When many people think of gold, they picture a yellow metal made of pure material. While there is pure gold (the chemical element), virtually no jewelers make their products from this alone. Gold by itself is a soft metal, and so if it is entirely pure, it is vulnerable to scratching and damage from extended wear. Because of this, most jewelers create rings, bracelets, and necklaces from alloys, or mixtures of gold and other precious metals. Different alloys have different properties, values, and colors. Here are the three most popular varieties:
1. Yellow Gold
This is the most classic type of alloy and is made from precious metals including gold, silver, copper, and zinc. The bright yellow color is immediately recognizable, and this is why historically most jewelry has been made from this variety. It presents a pleasing aesthetic contrast with diamonds. However, it may look odd next to brightly-colored gemstones, so it is not the most popular variety for rings, necklaces, or bracelets with bold gems.
Another benefit of this particular alloy is that can be the purest. This makes it a form of status symbol, as it is the only color that can be 24K. Since it does not include nickel or other potentially irritating metals, it is also the most hypoallergenic variety. Lower karat values can also be lower maintenance and require less work to maintain color than white or rose varieties.
2. White Gold
While the yellow alloy was historically the most popular, white gold has become more and more common, especially in engagement rings. This alloy is created from gold, platinum or palladium, and occasionally nickel and zinc as well. The pure color looks ideal next to diamonds, and it creates a sense of elegance. Yellow and rose varieties also can clash with colored gemstones, so gemstone jewelry tends to use the white alloy most often. It also looks more modern than the yellow variety in many cases.
Another benefit of the white alloy is that due to the addition of platinum/palladium, this variety is more durable. It can last long-term, which makes it ideal for engagement and wedding rings since these are worn daily. However, jewelry made from this allow is often coated with a layer of rhodium or platinum, and thus requires more maintenance. Jewelers cannot resize the ring if it has this protective layer, and it will require dipping very few years to maintain color.
3. Rose Gold
This alloy is gaining more popularity, as its pink color appeals to those who desire a romantic aesthetic. This is also more popular with younger demographics. Many millennials are purchasing rose gold engagement rings and other types of jewelry. The rose color comes from the use of copper in the alloy, which also includes gold and silver.
Due to the addition of copper, this variety is the most affordable. Copper is much less expensive from platinum or silver. Copper also makes this the most durable variety, and it can last long-term without major scratching or damage. However, this variety is not always available despite its growing popularity.
At Precious Metals Refinery, we buy gold of any of these varieties. Regardless of purity or what components are included in your jewelry’s specific alloy, we will evaluate your jewelry and give you the best price. Call us at 520.747.4653 and visit us today and get the best gold price per ounce in Tucson!