A Rainbow of Gold
Standard silver and gold jewelry will always be treasured, but jewelry-wearers are expanding their interest to include colored metals, especially when it comes to gold. Because gold is such a soft metal, it is mixed with other metals for added strength. The metals (often silver and copper) are added in small amounts, so the yellow color is not affected. Gold “colors” are achieved by mixing enough metals with the yellow gold until a different hue is reached.
In its most pure form, gold is yellow. When mixed with a white metal (typically nickel, palladium, or manganese), the gold will adopt a whitish, silver color. These metals, when mixed with gold, act as a bleaching agent. So, when you’re wearing white gold, you’re wearing bleached gold.
Rose gold is a loose term used in the jewelry industry. Depending on the amount of copper mixed with the gold, it can range from a pale pink hue to a deep reddish hue. Rose gold was most popular in the Victorian era. Because vintage is the latest trend, the jewelry industry has seen a resurgence in the popularity of rose gold. Outside jewelry, rose gold does not have much value. Occasionally, luxury flutes and piccolos are made of solid rose gold.
When silver is mixed with gold, the final product is a yellowish green. Most times, green gold is hard to differentiate from yellow gold. Green gold, called electrum in ancient times, was the first metal to be used as currency in the form on a coin.
Black gold is unique in that it must be mixed with gold alloys and then treated in a variety of methods. It can be electroplated, lasered, or oxidized to achieve a gray or black color.
Black gold is not to be confused with Black Hills Gold. Black Hills Gold is a term used to describe a style of jewelry made in the Black Hills of South Dakota, home to the 1870s Black Hills Gold Rush. This jewelry features grape clusters and leaves in yellow, rose, and green gold.
Blue and Purple Gold
Blue and purple gold is formed when mixing pure gold with gallium or indium. However, you will rarely see blue or purple gold prevalent in the jewelry industry, because it tends to discolor easily. Especially when exposed to sweat and oils from the skin, these colors will fade from the gold.