Gold Properties and Their Aesthetic and Functional Effect

are 3 primary variants which this article will discuss being: yellow, white and rose. Even within these primaries there can be deviation by increasing the quantity on one constituent.











The basic and most familiar form of gold is yellow gold and this is the only type which can be pure or 24 carat. That is simply due to the fact that natural gold is this colour. Despite this, it is now very difficult to find a piece of jewellery which uses 24 carat gold. this is owing to the inherent softness of the metal. More often other metals will be added to the gold to alter its properties and make a more hard wearing alloy. Zinc is very often added to give the alloy a harder finish. Mostly though quantities of copper and silver are used to make it more durable and to prevent the colour being tainted. The result is that the highest carat gold readily available in jewellery is 18 carat.

In contrast to this the other two forms of gold referred to above are created with the intention of modifying the colour. Both of these will usually have the same purity of gold as yellow as they can also be made to 18 carat.

White gold is formed by the addition of other elements such as nickel or palladium. Surprisingly, silver is not added to create white gold. The addition of the more common nickel will create a tough alloy which is apt for rings which are likely to sustain impact or scratches. Detailed gem settings for precious stones like diamonds, rubies or amethysts are more likely to use a gold compound containing palladium as this will make the metal more ductile.

Very often copper will be added to white alloys in a proportion which is insufficient to noticeably change the overall colour when a little zinc is present also, despite its deep orange hue. The zinc counteracts the colour.

There is no addition of zinc to rose gold however and greater quantities of copper are used. The use of copper means that the resultant alloy is quite malleable and therefore less likely to break than pure gold. The added copper means that the tint of gold is modified to a rosy colour, though a deep red gold can be attained by increasing the proportion of copper alloyed. 18 carat rose go