A common question asked in regarding gold is do all of the different colors of gold have the same purity and value? The simple answer is yes. Now we will try to explain how they get their unique colors and what makes them different. It mostly has to do with the other metals alloyed with the gold and we will discuss how this works.
Any form of gold other than pure gold (24k) is alloyed with other metals. Alloying is a process of combining two or more metallic elements to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion. For example 10k gold has ten parts gold and 14 parts alloy, 14k gold has 14 parts gold and 10 parts other alloys etc. It is often expressed as a ratio 14/24 or you might see the number .585 (signifying 14k) or 18/24 or .750 (for 18k) on a piece of gold.
Interestingly enough there are actually many other colors of gold. Grey gold which is alloyed with manganese, copper, and silver. There is black gold which is created by using black rhodium. The least known is probably blue gold which is alloyed with Indium. However not to confuse you we are going to discuss the two most popular colors of gold, white and yellow.
Okay let us start with the basics. Why is gold alloyed with other metals? There are two main reasons. The most important one of course, is price. Gold in its pure form can be very expensive and most people would not be able to afford to wear jewelry every day. The second reason and equally as important, gold is an extremely soft and malleable metal which can be easily scratched or damaged, the alloys actually make the gold stronger and more durable.
Yellow gold in 14k combination is usually alloyed with copper and zinc while white gold is normally alloyed with a mixture of Palladium, silver, and Nickel. The white metals create the white color in the gold. Nickel is the cheapest way to alloy white gold however many people are allergic to nickel so silver or Palladium is used instead. Even though yellow gold seems be more pure than white gold so it would make sense that yellow should command a higher price, white gold is often more expensive than its yellow counterpart because it can be harder to fabricate and get that rich white color. In today’s marketplace white gold is more popular and trendy and often demands a premium. However, when it comes to recycling gold for some extra cash they are both worth the same.
It’s fascinating to know that the reason white gold became so popular is because our everlasting love for diamonds. When wearing a white gold band it complements the diamond and can make the diamond appear more brilliant in contrast to its yellow gold counterpart that creates the illusion that the diamond appears more yellow than it really is. In the 4 C’s of diamonds color plays a major role in the value and brilliance of a diamond so naturally people would prefer a metal that compliments this factor.
When choosing between white and yellow gold, a strong argument can be made to support either side. You can be rest assured that 14k white gold is the same purity as 14k yellow gold. It all comes down to taste and preference and what compliments your style and fashion.
In today’s market, precious stones like the diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald command a premium price due to their color, brilliance, and rarity. A common mistake often made by buyers of genuine colored gemstones is the belief that some stones are precious and some stones are only semi precious. While precious stones are obviously more famous; this does not necessarily mean that they are more valuable. Let’s try to sort out the myths and misconceptions from the actual realities about gems.
One of the most common misconception is that the list of precious stones is comprised of only the diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald as they are obviously the most famous. However there is a surprising list of other gems that belong in the precious gems category. Surprisingly the pearl which is not a gemstone, was still considered to be precious; and so was the opal. The amethyst was changed from precious to semi-precious after large deposits were found in Brazil and Uruguay. Amethysts were actually the first gemstone to ever be called semi-precious gemstones, and dates all the way back to 1858.
Although many believe that the diamond is the most rare of the precious stones, it actually is a myth. Before the Twentieth Century the ruby and sapphire were actually more valuable than the diamond, because they are actually more rare. Today the diamond tops the chart of precious gems but how did this happen?
After the discovery in 1870 of the South African diamond mines, diamonds were being mined by the ton. There was an abundant supply and very little demand for diamonds which cased the financiers of the mines to be in grave danger of losing their entire investment. Their solution was to create a cartel that limits and controls the supply of diamonds, famously known today as De Beers. Believe it or not quality diamonds are not rare at all! In order to maintain the high demand and high price, De beers controls the flow and supply of diamonds which creates the illusion that they are a rare commodity.
Part of De Beers brilliant marketing plan was the creation of the slogan “Diamonds are forever”. Just a couple hundred years ago the diamond was never used as a symbol of love, today it is considered an important part of the ritual of marriage.
In today’s market place “semi precious” stones like alexandrite, garnet, and Tanzanite can command a similar value to the ruby and sapphire. It is fair to say that we have reached the point that there is almost no distinction in value between semi precious and precious stones. The US Federal Trade Commission has actually considered banning the use of the terms semi precious and precious because it causes confusion. Many centuries ago a precious gemstones value was assessed largely on the rarity and brilliance of the gemstone. However in rapidly moving technology based world, factors like marketing and monopolizing the market place play a huge role in a gemstones value.