exploring various jewellery education guide pages. You may want to check out the easy gold loan facility at India Infoline. Remember that the endeavour to find the perfect types of gold item is about more than just the karat—it's about your personal choice.

Frequently Asked Questions Expand All

The highest karat version of rose gold, 22 karats, is referred to as crown gold.

The addition of cadmium to gold alloys can result in a green colouration. This involves a blend of 75% gold, 6% copper, 15% silver, and 4% cadmium.

Yes, it has been reduced to 10% from 12.5%, encompassing 7.5% customs duty and a 2.5% agriculture infrastructure and development cess.

Indeed, buying gold online is considered safe. However, you must ensure

Gold granules or chunks discovered in deposits of black sand are termed black sand gold. The black sand consists of heavy minerals like hematite and magnetite, often found along with gold within the placer deposits.