What are the Different Types of Gold Used for Jewelry?

When choosing a color of jewelry, gold is one of the most popular choices. But did you know that there are different types of gold used for jewelry? The secret behind that is blending gold with different metals to come up with variety of shades. Here are the different types of gold used for jewelry.

Yellow Gold

The natural color of gold is yellow. However, since pure gold is very soft, it needs other metals to make it harder. Therefore, it is mixed with silver or copper that brings out its natural warmth. The yellow gold jewelry has different degrees of purity which depends on how much actual gold it contains that is measured by the1 karat. The lower the gold content, the lower the karat number is. Lower-karat jewelry has less intense yellow color and are much harder and durable compared to the high-karat pieces.

Karats are used to measure the purity of gold. According to the law, if the jewelry is real gold, a karat stamp is required. One Karat jewelry is equivalent to 1/24ths of gold the other 23/24ths being something else. Ten Karat is only 41.7% real gold and it is the lowest value of any solid jewelry. Most types of jewelry in the United States is 14-karat gold. The reason for this is it is affordable and purer compared to the 10-karat gold. If you want an extremely pure gold jewelry which is still durable enough to wear, then 18-karat gold is for you. It has 75% pure gold and 25% filler metals. It is also more expensive compared to the 10-karat and 14-karat gold. 24-karat one is pure gold with no mixture of any metals. It has the highest value; however, it is very soft and can be easily bent. If you can easily scratch a jewelry with your fingernail, then it’s possible that it is 24-karat gold.


Gold-filled means a thin layer of gold which is at least 10 karats has been heated and bonded to a supporting metal and rolled to a certain thickness. For a jewelry to be considered gold-filled, the gold should be one-tenth of the weight of the whole jewelry.


The jewelry is considered gold-plated when a layer of at least 10 karats of gold has been bonded to the jewelry. Its difference from gold-filled is it’s applied by hand and not by heat. A mallet is usually used to pound it on a metal surface.

Colored Gold

Yellow is gold’s original color, however there is jewelries with other colors as well. It is because they are mixed with other metals which have different hue turning them into colored gold.

  • White Gold
    White gold is the most popular gold mixture in jewelry. To achieve this color, the gold is combined with palladium and silver. It can also be combined with nickel, copper, and zinc which has the same effect. It is coated with platinum or rhodium to improve the whiteness and to add durability. White gold jewelry is more scratchproof and more affordable as well compared to yellow gold.
  • Rose Gold
    This is a mixture of gold, copper, and silver. The higher content of copper, the stronger the rose color becomes. High-copper rose gold has an intense red hue making it more of “red gold” than rose. Red gold is popular in the Middle East. Since the color of rose gold is pure, it does not need to be coated or dipped. This is more affordable compared to other gold colors, because copper is inexpensive.
  • Green Gold
    This one is an alloy of gold and silver, and sometimes copper as well. Silver is what gives the green hue to gold. The color of this though is not intense green. Green gold jewelry sometimes looks more yellow gold with a greenish hue.
  • Grey Gold
    This color is achieved by mixing gold, copper, silver, and manganese altogether.
  • Purple Gold
    The purple shade of jewelry is achieved by mixing aluminum and pure gold. However, since much of its content is pure gold, it is not very durable and can be broken easily because of its brittleness.
  • Blue Gold
    Producing a blue gold jewelry is done by combining indium with pure gold. However, it is just like the purple gold since it contains a high amount of pure gold, it will become brittle. You can also try mixing iron and rhodium to get the exact results.

Its important to be knowledgeable about the types and kind of gold jewelry so you can make the best purchasing decisions.  Also knowing the different types of gold will also help understand the different prices of gold jewelry.