Here at Vrai & Oro, gold is offered in three colorways: rose, yellow, and white. Colored gold is a combination of pure gold and alloys, because in pure form (24k), gold is an orange-yellow color and is too soft to work with in jewelry. With the addition of alloys, the harsh orange color is softened and the material becomes more structurally sound and capable of retaining shape. Now, we’re exploring what alloys give rose gold its warm, blush toned hue, what yellow gold consists of, and which alloys cool down white gold.
Rose GoldRose gold is a mix of pure gold and copper, which gives it a pink finish. There is no single formula for the gold to copper ratio, though a true blush tone is usually around 25% copper by mass. Often deemed romantic and feminine, the copper in rose gold actually makes it structurally more sturdy than it’s regular, yellow gold counterpart. A very ‘of the moment’ metal, we’re particularly fond of its ethereal nature, and think it’ll remain a classic for years to come.
Yellow GoldYellow gold combines pure gold, fine silver, and copper to achieve a warm, pale yellow color. While there are many variations of yellow gold, we’ve found it most common to consist of 75% pure gold, 15% copper, and 10% silver. A classic, and certainly a V&O favorite—yellow gold is our most popular color choice, both here in the office and through our site.
As with rose gold, white gold is often 75% pure gold, 25% other alloys. In this case, gold is oftentimes mixed with zinc, palladium, or nickel to achieve its white color. In addition to this, white gold pieces are often dipped in rhodium, a brilliant, almost chrome-like white metal. Because of the rhodium plating, white gold is less prone to scratching, however, it is recommended that white gold should be “re-dipped” every few years to maintain its luster.
The other week, we discussed the composition of solid gold—a percentage of pure gold, strengthened by the addition of other alloys. These alloys, in certain concentrations, create the rose and white gold we’re all familiar with. We feel that it’s important to educate around our materials—it’s something we pride ourselves on. For more education related posts, visit our ‘Education’ tag.