What Are the Different Colors of Gold?

Everything that glitters is not gold," they say. Likewise, not all that glitters are created equal when it comes to gold. Gold jewellery comes in many styles and variations depending on many factors, such as the metals used in its construction. We've outlined some key elements you should be aware of before investing in your next gold jewellery.

Gold: What Is It?

Gold is a dense precious metal with the elemental symbol Au on the periodic table. It has long been connected to wealth and affluence. It is bright yellow in its purest form, incredibly durable, highly malleable, and primarily found in nature in its purest form. In most igneous rocks, gold can be found in low concentrations and forms in the Earth's crust.

Gold: What Is It?

Why Is Gold Coloured?

Pure gold is too soft to be used alone in jewellery because of its malleability. Alloys, or mixtures of metals, are needed to combine gold with other metals to create jewellery suitable for daily wear. Silver, copper, and palladium alloys are the most often utilised types when solidifying gold. Different alloys and gold combinations result in a range of glossy metal colours.

Besides its malleability, gold's other redeeming qualities make it the most popular metal for jewellery worldwide. It is aesthetically beautiful, long-lasting (it doesn't tarnish or leave marks on your skin), and has long been associated with prestige and class.

Most people associate gold with the three colours of rose, white, and yellow. Although those are undoubtedly the most common, gold is available in various colours, including green and black. In addition to its durability, gold has numerous other desirable qualities. Gold is the most widely used metal for jewellery worldwide for the following reasons:

  • It is not tarnished.
  • It is long-lasting enough to endure a lifetime.
  • Elegantly designed, historically connected to social standing and a representation of affluence

The History Of Gilded Gold

Rose gold is said to have been used as early as the first millennium, and coloured gold has been around for centuries. Then, in the 1800s, rose gold became fashionable thanks to Carl Faberge, the jeweller, and his adorned Faberge eggs. High society women used it extensively in engagement rings and fine jewellery in the early 1900s.

Various Gold Karats

It helps first to understand what a karat is and then to comprehend the various karats of gold. A gold karat equals 1/24 of the total or 4.1667%. We can determine the purity of a gold alloy based on the quantity of the components present. To make jewellery wearable and long-lasting, 24k pure gold must be combined with other metals because it is too soft to wear alone. There are different karat levels as a result of this alloying or mixing. Lower karat jewellery is harder and more durable, so it costs less overall because it contains less gold.

14 karat gold: what is it?

Ten alloys (41.7%) and fourteen parts gold (58.3%) make up 14k solid gold. 14k gold is considered the most used type because of its strength.

18-carat gold: what is it?

Superior grade 18k solid gold is composed of 6 parts alloys and 18 parts gold (75%).

24-carat gold: what is it?

24k gold is entirely pure—alloys are not included. Because 24k gold is so pliable, daily use is not advised.

Gold Jewellery Types

Although various gold jewellery pieces may seem alike at first glance, their quality and price can differ greatly based on the manufacturing method.

Plated in gold

Gold-plated jewellery is usually the least expensive option. It comprises a base metal, such as brass or copper, thinly coated with gold (less than 0.05%). Over time, the gold layer on jewellery with a gold plating may tarnish or fade.


A solid layer of gold is manually bonded to a foundation similar to a jeweller's brass to create jewellery of higher quality filled with gold. Compared to gold-plated jewellery, gold-filled jewellery has almost 100 times more gold, and the mechanical bonding process ensures that the gold won't scratch off.

Vermeil Gold

Gold vermeil jewellery, pronounced "ver-may," is made of sterling silver with a heavy layer of gold plating. Its quality and durability surpass gold-plated jewellery, just like gold-filled jewellery. There are 2.5 microns of gold in true vermeil. The manufacturing process distinguishes gold-filled jewellery from gold vermeil jewellery. Electroplating is used for gold vermeil, and pressure and heat bonding is used for gold-filled products.

