When it comes to gold jewellery, it can be made from many different types of gold including colour, purity and more. Below, you can read my guide to the different types of gold that can be used to make jewellery, along with their attributes and benefits!
White gold vs yellow gold vs rose gold
While yellow is the colour that usually springs to mind if you mention gold jewellery, you can also get others such as white gold and rose gold. Each one is beautiful, and choosing between them depends on your personal preference and the jewellery you already have!
Pure gold - which is 24-karat gold - is naturally a deep yellow colour. However, 24k gold is very soft and not suitable for jewellery, so pure gold must be mixed with other metal alloys to create more durable types of gold. This is where you can bring some variation in colour.
Yellow gold has the original, natural warm yellow colour and is typically mixed with zinc or other white metals to give it strength and make it more durable to make jewellery. .
To create white gold, yellow gold is alloyed with other white metals such as silver or palladium. White gold is paler and cooler than yellow gold, closer to silver in colour, and is also used as an alternative to platinum. It is plated with Rhodium to give it its bright silvery white finish.
Rose gold is created when pure gold is combined with copper alloys which help strengthen the metal and also give it its pink rosy hue.
Different purities of gold used for jewellery
The purity of gold is measured in Karats. A gold karat is 1/24 part (4.1667%) of the whole. We measure a gold alloy’s purity based on the number of these parts it contains. Therefore, pure gold is 24k in purity. However, this is too soft and cannot be used to make intricate jewellery. This is why gold is alloyed with other metals when making jewellery.
18k solid gold
18 karat gold is towards the higher end that is used for jewellery - it is high in purity and very durable to be worn. Due to its high purity, 18k gold is known as fine jewellery and is often sought after.
14k and 9k solid gold
You can also get solid gold jewellery in 14 karat and 9 karat. While the gold content is slightly lower, it is very durable and looks beautiful, while being more cost-effective.
You can view our range of handmade 18k and 9k gold fine jewellery, including yellow gold, white gold and rose gold.
Gold vermeil jewellery has a thick layer of solid gold plating and is plated on sterling silver to ensure it is only made from precious metals. To be counted as gold vermeil, the gold layer must be above 2.5 microns. This thick layer of gold ensures the plating lasts longer and is therefore higher quality.
Gold-filled jewellery is usually made from jeweller’s brass with a solid layer of gold that is mechanically bonded to this base metal. This ensures the gold won’t rub off and therefore is more durable.
Gold-plated jewellery has a thinner layer of gold plating applied to another metal. Good-quality gold-plated jewellery still often has sterling silver as the base metal, just a thinner layer of gold plating. However, some jewellery may have another base metal such as brass, copper or steel.
Here at Milina London, we have a beautiful range of gold-plated sterling silver jewellery for you to browse.
Creating bespoke gold jewellery
With our bespoke jewellery service, you can use the materials you like - including different types of gold - to make the piece you desire. For example, if you have an old piece of solid gold jewellery that you don’t really wear but want to make into something new - I can help you do just that!
Related blog: Reusing Old Gold to Make New Jewellery
Hopefully, this guide to the types of gold jewellery, including the colour variants and purity levels, has been useful.