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Different Types of Gold Jewellery

Gold has continued to remain the principal constituent of fine jewelleries in India for centuries. In its purest form, this precious metal shows a reddish-yellow colour with a bright luminous hue. However, combining it with other metals can produce different variants. Moreover, this alters the form and colour of gold, among which we are most familiar with yellow, white and rose. So, if you want to find out about other different types of gold and their colours, please continue reading.

Colours of Gold Jewellery

Apart from the most common yellow colour of gold, you can find other variants. The different gold colours are produced depending on the types of combining metals in different proportions. These colour variants include the following:

1. Pure Gold

The purest form of gold is slightly reddish yellow in colour. It is of 24 karats and contains no other metals. However, jewellers do not use this form to make jewellery as it is very soft and malleable and not suited for everyday use. Therefore, instead, they alloy it with other metals to make more durable jewellery.

2. Yellow Gold Alloys

Yellow gold alloys can be produced by combining pure gold with silver, copper, or zinc. This looks similar to the pure form but adds durability and strength to its structure. However, the purity of this type is about 75%, with 12.5% of copper and silver each. It is the most popularly used form of gold jewellery in India. Yellow alloys mostly come in the purity range of 18k to 22k, which makes for durable jewellery. 

3. White Gold

The white gold colour is gained through the combination of pure gold with silver, nickel or palladium. Another popular way to achieve this colour is by mixing gold and platinum. The gold purity of this variant is generally 18 karat which is produced by mixing 90% gold with 10% of nickel or silver. Therefore, it is scratch-resistant and durable and is often coated with a layer of rhodium to give it an added shine. It is often preferred over platinum to make diamond jewellery. 

4. Rose Gold

Rose gold is an alloy made of predominantly copper, silver and gold. It constitutes 75% of gold, 22.25% copper, and 2.75% silver. Moreover, there are two other variants of this kind: red gold and pink gold. All of these variants are made up of the same metals. However, the difference in colours depends on the percentage of copper in the alloy. Generally, rose gold jewelleries are of 18k gold. However, 22k rose gold, also known as crown gold, is its highest karat version.

5. Green Gold

Green gold is a rare variant of a gold alloy, also known as Electrum. Unlike the other kinds, green gold forms naturally comprising silver, gold and sometimes copper. The greenish-yellow colour forms due to the presence of silver. Artificially, it can be produced by mixing cadmium with gold. The amount of the different metals used are 75% gold, 15% silver, 6% copper, and also, 4% cadmium.

6. Grey Gold

This is also one of the rare gold forms. It is produced by blending gold with palladium. However, many goldsmiths use magnesium, copper or silver instead of palladium to manufacture it in a much cheaper way. Grey gold is mainly made out of 18k gold and is often formed naturally due to high iron proportion.

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Types of Gold Jewellery

Gold jewellery is made mainly from rose, yellow and white gold. While jewellery pieces may look similar, goldsmiths employ different methods to style them. Prices vary based on the making style of the products as well as the quantity and purity of gold used. Here are the most used variants:

  • Gold Plated

Gold-plated jewellery pieces are low-cost options, mainly made of brass or copper brass metal. A thin layer of gold sheet is fused on the surface of a jewellery piece made of different base metals to give it an appearance of real gold. However, the low content of the yellow metal (0.5% or less) can result in fading or tarnishing with time.

  • Gold-Filled

Gold-filled jewelleries contain a higher quantity of gold than gold-plated ones. Here the base metal includes sterling silver or any other metal. On the surface, gold (5% approximately) is mechanically bonded to the base. These are more durable due to mechanical bonding and have a low chance of wearing off. 

  • Gold Vermeil

With an increased percentage of gold, vermeil jewellery consists of a metal base (mainly sterling silver) coated with a thick layer of gold plating. As a result, these jewelleries have higher durability as well as quality than gold-plated ones. Moreover, true vermeil includes 2.5 microns of gold made from 14k or 22k gold.

Both gold-filled jewelleries and vermeil are of higher quality. However, their difference lies in the manufacturing style. Gold-filled jewelries use a mechanical pressure and heat technique to bond the metals, whereas vermeil uses an electro-plating process.

  • Solid Gold

Solid gold jewellery is one of the most elegant pieces of ornaments. It is entirely made from gold with no other added metals. However, jewellers use gold in 22k, 14k or lower as they are harder and more durable. The gold alloys can comprise rose, white or yellow variants to create exclusive looks. The cost of solid gold generally depends on the quality and purity of the gold, as mentioned above.

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Different Karats of Gold

Before understanding how different colours of gold jewellery are achieved, you must learn about the different karats of gold. Based on purity and quality, gold can be broadly divided into the following categories:

  • 24K Gold

This is the purest form of gold which contains 100% gold without any trace element. 

  • 22K Gold

This type of gold contains approximately 90% of gold and 10% of other metals such as silver, zinc, copper, etc.

  • 18K Gold

18k gold refers to 75% pure gold mixed with 25% of other metals. This is the most preferred form for making studded jewellery such as diamonds, emeralds, etc.

Gold is considered to be one of the most auspicious metals in India. Therefore, the demand for gold jewellery in India is so high. Moreover, it also has various industrial uses and is considered a good investment tool due to its high liquidity. This article focuses on the different types of gold based on their purity, colour and jewellery-making variety. Therefore, one must be aware of these types before making the right purchase.

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FAQs on Different Types of Gold

The yellow variant of gold jewellery is the most popular one. It is made from an alloy of pure gold and other metals such as silver, copper, or zinc.

Rose gold of 22 Karats purity is known as crown gold. It is the highest-quality version of this variant.

Yes, the government has dropped the import duty charges to 10% from 12.5%. However, it also includes a customs duty of 7.5% and an agriculture infrastructure and development cess of 2.5%.

Gold can come in five colours. However, the different colours to make jewellery are white, rose, and yellow gold.

The different types of gold jewellery are gold plated; gold filled, gold vermeil, and solid gold.

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