Gold is one of the most precious metals known to man. Humans have long valued this beautiful metal since ancient times. Even now, gold is a popular metal for jewellery and a coveted material in several industries, including dentistry and computers.
Gold, in its purest form, is a metallic, luminous yellow with a warm, reddish tinge. According to JewelCast Ltd, gold actually comes in varying shades, allowing artisans to create exquisitely wrought pieces in unusual colours.
Pure gold is rarely used in jewellery because it is too soft and malleable. It will warp and bend from the slightest application of force. To retain the shape of the pieces, jewellers use gold alloys instead. The Karat refers to the amount of gold the alloy contains. Pure gold is 24 Carats, while the alloys may range from 10 to 18Karats.
The number refers to the percentage of gold in the alloy. For example, an 18K consists of 18 parts gold to six parts of another metal. The type of metal mixed in affects gold. Here are the possible colour variations of gold:
Yellow gold consists of a mix of gold, silver, copper, and zinc. Increasing the amount of gold yields richer, warmer shades of yellow. It is the most common type of gold alloy available.
Red gold is a rich, copper toned gold with a deep, warm sheen. The tone comes mixing gold with copper. Red gold is usually about 25% copper and 75% gold.
Rose gold and its lighter pink gold is a yellow gold with a pinkish blush. Rose and pink gold can be achieved by mixing varying levels of gold with copper and silver. Rose gold is a trendy shade often emulated in smartphones like the iPhone 6S.
White gold is a bright, silvery shade. You can make white gold by either mixing gold with platinum or producing an alloy of gold, palladium, nickel, and zinc.
There are other, rarer shades of gold that jewellers experiment with. It is all a matter of mixing it with the right amount of metals. Who knows what other colours of gold are possible?