People always ask if the different colors of gold have the same purity and value. The simple answer is yes. Now we will try to explain how they get their unique colors and what makes them different. It mostly has to do with the other metals alloyed with the gold while it is being processed.
Any form of gold other than pure gold (24k) is alloyed with other metals. Alloying is a process that combines tow or metals to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion to the finished item. For example 10k gold has ten parts gold and 14 parts alloy, 14k gold has 14 parts gold and 10 parts other alloys etc. It is often expressed as a ratio 14/24 or you might see the number .585 (signifying 14k) or 18/24 or .750 (for 18k) on a piece of gold.
There actually many other colors of gold. Grey gold is alloyed with manganese, copper, and silver. Black gold is created by using black rhodium. The least known is probably blue gold, which is alloyed with Indium. But here we will discuss the two most popular colors of gold: white and yellow.
There are two main reasons gold is alloyed with other metals. The most important one of course, is price. Gold in its pure form can be very expensive and most people would not be able to afford to wear gold jewelry every day. The second reason is equally as important: gold is an extremely soft and malleable metal which can be easily scratched or damaged, and the alloys actually make the gold stronger and more durable.
Yellow gold in 14k is usually alloyed with copper and zinc and white gold is normally alloyed with a mixture of Palladium, silver, and nickel. The white metals create the white color in the gold. Nickel is the cheapest way to alloy white gold, but many people are allergic to nickel so silver or Palladium are used instead. Even though yellow gold seems be more pure than white gold, you might think it would make sense that yellow should command a higher price, but white gold is often more expensive than its yellow counterpart because it can be harder to fabricate to get that rich white color. In today’s marketplace white gold is more popular and trendy and often demands a premium. However, when it comes to recycling gold for some extra cash they are both worth the same.
It’s fascinating to know that the reason white gold became so popular is because our everlasting love for diamonds. When wearing a white gold band it complements the diamond and can make the diamond appear more brilliant in contrast to its yellow gold counterpart, which creates the illusion that the diamond appears more yellow than it really is. In the 4 C’s of diamonds color plays a major role in the value and brilliance of a diamond so naturally people would prefer a metal that compliments this factor.
When choosing between white and yellow gold, a strong argument can be made to support either side. You can be rest assured that 14k white gold is the same purity as 14k yellow gold. It all comes down to taste and preference and what compliments your style and fashion.
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