A Guide to the Different Colors and Purity of Gold

Are you looking for the perfect gold jewelry piece to add to your collection? With so many types of gold colors and karats available, it’s important to understand your options before investing in a new piece.

In this article, we will explore the many colors of gold, as well as how karat weights can affect your jewelry’s durability and value. Whether you prefer elegant white gold, classic yellow gold, or have an eye for romantic rose gold pieces, by the end of this blog post, you will know everything about this popular precious metal.


Different Colors of Gold

While naturally occurring as yellow, jewelers and metalsmiths can mix gold with different alloys to produce other stunning colors.

  1. Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is a classic precious metal beloved by many. What sets yellow gold apart from other metals is its pure gold composition, which ranges from 75 to 90 percent depending on the karat weight. What makes yellow gold so alluring is its unique golden hue and luxurious shine. Whether used for an engagement ring or any other jewelry, yellow is one of gold’s most impressive color options.

  1. White Gold

White gold is a combination of yellow gold and white metals such as nickel, silver, or palladium. It has the same opulent feel of yellow gold, but it features a one-of-a-kind silvery-white color that many people find desirable. Most white gold jewelry has rhodium plating, which is a silver-colored metal that makes white gold pieces look more luxurious. As this coating wears off over time, professionals can easily reapply it to ensure your piece maintains its beauty and brilliance.

  1. Rose Gold

Rose gold is an alloy that has gained immense popularity in the last few decades. What distinguishes rose gold from other metals is its pinkish-red hue, which gives it an exquisite and unique look. The varying shades of pink change depending on the type and amount of alloy used (usually copper) to form rose gold. Its charming, subtle color makes it perfect for different jewelry pieces. What makes rose gold even more distinctive is how it complements many skin tones and hair colors, making it a popular choice among jewelry enthusiasts from all walks of life.


Different Karats of Gold

As mentioned in the article explaining the differences between karat and carat, the former is a measurement of gold jewelry, with 24K being the purest form. However, most consider this level of purity too malleable and ductile, necessitating a combination of other metals called “alloying” to craft gold into jewelry. This process creates various designations based on the number of additional materials present. Anything lower than 24K indicates less gold content and higher durability, but also reduced luster at times.

Let’s talk about the three most common karats of gold:

  • 14 Karat Gold. 14K gold jewelry contains 14 parts gold (about 58.3 percent) and 10 parts alloys (approximately 41.7 percent). Because of its strength and durability, 14K gold is ideal for everyday wear.
  • 18 Karat Gold. The higher-quality 18K gold contains 18 parts pure gold (75 percent) and 6 parts alloys (25 percent).
  • 24 Karat Gold. 24K gold is 100 percent pure, with no alloys added. Although 24K gold jewelry is available, it is not recommended for everyday wear due to its malleability.


Which Color of Gold Is Best?

When it comes to deciding which color of gold would be best for you, it’s important to consider a few key factors:

  • Lifestyle. If you have an active lifestyle, consider jewelry that offers some durability, such as white gold and rose gold pieces. Yellow gold is more prone to scratches, dents, and dings.
  • Sense of Style. If you lean more towards classic or vintage looks, you may prefer rose or yellow gold pieces for their romantic and timeless look.
  • Type of Gemstones. Those who love white diamonds are in luck because these stones look beautiful set in any of the three colors of gold. On the other hand, colored stones often look best in yellow or rose gold settings, though some, such as blue sapphires, shine brightest in white gold settings.
  • Budget. Finally, price is a significant consideration. White, yellow, and rose gold have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, and all are available in budget-friendly settings depending on the karat weight. In general, white gold vs. yellow gold prices vary according to actual gold content, as do rose gold vs. white gold prices.


What Is the Ideal Karat for You?

If you’re looking to invest in gold, having a deep understanding of karat is key. What karat of gold is best for you depends on a few factors, such as intended use and budget. For example, if you’re looking for something to wear on special occasions, higher-karat gold may be ideal because it has a much more vibrant color and luminosity. For more everyday pieces, a lower karat gold may work just fine, especially if budget is a concern. The trick is to match the right karat to your needs and wants.

Unfortunately, for millions of people, allergies stand in the way of enjoying lower-karat gold. Gold itself is not the problem, but rather the zinc, nickel, copper, and silver present in lower-karat gold pieces. 24K gold, palladium, and platinum are the safest options if you have sensitive skin.


A Final Word of Advice

Armed with the information we’ve provided, we hope you’ll find it easier to make an informed decision when shopping for gold jewelry. If you are ever in doubt, remember that yellow gold is universally flattering and classic, white gold goes with everything, and while rose gold is trendy, it is also timeless. And when it comes to karats, 14K is an all-time favorite for its strength and durability.


Where to Sell Gold and Precious Metals

Selling your gold jewelry can be a great way to make some extra money, and at Biltmore Loan and Jewelry, we are always looking to buy. We offer top dollar for any gold you bring in, whether it’s in the form of rings, necklaces, bracelets, or earrings. If you’re not ready to sell but need cash fast, you also have the option to use your gold jewelry as collateral for a loan. Come see us today or complete this form for an appraisal.