Yellow gold is the most customary of precious metal options. It’s a popular choice for jewellery, particularly engagement and wedding rings. This is because it appeals to those who like its rich appearance as well as strength.
What Is Yellow Gold?
Yellow gold for jewellery is usually made up of pure gold that is mixed with other white metal(s) in order to achieve greater durability as well as the desired colour tone.
What Is Yellow Gold Made From?
Pure, 24 karat (K) gold is not appropriate for crafting into everyday jewellery because it is too soft. To make 18 K gold, 75% pure gold (which is naturally yellow in colour) is mixed with 25% other white metals. These are known as alloys. Blending the pure gold with white metals results in a softer, creamier yellow as opposed to the buttery, brassy colour of 24 karat gold.
What Is The History Of Yellow Gold?
When you look at white gold vs yellow gold, the history of yellow gold goes back as far as 4000 B.C. with the earliest examples coming out from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Gold jewellery was worn by men and women. It was highly desirable as a symbol of wealth as well as power.
Gold jewellery was a rare luxury and was frequently inlaid with brightly coloured stones. Gold continued to be coveted as an embellishment in every single corner of the world during subsequent history, with remarkable examples of yellow gold jewellery from every major ancient through modern civilisation packing museums around the world.
It was found that mixing pure gold with other metals made it stronger, more robust pieces of jewellery that were also less expensive. Yellow gold ruled supreme until white gold was invented in the 19th century. White gold didn’t really become generally popular until the 1920s when it was targeted as a platinum substitute. Platinum was required for military machinery in the war effort and white gold has remained popular ever since.
What Are The Different Types Of Yellow Gold?
Yellow gold comes in different weights – 9K, 14K and 18K.
The differences between these weights are mainly, durability and colour. Owing to its softness, 24K (pure) gold is alloyed/mixed with other base metals to change its hardness, durability as well as appearance. Gold with a lower karat ratings, such as 14K or 9K, include higher ratios of base metals such as Silver, Palladium, Nickel or Zinc in their alloy. 24K is pure gold in which one karat is 24ths of gold:
- 9k Gold is 9/24 = 37.5% Gold,
- 14K is 14/24 = 58.3% Gold, and
- 18K= 18/24 = 75% Gold.
The ratio of alloy added will affect the overall durability of the gold and the final colour of the gold – 18K gold for instance, will be more durable and more yellow in colour than 9K. When looking at white gold vs yellow gold, white gold tends to be the hardier of the two.
Is Yellow Gold Real Gold?
Yellow gold is indeed real gold. Yellow is the only naturally occurring colour in gold jewellery. All gold jewellery starts as yellow gold.
Is Yellow Gold Good Quality?
The higher the karat the gold is means that the higher the gold content is however this also means the less robust the metal. Gold has to be combined with other alloys in order to strengthen it. Either 18K or 14K gold is utilised for wedding and engagement rings.
What Are Some Popular Jewellery Styles For Yellow Gold?
In recent years, gold jewellery has attained staple status. In the battle between white gold vs yellow gold, yellow gold seems to still be the winner. What elegant woman doesn’t top her couture and all-neutral looks with a pair of hoops in yellow gold?
Earlier, gold was seen as too blingy and costume-like to be worn daily however now, it’s celebrated for its minimalism. Jewellery designers have gone away from baroque settings, choosing instead for pieces with smooth bends, clean lines and delicately abstract shapes.
Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t be playful with your styling. A slender chain can go from modest to bohemian when layered. Even the most traditional of rings will include a sense of drama when these are stacked together. Brands are creating designs with mixing and matching in mind, creating flexible, buildable looks so that consumers are able to get the most out of their purchases.
What Is The Difference Between White Gold And Yellow Gold?
The main difference between white vs yellow gold is simply the metal mixture that’s used to make them. Some of the most common metals utilised to mix with gold are copper, silver, nickel, palladium as well as zinc. Dependent on what metals are utilised and the percentage that they’re present will result in white or yellow. White gold has more nickel and zinc, but yellow gold has a lot more copper.
