gold colors for jewelry

The Differences in Colors of Gold Jewelry

When researching gold settings there are three options available to choose from – yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold. While their appearance may be similar, they differ in their composition and color. When selecting the gold color for your ring setting, it really comes down to your personal preference but price might certainly play a factor in your final decision. Read on to see our list of the differences in colors of gold jewelry and their pros and cons.

The Differences in Colors of Gold Jewelry

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is made of 99.9% pure gold is mixed with alloys like zinc and copper. The amount of pure gold contained in a piece of jewelry depends on the Karat. Be careful cleaning and polishing yellow gold because a small amount of metal will wear off with every polishing.

Gold Karat Defined:

  • 14 Karat: 58.3% Pure Gold
  • 18 Karat: 75% Pure Gold
  • 22 Karat: 91.7% Pure Gold
  • 24 Karat: 99.9% Pure Gold

The higher the Karat the more pure the gold, however, it also makes for a less durable metal. Engagement and wedding rings most commonly use 14K or 18K gold for these reasons.

Pros of Yellow Gold

  • They can be matched to diamonds that have a lower color grade.
  • Compliments darker skin tones.
  • Easy for jewelers to manipulate and very malleable.
  • Of the three colors, it’s the easiest to maintain.
  • Most hypoallergenic of the three colors.
  • Most popular color for wedding and engagement rings.
  • The purest color of the three.

Cons of Yellow Gold

  • Can scratch and dent.
  • Needs to be polished and cleaned regularly.

Rose Gold

Rose gold encompasses and refers to the entire family of rose, pink, and red gold shades. Alloying pure gold with copper will produce the rose color and the more copper that’s mixed the redder the gold becomes. A popular mix for rose gold is 25% copper and 75% gold (18K). Having the same properties as white gold being an alloy the term “pure rose gold” doesn’t exist.

Pros for Rose Gold

  • Compliments all skin tones.
  • Rose gold is the stronger of the three and more durable due to the copper.
  • The alloy used to make rose gold makes this color more affordable.
  • Due to the pink color it’s known as the romantic color.
  • Acceptable for both women and men.

Cons of Rose Gold

  • Availability is less than white or yellow gold.
  • Not a hypoallergenic metal and might cause allergic reactions.

White Gold

White gold is made of an alloy mixed with white metals like silver, palladium, nickel, and pure gold with a coating of rhodium. For example, mixing pure gold with nickel does produce a harder metal that is ideal for brooch pins and rings. Mixing gold with soft metals like palladium makes it easy for soft settings where a gold alloy can be manipulated.

Pros of White Gold

  • Complements fair skin tones.
  • Compliments diamonds better than yellow gold.
  • More scratch-resistant and durable than yellow gold.
  • Trending more than yellow gold.
  • More affordable.

Cons of White Gold

  • Can cause allergic reactions due to the nickel that’s alloyed with it and it’s not hypoallergenic until it’s alloyed with other metals besides nickel.
  • Every few year’s routine maintenance is required by dipping and replacing the rhodium coating. Any jeweler can do this service and most jewelers offer these services for free.

Conclusion

The metal you choose for your ring setting is a matter of personal preference; however, it’s helpful to know the differences and how the composition can affect the price. Platinum and gold can look identical while platinum is significantly more expensive. We recommend investing more into the diamond than the ring setting. To get the perfect fit for your diamond and setting that will complement each other please reach out and we can fill you in. Let us know in the comments what your favorite gold color for jewelry is!

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