Most, if not all jewellery lovers will have their favourite precious metal, but did you know that it’s only the yellow gold of the three that is actually mined. White and rose gold are created through combinations of yellow gold and other metals. There are also many more aspects to these variants of gold, all of which are useful to know when deciding which colour is best for your needs, when making your final decision.
Yellow Gold Jewellery
Despite being considered the authentic type of gold, yellow gold is not often used at its purest state. When gold is at its purest (24ct) it’s not only expensive but can have aesthetic issues when not provided with proper care, even if great care is taken, due to the purity it can mis-shape quite easily. Because of these reasons, precautions are taken to ensure that yellow gold can be used within jewellery, especially as it is non-toxic, hypo-allergenic and highly resistant to corrosion in pure form.
The 24ct part of Gold is basically describing the metal in 24 parts, and so at 9 carats the piece would be only 37.5% pure gold (9 parts). As mentioned earlier, any yellow gold jewellery that is less than 24 karat will have been combined with different metals in order to form the finished jewellery.
For the pieces of jewellery that are indeed less than 24 carat, the gold will be mixed with zinc, copper, nickel, palladium and many more, making a 9ct piece of yellow gold jewellery, 9 parts pure gold and 15 parts of other metals. Although 24ct gold is usually mixed with other metals to create the jewellery we commonly buy today, in the early 1900’s, 24ct gold was used for wedding jewellery and would have been very thin bands, which made them some-what affordable, but again, due to the gold being fragile, they were very vulnerable to damage.
Yellow gold jewellery is beautiful, and so there is no surprise that it is used within such high class pieces of jewellery, looking fantastic alongside diamonds, making for the perfect wedding ring. Those of us with darker skin tones also tend to opt for yellow gold jewellery, particularly as the piece looks stunning against the skin.
White Gold Jewellery
White gold possesses similar colours to that of platinum, and so it is often purchased as an alternative to platinum – but as it’s not platinum, naturally white gold comes with its own problems.
White gold was often mixed with nickel many years ago, particularly because it would make the metal stronger, as well as being a bleaching agent for the gold. Following this, it was found that the nickel could cause skin irritations, and so many countries made the decision to stop the use of nickel as part of their white gold jewellery.
A new way of creating white gold jewellery was found, using a combination of the gold, palladium and silver. Although this formation does reduce the skin irritations and the potential of dermatitis, the cost of the jewellery is slightly higher than when nickel was used. Although the jewellery now contains two white metals, the jewellery still does often appear to have a warm hue, and so a coating of rhodium is applied to increase the brightness. With this addition, white gold jewellery is extremely beautiful, giving off a platinum look and pairing well with colourless diamonds, as well as most coloured gems.
If you’re unsure what gemstone to pair with white gold, draw inspiration from Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, which is made from 18ct white gold and not to forget the stunning 18ct blue sapphire.
Rose Gold Jewellery
Over the last 20 years, rose gold jewellery has become more and more popular, being used in some stunning pieces of jewellery and as part of many other different items. Rose gold is now often referred to as pink gold or red gold and even used to be known as Russian gold due to the extreme popularity that it gained in Russia in the early 1800’s.
Rose gold is formed by a combination of yellow gold, copper and silver, with the final colour being determined by the amount of copper used compared to the amount of silver. This type of gold brings more strength than yellow gold, and doesn’t carry any of the skin irritation issues that are associated white gold, proving why there has been such a rise in rose gold popularity.
Over recent years, rose gold has featured in more and more wedding rings, due to the unique nature of the pieces and their romantic appearance. Rose gold is particularly effective when combined with colourless diamonds, creating a bold contrast between the metal and the stone, of which can only be admired.
Jollys Jewellers are a family run jewellers in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, established since the 1830’s.