When most people think of “gold”, they generally picture the traditional vibrant hue best associated with the California Gold Rush. Yet there are distinct shades of gold jewelry listed for sale, such as white or rose gold.
The “blending” of two or more types of metal is called an alloy. Jewelers use a variety of metals in their products, so you may not know the exact makeup of your jewelry. Before buying or selling jewelry, you should know about the different alloys found in jewelry manufacturing.
Frequently Alloyed Metals 
Common metals used to alloy gold include copper, nickel, iron, and silver. The color of alloyed jewelry is dependent on the metals combined with gold during the smelting process.
Which Color is Worth the Most? [2,3,4]
Raw gold is just too soft and malleable to be practical for daily wear. If you wore a wedding ring that was 99.9% gold, it could bend out of shape just from picking up a heavy grocery bag or suitcase.
As a solution to its delicate nature, early civilizations discovered around 2500 BC that gold becomes stronger when mixed with other metals. The altered color in the hardened metal was simply an unexpected byproduct of alloying. As the illustration suggests, rose gold jewelry came from copper-gold alloys, yellow gold from silver-copper-gold alloys, and so on.
Shifting fashion trends might affect what jewelry is desirable, but all gold alloys—or “colors”—are valued identically by the karat rating (K). Each numbered rating refers to a certain amount of gold in a piece of jewelry. For example, a 24K stamp signifies 99.95% of that product must consist of pure gold.
Click here to learn more about karat ratings.
Want to Learn More About Your Jewelry?
You can rely on karat ratings and production hallmarks to get an idea of how much gold your jewelry contains. However, we always recommend a precious metal expert inspect your items.
If you want to sell your precious-metal jewelry, click here to start with Garfield today!
Garfield Refining buys all used gold, gold-filled, platinum, and silver jewelry for the fair market value of precious metal content only. We don’t appraise jewelry on its artistry, brand, or vintage.