Gold is a relatively rare metal which does not react with most chemicals. This is why gold appears in nature in an almost pure form and it is very shiny. This combination of qualities, along with the easiness of processing it, had turned gold from a rock to a status symbol – we wear gold, we decorate with gold, we use it as a basis of the monetary system and, recently some have begun to eat gold.
Gold has a variety of uses but we are interested, of course, in the use of gold to create jewelry.
First – Karats. We are all familiar with the indication of karats (14 karats, 18k, 22k) next to jewelry but many are not sure of the true meaning. Karat indicates purity in precious metals – the percentage of pure gold in an alloy. The basis is that 24 karats indicate total purity so if a piece of jewelry is made of a metal that is 50% gold it will be designated as 12k and so on. Since gold is a very soft metal, it is mixed with other metals to create jewelry and we can find jewelry containing gold up to 22k but not pieces made of pure gold.
And now, the colors. As mentioned, gold is mixed with different metals to create alloys. Different alloys have different colors and the most common ones are yellow gold, white gold and rose gold.
Yellow gold is, so to speak, the “regular” and familiar gold. White gold is an alloy with Palladium, nickel and sometimes with zinc and its color is similar to silver or platinum. Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper, giving the reddish color. The higher the percentage of copper in the alloy – the redder the color will be.
Now, we know something about gold and may give some help to our future purchasing.