Gold comes in different colors. The element symbol for gold is Au. The symbol comes from the old Latin name for gold, Aurum. Which means “shining dawn” or “glow of sunrise”. Gold is the only metal that is yellow or “golden.” Other metals may develop a yellowish color, but only after they have oxidized or reacted with other chemicals. There are many colors of gold, this precious metal has many faces. So, how is it there is also white gold, rose gold & green gold color varieties available? Well, the alloy determines the color of karated gold, or other metals mixed with the gold. Many engagement ring & wedding ring designs contain a mixture of gold colors.
If we look at 18K gold rings, for example. 18 karat implies 18 parts in 24 of gold. That is to say that 75% of the metal composition is pure gold. The other 25% is comprised of other metals (alloy).
So, how do you create different gold colors?
- Yellow Gold (Traditional) – The alloy is made up of half silver & half copper
- White Gold – The alloy used is nickel or platinum (palladium)
- Rose Gold (Pink Gold) – The alloy contains more copper than silver
- Green Gold (Electrum) – The alloy contains more silver than copper
To provide a scratch-resistant, anti-tarnish surface for jewelry, we use rhodium electroplating. RH plating is most often found on white gold. This is because it gives a white reflective appearance.
However, RH plating is not advisable on yellow gold jewelry. First off, there is no need to do so. Secondly, the yellow of the gold is so strong that about 6 months after RH plating, the gold color will start to come through again.