Inviolable Gold

Solid gold is a piece of jewellery made entirely of gold without base metal. It is available in different karats (discussed above), with higher karat jewellery being more expensive, higher quality, and purer.

What Are Coloured Gold's Origin?

Gold comes in a multitude of hues, each with a distinct past. While some coloured gold can only be produced artificially, others can be found in nature. Every shade of coloured gold gets its colour from the presence of another metal.

An alloy is created when two or more metals are mixed, either in a crucible or beneath the surface of the Earth, under pressure and heat. Throughout human history, alloys have played a crucial role. First off, alloys are frequently more durable than pure metals, particularly when it comes to soft metals like gold. Second, the scarcity of a precious metal like gold makes it expensive.

The Lydian people—ancient inhabitants of the Anatolian peninsula—discovered the value of green gold, one of the naturally occurring colours of gold, for both purposes. It's possible that the Lydians were the first to employ coinage as money, and they were also the first to manipulate the value of their currency to their advantage in trade with other countries.

They achieved this by using green gold rather than pure gold, which enabled them to purchase goods at a reduced price from other countries surreptitiously.
While rose, white, yellow, and green gold have been valued for centuries, other, more exotic hues of gold are relatively new, resulting from methods like controlled oxidation and other surface manipulation techniques.

Which Gold Shades Are There?

Eight primary types of gold are used in jewellery, though the hue of each shade of gold can vary. Let's examine each one of them!

Yellow gold:

When we imagine pure gold, we picture yellow gold. As mentioned, yellow gold can be purchased at various prices due to its availability in different karats. The industry standard for high-end jewellery is 18K, typically made of copper, silver, and gold.

Yellow gold:

Metals like silver and copper are added in different ratios to pure gold, which is too soft to use alone, giving most jewellery its yellow hue. But in addition to copper and silver, 22k yellow gold (more on the 'k' rating below) also typically contain some zinc.

White gold:

A combination of "white" metal and gold, such as nickel, silver, platinum, or palladium, is called white gold. The term "white gold" is broad and encompasses a variety of gold colours. Pink and green gold have been called "white gold." White gold is durable when combined with silver, but palladium, a softer metal, makes the alloy more pliable. These various alloys can help with gem-setting, reinforcement, and other stages of the jewellery-making process. Pure gold is combined with white metals like silver, nickel, and palladium to create the white gold variety.

Rose gold:

In the early 1800s, rose gold was highly favoured by the Russian nobility. Rose Gold gained the moniker "Russian Gold" when the nobility fled to the West after the October Revolution of 1917 and utilised these pieces to purchase real estate and other assets in their new home nations. In the 1920s, many of these pieces were in use, but over time, the metal became less fashionable and more closely related to antiques. Following the fall of the Iron Curtain in the 1990s, there was an increase in Western popularity due to increased trade with the former USSR.

Rose gold is a gold-copper alloy distinguished from red and pink gold by the proportion of gold to copper and by the presence or absence of silver. There are four grades of rose gold:

  • 18K rose gold (22.25% copper, 2.75% silver, and 75% gold)
  • 75% gold, 20% copper, and 5% silver make up the 18K pink gold.
  • 75% gold and 25% silver make up 18K red gold.
  • 12K red gold (half copper, half gold)

The 18K variations are valued at the same levels as yellow gold and available at similar prices. Despite being rarer, the 12K variety is often less expensive because of its decreased purity.

It's crucial to remember that pink gold typically requires more upkeep than rose gold when looking at the 18k options because it is softer. Because rose gold contains copper, it is also not hypoallergenic. Therefore, if you're buying rose gold jewellery for someone, make sure they can wear it comfortably. Rose gold may be romantic, but it won't be romantic if it causes a skin rash.

Most rose and yellow gold variants employ copper and silver alloys, albeit in varying proportions. For example, rose gold has a higher copper content than silver, and yellow gold has a lower copper content than silver. But 22-carat rose gold isn't made of silver. But 22-carat rose gold isn't made of silver. Rose gold may occasionally be called red gold, depending on the alloy used.

