What Makes Gold 3 Different Colors?

December 20, 2018

18kt white gold omega ladie's bracelet

Yellow, white or rose are the three different colors for gold used when creating beautiful pieces of jewelry.  In its natural state, gold is soft and yellow, so how does it become white and rose?

Citrine, Diamond and 14kt Rose Gold RingGold, in its pure form is a very soft metal. In order for it to be practical for jewelry it needs to be mixed with different metals in order to gain strength.  The most pure gold is known as 24kt. The other designations such as 18kt, 14kt and 10kt indicate the purity of the gold.  It's the addition of the other metals that creates the different shades of gold.

Copper is the metal that is mixed in that creates the pink color in rose gold. This was first seen during the 19th Cent in Russia. (aka Russian gold). The Victorians enjoyed rose gold.

The formula for white gold was patented in the 1920's. It used nickel and zinc to give gold the white color. The patent ran out in the 1930's. Silver and titanium are more commonly used today.

Cartier created a now famous and vastly popular "Trinity" ring which used all three gold colors in the 1920's.

During the 1930's platinum and diamonds became the most sought after material for the popular jewelry designs. This was an era of art deco and geometric shapes. World War II changed that. Platinum was vital to the war effort and could no longer be used in jewelry.  White gold became the touted substitute for platinum during that time.

The colors of gold may fall in and out of favor in fashion, but there is no doubt that beautiful jewelry has been created and enjoyed in every shade.

Seaside Art Gallery has a lovely selection of estate jewelry.





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