However, it’s actually the karat number which you should be looking at if you’re worried about the presence of pure gold. 18 karat yellow gold – as well as 18 karat white gold – have the same percentage of gold, in addition to six parts of ‘other metals’ (equalling 24 karats). If you find a ring that’s 24k gold, then it’s 100% pure. But, since gold is such a soft metal, it’s not suggested that you purchase a 24k gold engagement ring.
Can You Turn White Gold Into Yellow Gold?
The simple answer is no.
The far more complex answer is that, while it is technically possible to get rid of the white alloys that give white gold its colour, it isn’t very feasible. To remove the white from white gold would require melting the gold down and carefully extracting all of the non-gold alloys, then solidifying and reshaping the remaining yellow gold.
Removing the rhodium plating is easier, but most rhodium-treated gold already contains nickel and/or palladium; rhodium plating is an additional measure, not a unique method of creating white gold.
Is Yellow Gold More Expensive Than White Gold?
There is no price value discrepancy between the gold in white and yellow gold jewellery, as long as it is hallmarked at the same karat weight. So for instance, 18K white gold and 18K yellow gold will contain the same percentage of gold. However, white gold jewellery can be slightly more expensive than yellow gold jewellery owing to the manufacturing process it undergoes while getting mixed and coated.
Should I Get A Yellow Gold Or White Gold Engagement Ring?
When we think of ‘gold’, pictures of the yellow variety immediately spring to mind. With the giant bullions – as well as treasure troves – we’ve seen on films since we were young, we relate yellow gold with traditional jewellery styles in addition to vintage looks.
For younger generations, they may associate yellow gold with their parents’ wedding jewellery, which makes it a less popular option for many – although the love for vintage styles that has recently resurged may change this.
Yellow gold is best for:
- Those who love vintage style jewellery
- Darker or olive skin tones
- Less active people
White gold is an ageless metal choice, it looks wonderful with everything. Many individuals mistake it for platinum – which is a much more durable engagement ring material. White gold is a modern ring metal option, as its neutral look allows for it to be worn with any type of jewellery style.
White gold is best for:
- Those who lead active lives,
- Fair skin tones,
- White gold suits fair skin tones perfectly as it complements the cooler colours, and
Those who love modern, easy to wear styles.
How To Clean Yellow Gold
A jewellery cleaning solution specifically created for yellow gold is a safe and efficient way to make sure that your gold is kept in tip-top shape. Just ensure that it shows gold as an intended use!
With no commercial products, you are able to clean your yellow gold jewellery at home by following these simple steps:
- Mix a little bit of dish detergent in warm, but not hot, water.
- Add in a few drops of ammonia.
- Brush your yellow gold jewellery with a new, baby-size soft toothbrush.
- Put in lukewarm water to rinse.
- Air dry or towel-dry carefully with a paper towel or regular cloth.
Keep in mind that yellow gold is a soft metal. Be gentle during the brushing and drying processes and your jewellery will retain its special sparkle!
Chermaine’s journey into the world of gemstones and crystals began as a child, collecting shimmering stones on family vacations. Today, she’s a certified gemologist and spiritual healer, intertwining the physical beauty of jewels with their metaphysical properties.
Chermaine has traveled to mines in Africa, marketplaces in India, and spiritual retreats in Bali, always seeking to deepen her understanding.
Jump To a Section Below
- What Is Yellow Gold?
- What Is Yellow Gold Made From?
- What Is The History Of Yellow Gold?
- What Are The Different Types Of Yellow Gold?
- Is Yellow Gold Real Gold?
- Is Yellow Gold Good Quality?
- What Are Some Popular Jewellery Styles For Yellow Gold?
- What Is The Difference Between White Gold And Yellow Gold?
- Can You Turn White Gold Into Yellow Gold?
- Is Yellow Gold More Expensive Than White Gold?
- Should I Get A Yellow Gold Or White Gold Engagement Ring?
- How To Clean Yellow Gold