Green gold:

composed of pure gold, copper, silver, and zinc, is one of the common shades of gold. Depending on the alloys used, green gold can have a variety of hues, from light to deep green.
Purple gold is a variation that is made by combining aluminium and gold. But because of its brittleness, it's not as frequently used in jewellery.

The history of green gold dates back to the sixth century BC. As mentioned above, the Lydian people of modern-day Turkey utilised green gold as money. Green gold, also known as "white gold," was applied to the summits of pyramids and obelisks, two notable examples of sacred structures in ancient Egypt. Since 1980, the alloy has been used to award the Nobel Prize in more recent history.

The 18K (75% gold) and 14K (58.5% gold) varieties of green gold differ in colour depending on the proportions of gold, silver, copper, zinc, cadmium, and nickel utilised in their manufacture. The 14K versions are generally less valuable than the 18K versions.

Generally speaking, toxic metals nickel and cadmium may be present in older 18K green gold. Besides that, green gold is a unique and intriguing metal that will draw attention.

Violet Gold:

Purple gold is rare, an alloy of gold and aluminium utilised in jewellery. This is because the gold becomes brittle when aluminium is added, and the metal can shatter when struck.

Because of this, even though it typically weighs 88% gold, it is typically used in place of a gem in a piece. It's fairly difficult to find because it's difficult to work with and has many great uses.

Blue gold:

is a relatively new trend that is not yet widely accepted. The alloy that makes up "real" blue gold is made of gold and either gallium or indium, giving it a greyish hue. This metal is reasonably cheap, durable, and typically has a purity level of about 11K.

Bright-blue gold occasionally referred to as the substance in question, is typically made of sterling silver plated in gold and treated with a blue dying agent. Overall, blue gold isn't very common, but when it is, it's usually fairly cheap, if a little tacky. Blue gold is one of the less common shades of gold, combining gold with indium, iron, or gallium.

Grey gold:

is the colour that is produced when pure gold is mixed with iron, manganese, copper, or silver.

Black gold:

There are several methods for creating the black gold hue. For example, pure gold is combined with cobalt and heated to a particular temperature to make cobalt oxide. Another popular technique for producing black gold is electroplating, which involves coating gold jewellery with a black finish, typically made of ruthenium or black rhodium.

Three processes can produce black gold: patination, chemical vapour deposition, and oxidation. These are all intricate procedures and plating techniques. As a result, unlike rose and white gold, which are real materials, black gold does not exist. The novelty factor might be alluring, but the plating will wear off after about a year, leaving you with a white gold ring.

Which Gold Shade Is the Best?

The brevity of the response is that none exists! A person's unique style, sense of fashion, and individuality play a role in their decision to wear gold.

Yellow gold rings are seriously returning despite white gold engagement rings being the most popular in recent years. Rose gold designs are attractive, particularly with eye-catching gemstones in light yellow and turquoise tones.

Wearing mixed metal styles is another way to update classic jewellery silhouettes and give your outfit flair. Some styles feature two or more tones of gold. Not only are rings made of gold, but amazing fine jewellery is also crafted from this metal.

The Value Of Purchasing Gold From A Reputable Vendor

Even though there are rules governing minimum requirements for gold dealers to adhere to, some are likely to flout the rules and provide inferior goods. Dealing with reliable dealers is essential because of this.

Purchasing gold from reputable dealers has the following benefits:

Fine jewellery:

Purchasing gold from a trustworthy dealer guarantees its quality. For example, if the jewellery is marked 14k, you can be sure that the gold content hasn't been altered, making it valuable.

Trained personnel:

You can feel even more confident about the quality of their products if you choose a reputable retailer, as they will almost certainly have trained personnel. In essence, this gives you confidence that the employees are knowledgeable about the goods and procedures involved so that you can trust them.

