Colors and Karats: Your Complete Guide to the Different Types of Gold

By admin / April 9, 2020

Ever wondered how many different types of gold are out there? A lot, it turns out. Read on to learn everything about this precious metal.

Your father is the owner of a jewelry store. You were never interested in the family business. However, your father has taken ill, and you need to run the store.

You must learn everything there is to know about gold. However, you don’t know where to start. You don’t know about the karat system.

You also don’t know about the purity levels of gold jewelry. You only know that there are different types of gold in the market. However, you don’t know what type of gold jewelry you’re selling.

Where should you begin?

Learning about gold is simple, as the purest gold comes in a yellowish form. Manufacturers incorporate non-metals that make the gold tougher.

Gold that’s mixed with other metals is less expensive. This article will provide an in-depth review of gold and its mixed variations. Let’s explore.

How Many Gold Colors are in the Market?

There are many different colors of gold, such as black, green, purple, and blue. However, the three most popular colors include yellow, white, and rose.

Yellow gold usually derives from a mixture of gold, silver, copper, or zinc. It requires less maintenance than other gold colors.

The mixed variety will come in other colors. Gold includes other metals that include:

  • Nickel
  • Zinc
  • Palladium
  • Silver

Aside from yellow gold, the next most popular colors of gold include white, green, and rose. Rose (pink) gold is the least expensive due to its copper infusion, giving the metal a reddish hue. You can visit designer jewelry shops to learn more about rose gold and other colors.

Because of its copper levels, however, rose gold is more durable than other gold types. Green gold also has copper in it, including silver. Silver gives green gold its greenish color.

White gold is pricier than rose and green gold. It comprises such elements as platinum nickel, palladium, or zinc.

This type of gold is more resistant to scratches than yellow gold. It’s also more durable than other forms of gold.

White gold has been a very popular choice over the past few decades. It’s also common in wedding rings and engagement rings.

How Does the Karat System Work?

Karat stands for Karatage. The gold scale ranges from 10k to 24k. 24k gold is the purest form of gold, containing no metals whatsoever.

Since gold is a soft metal, however, it’s more susceptible to damage. Therefore, most manufacturers combine gold with metals to harden it. The most common type of gold you’ll find is 14k, especially in the United States.

14k gold includes the following metals:

All of these elements also make gold resistant to rusting or tarnishing of any kind. Overall, 14k gold is roughly 58 percent gold.

You’ll find 14k gold in earrings, pendants, or engagement rings. It’s the type of gold fit for everyday wear.

Higher Karat Types

18k gold, on the other hand, is around 75 percent gold. When eyeing an 18k piece, look for such numbers as 750 or .75.

A number of 750 means that the gold amounts to 750 parts per thousand. Further, .75 means that the gold is 75-percent gold.

If you’re susceptible to allergic reactions from metal contact, an 18k is the better choice than lower karats. 18k gold usually comes with copper, silver, nickel, or zinc. Overall, it’s among the most valuable forms of gold on the market without jeopardizing the integrity of the gold.

The main drawback of 18k jewelry is that you shouldn’t wear it every day. Wearing this type of gold daily could expose it to wear. Since gold is a softer metal, the higher gold content within 18k jewelry makes it vulnerable to scratches and bending.

For 22k gold, the gold level is a little over 90 percent. The gold contains the same metals as other karats, such as nickel or silver. Even though you’ll find 22k gold in jewelry, you’ll also find 22k gold in gold bullion or cold coins.

You’ll also recognize 22k pieces due to its heaviness. It also has a deep gold color. In addition to being more expensive, it can scratch easier due to higher gold levels.

Cheaper Forms of Gold

If you want your gold as an everyday piece, choose the 14k or 10k variety. When it comes to 10k, this type of gold is 41.7 percent.

You’ll find this form of gold .417. Like 18k, manufacturers will include nickel, zinc, or copper. Since 10k includes higher amounts of cheaper metals, you’re more susceptible to skin reactions if you have allergic sensitivities.

With that, it’s the most affordable form of gold in the United States. It’s also the most durable, and it’s a fine choice for daily wear.

How to Avoid Skin Allergies

Many tend to avoid 10k because they think it will turn their fingers green or black. While this is true, the fact is that higher-tier jewelry can also discolor your fingers. Additionally, even high-karat jewelry can discolor the skin in some cases.

If you get a black ring on your finger, for instance, it most likely stems from the silver reacting to certain acids in the air, hence the black coloring. The green coloring may stem from a copper mixture within the silver.

10k or 14k is more likely to cause allergic reactions. Skin tarnishing will affect those who have a particular sensitivity to metals, such as nickel or copper.

Skin discoloration can also occur if you use lotions while wearing jewelry. However, the skin reaction usually vanishes after a few days, and there are no lingering side effects.

Which Types of Gold are Best for Casual Wear?

The best kind of gold for casual wear includes 10k or 14k. Both karats are more affordable and accessible.

However, 10k and 14k comes with a higher likelihood of skin reactions. You may want to switch to a higher karat if you’re allergic to such metals like nickel or copper.

With that, higher forms of gold are prone to scratching due to the softness of the gold itself.

Interested in reading more? Read more on our website to gain more insight into a wide array of topics.



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