Types of Coloured Gold in Jewellery

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Artistic Style: Defining and Evaluating Artistic  Style in Jewelry

My name is Jess. When I was a little girl, my mum had an antique shop, and I loved sitting by her side as she refinished some objects, researched others to price them and haggled with customers. When I grew up, I realised my passions resided in the realm of jewelry. I made a few pieces and dabbled in welding and design, but ultimately, I realised I am a curator rather than a designer. I decided to follow my mum in my career path. Now, I travel to flea markets and boot sales, selling jewelry I've found at estate sales, charity shops and the like. I don't focus on the precious jewels. Instead, I'm all about artistry and style. If you want to learn about it and other topics, check out my posts.

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Types of Coloured Gold in Jewellery

21 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Gold is a favourable material choice for jewellery items because it matches with a range of styles. In addition, it does not tarnish due to exposure to harsh environments or cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin. If you love purchasing or selling gold jewellery, it is important for you to understand the nature of the material used. The common type of gold which is easily identifiable is the pure variety; it is normally yellow in colour. Pure gold is rated as 24-karat but it is not appropriate for jewellery fabrication because of its softness. Gold is normally mixed with other metals to increase its strength and durability. The resulting alloys are identified as coloured gold and commonly used to create jewellery items. Here are the primary types of coloured gold in the market.

White Gold

White gold is popularly utilised in production of jewellery because it presents understated class and sophistication. This colour is obtained by adding white metals such as nickel, palladium and even manganese. The karat rating of each piece will depend on the quantity of gold in the alloy. You should also note that the term white is used loosely in this context. The white gold alloy is usually off-white so the actual appearance can be tinted yellow, brown and even pale rose. The lustre of white gold is attained by plating the jewellery with rhodium.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is an alloy of copper and gold, which is used for fabrication of specialised jewellery such as wedding accessories. The colour can deviate from the expected rose hue depending on the metal proportions. If the copper content is high, the material will have a striking reddish shade. In some shops, you will find this marketed as red gold. Low copper alternatives have a very subtle redness, so they may be referred to as pink gold.

Green Gold

Green gold occurs in nature as a substance known as electrum. This material is an alloy of gold and silver and the intensity of the greenish colour will depend on how much of each metal is present. Additionally, you should note that the green gold jewellery is actually greenish-yellow. Cadmium and copper are sometimes added to the alloy for varying visual effects. However, you should note that there are health concerns linked to cadmium.

Gold can also be combined with some metals to form crystal structures instead of malleable alloys. These are known as intermetallic compounds. Popular types include purple gold, which is made from gold and aluminium, and blue gold, which contains indium.

For more information about different gold alloys, you may want to work with an experienced gold buyer from a company like PMT Pty Ltd.