Ethical practices:

Purchasing gold from a reputable dealer assures you that the goods were sourced ethically, meaning that the necessary procedures were followed in compliance with regulatory standards.

Customer service:

Lastly, you can rely on a respectable retailer to be accommodating throughout the selection, purchasing, and post-purchase phases. Purchasing gold should ideally be an expensive venture, so it helps to know that the dealer will immediately address any worries or enquiries you have.

Acknowledging and Managing Gold Allergies

Allergies to gold are uncommon but can happen. Redness, swelling, or itching where the jewellery contacts your skin are possible symptoms. But more frequently than not, the reaction is brought on by other metals combined with the gold.

Recall that our LBJ Jewellery Concierge service will help you if you have any questions concerning a skin response. We serve as your champions, guiding you through the jewelry-buying process with confidence, passion, and knowledge.

Even More Hypoallergenic Jewels Beyond Yellow Gold

The word "hypoallergenic jewellery" is one that you have probably heard about. What does that signify, though? In other words, hypoallergenic jewellery reduces the possibility of allergic responses. This is essential if you have sensitive skin and wish to enjoy your favourite pieces without discomfort.

At LBJ, we recognise the value of wearing jewellery that complements your skin tone and exudes elegance. We have a wide selection of hypoallergenic items that let your skin breathe as you shine because of this.

Do not panic if you discover that yellow gold does not go nicely with your skin tone! There is no shortage of hypoallergenic materials and metals. Each metal—platinum, sterling silver, titanium—brings special beauty and advantages related to hypoallergenic properties. We can turn your concept into any of these options, eliminating the retail middleman to guarantee the greatest pricing.


Solid gold: Is it Real Gold?

Different and Audacious. Solid Gold: All of the gold in solid gold jewellery is used inside and out! The proportion of 24k gold in a piece of jewellery is expressed in different Karats. Though priciest, it is also the most robust.

Solid gold: Is it Real Gold?

What should we inspect in Coloured Gold?

We should inspect the following factors.

Purity: Many purportedly coloured gold pieces are silver plating.
Safety: Because they are toxic, nickel, cadmium, and mercury should be avoided.
Choose a carat count based on your needs: lower-purity gold lasts longer, even though higher-value metal may seem more appealing.

Which Color Of Gold Is The Most Expensive?

It is the purity that matters, not the colour. The higher the value, the purer the alloy.

What Kind of Gold Is The Rarest?

Modern smelting techniques have made it possible to produce most colours of gold artificially, but pure 24K gold remains the rarest.

Which shade of gold is most popular?

The most prevalent colours of gold are white and yellow gold.

Which Shade of Gold Is the Best?

Ultimately, preference and intended use are the deciding factors: does it complement your other jewellery? Does it fit within your budget? Is it difficult to wear? The rest is up to you; these are the facts!

Which shade of gold is the most precious?

Yellow is usually the most valuable colour of gold because it has a pure, timeless appearance. One may prefer a different shade, like rose gold or white, for aesthetic or practical reasons. Still, these are typically combined with other metals, which lowers their purity and, consequently, their value.

Does gold cause allergies?

Since gold causes allergic reactions on the skin, it is generally regarded as hypoallergenic. However, other metals or alloys, like nickel or copper, may occasionally be present in gold jewellery, which can cause allergies in some people.

Final remarks

Most people think of shiny yellow, rose, or white metal when you mention gold; a few others might think of green. Colours like purple, blue, or black are rarely connected to gold. We hope we've clarified any confusion you may have had about the colours of gold. Ideally, you will be able to nod in agreement the next time you visit a gold retailer and they suggest black or blue gold.

Meanwhile, remember that you can always rely on us for fine, personalised jewellery, whether shopping for gold for an upcoming engagement or wedding or as a present for someone special. https://www.luxurybrandjewellery.com.au