How Many Types Of Gold Jewelry Are There? Everything You Need To Know

Posted by RSCo. Jewelry on

Gold jewelry has been popular forever, and we don't see this changing anytime soon. Whether it be wedding bands, engagement rings, popular Valentine's day jewelry, or simply looking elegant, many people love gold jewelry for its' association with high quality, luxury and value. 

But quality, luxury and value comes at a price...literally. Gold is known to hold or even appreciate in value over time. Many purchase gold as an investment and a way to secure their money in a commodity. It's understandable that before spending a fair amount to purchase gold jewelry, many have questions.

We Often Get Questions Related To Gold Jewelry:

  • What does 14k gold mean?
  • What metal is mixed with gold to make it harder?
  • Is white gold real gold? 
  • What is high-quality gold? 
  • Is all rose gold the same color?
  • Is 14k gold good?
  • What is gold plating? 

In this article, we'll answer these questions! Read on for more...





Chemical Composition Of Popular Gold Jewelry

First off - 24k gold is the only "real" gold. By real gold, we mean pure gold. A Karat is the measuring unit of the pureness of gold, and the number of Karats in any gold jewelry is the grading of that particular jewelry. 

Since 24k gold is the only pure gold, any jewelry that's graded less than 24k gold is not pure gold and is considered a 'gold alloy'- this is for a reason...

Before we discuss why other metals are blended with pure gold to make jewelry, check out the infographic below for the chemical composition of popular grades of gold jewelry:


How Many Types Of Gold Jewelry Are There? Compare The Percentages Of Elements In Popular Gold Jewelry Such As 14k Yellow Gold, 14k White Gold, 14k Rose Gold & More!

So why is gold jewelry made using other metals? To make it harder and more durable

What Metal Is Mixed With Gold To Make It Harder?

In accordance with the infographic above, pure 24k gold is mixed with a combination of silver, copper and palladium to make jewelry more durable and suitable for daily use. 

What makes a specific grade and type of gold jewelry unique is the percentage of each of these various elements in the piece of jewelry. Which leads us to the big question...

What Are The 3 Types Of Gold?

In jewelry, the three main types of gold are: yellow gold, white gold and rose gold. 

As a rule of thumb, the following is true about these three types of gold jewelry:

  • Yellow gold is mostly made up of pure gold, with a large portion of the balance being silver. A fraction (~10%) of copper is included. 
  • White gold is also mostly pure gold, with a fair amount of silver blended in. Instead of copper, though, white gold is topped of with palladium in its' place. 
  • Rose gold is is similar to yellow gold in composition, except the the percentages of silver and copper are reversed; the percentage of copper is second to pure gold, with the small balance being silver instead. 
For more information, here is a great guide that breaks down the exact concentration of gold, silver, copper, palladium and other elements in common grades of gold jewelry.  

    Frequently Asked Questions About Gold Jewelry:

    With all of this information outlined, let's reexamine the common questions related to gold jewelry from earlier in this article!

    What does 14k gold mean?

    14k gold is 58.3% gold. This is calculated by dividing the karat grade (14k) by the karat grade of pure gold (24k): 14k divided by 24k = 0.5833 = 58.3% pure gold.

    Click Below To Browse...


    What metal is mixed with gold to make it harder?

    Pure gold is mixed with elements like silver, copper and palladium to make gold jewelry harder and more durable. 

    Is white gold real gold? 

    White gold is partially real gold. One must first know the grade and purity of the gold. If the grade of the white gold jewelry is 18k, that means the white gold jewelry is 75% real gold (18 / 24 = 0.75). 18k white gold and 18k yellow gold are the same percentages of 'real' gold.

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    Browse our collection of 14k white gold jewelry!

    What is high quality gold?

    The purity (number of Karats) in gold jewelry is what determines its' quality. The higher the purity, the higher the quality. 14k gold is therefore a greater quality than 10k gold.   

    Is all rose gold the same color?

    No, not all rose gold is the same exact color. The color of rose gold largely depends on its' concentration of copper, which can vary between jewelry makers. The more copper in the gold alloy, the stronger the pink or rose hue. 

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    Is 14k gold good?

    14k gold is in fact a high quality. As per above, the 14k refers to its' gold purity, which in this case is 58.3%. This makes the majority of any 14k jewelry pure gold. The balance of silver (~30%) and copper (around 11.7%) makes the jewelry much stronger, and therefore resilient to every day wear. 

    Along with 18k gold, 14k gold is an extremely popular choice for wedding bands, engagement rings and generally fancier jewelry. The majority of the alloy is gold, with the looks to match. The silver and copper (or palladium for white gold) make the jewelry strong enough to withstand many years of frequent wear.

    The difference between 14k and 18k gold will not be noticeable at a glance. Which is better for you really comes down to your budget and preference. 

    What is gold plating? 

    Gold plating is a process where a thin layer of pure 24k gold (or rose gold) is placed over another metal (base material) via chemical or electromagnetic plating (electroplating). This creates the appearance of pure gold at a fraction of the price of 14k and 18k gold.

    Most of our plated jewelry is made using .925 sterling silver (92.5% silver) as a base material for its' strength and durability. 

    The drawback of gold plated jewelry? Over time, the plating will fade and the silver base material will shine through. This can be slowed down considerably by avoiding contact with perfume, lotion and other oils and regular cleaning with a cotton ball. 

    Click Below To Browse...

    browse our collection of gold plated jewelry. 24k gold plating, rose gold plating and more!

    In Conclusion

    We hoped we've answered all of your questions related to gold jewelry, and the many colors, types and grades that are available! Feel free to reach out to us with any questions in the future!

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