What are the different types of gold in jewelry?
When you are buying gold jewelry, you often get to choose between different types of gold colors, gold karats, and gold plating options. What do all those things mean, and is there a big difference between the different gold types? Here’s a quick guide to learn about gold colors, karats, and coatings.
Gold jewelry is not pure gold. It is an alloy; a mixture of metals. Gold jewelry can be alloyed with silver, copper, zinc, palladium, and nickel to create different gold colors. The most common gold colors are: yellow, white, rose, and green.
So which type of gold is the most popular? Yellow gold used to be the most favored choice, but when the gold price became more expensive, people turned to white gold instead. White gold has therefore been the more popular choice for the last 20-30 years, especially in engagement and wedding rings.
The first thing to look for when buying gold jewelry, is the karat mark ”k”. The karat mark will let you know how much gold content the jewelry has. Then, look for the manufacturer’s trademark next to the karat mark. The manufacturer’s trademark is there to assure you that the karat mark is accurate. So, what does the karat mark mean?
100% pure gold is marked as “24k”. However, it is unusual to find a “24k” mark on a jewelry because pure gold is a soft metal and is more likely to scratch and bend. Gold in jewelry is therefore often mixed with other metals to make it more durable. If you live in the United States, you will most likely find the mark that says “14k” because it is the most common type of gold used in jewelry in the U.S. Also, note that it is not legal to mark or sell jewelry as ”gold” if the gold is under 10k, according to laws in the U.S.
|Gold Karat||Stamps, Markings||Pure Gold Content||Alloyed With Other Metals||Note|
|24K||24K, 24 kt, 999||100%||0%||Tends to bend or scratch easily|
|18K||18K, 18kt, 750||75%||25%||Ideal for jewelry|
|14K||14K, 14kt, 585||58.5%||41.5%||Ideal for jewelry|
|10k||10K, 10kt, 417||41.7%||58.3%||Affordable for jewelry|
GOLD PLATING OPTIONS
To know what type of gold coating the jewelry has, look for the quality stamp on the metal. Without a quality stamp on the item, you will not be able to know the type of gold used; if the jewelry is gold plated, rolled gold plated, gold filled etc. There are several types of gold plating options that you may come across when buying gold jewelry. Below is a short description on what the different types of gold plating options actually mean.