Gold is one of the most popular metals used in wedding rings and jewelry because it’s beautiful and durable. What many people don’t know, though, is that there are many varieties of gold with unique properties, and each one can have its own meaning in terms of romance and aesthetics.
If you’re looking for a way to give your wedding ring some added flair or meaning, let’s take a look at different colors of gold options available to you, their pros and cons and what they symbolize.
The different shades of gold are achieved by forming alloys of various metals together with pure gold. Jewelers produce such alloys using different kinds of processes. Depending on their ratios, the intensity of the colors can be varied to a great extent.
Yellow gold has a beautiful warm hue and a traditional, classic look. While pure gold (24 karats) is extremely bright, the yellow gold you see in jewelry is typically alloyed with other metals to be more affordable and durable. These include copper, palladium, zinc and silver. Yellow gold is generally preferred in wedding rings because it doesn’t cause metal allergies, like white or rose gold can do.
White gold has been popular for wedding rings since the 1900s when platinum became scarce during World War II. Since there is no ‘white’ gold in nature, this is also an alloy. The metal contains a mixture of yellow gold, palladium and silver, which is then coated with rhodium to make it resistant to tarnish, scratches and damage. The rhodium coating also makes the metal reflective and shiny.
White gold doesn’t tarnish, but it loses its plating over time which reverts it back to a pale-yellow color. This means that you will need to have the rhodium replated periodically. Because white gold is slightly harder than yellow gold, it can be a better choice if you have active hands.
If you do get jewelry in white gold, make sure that it doesn’t contain nickel, since this can irritate sensitive skin and cause allergic reactions. The best way to care for your white gold is with mild soap and water or a gentle dishwashing liquid.
The romantic color of Rose gold comes from an alloy of gold with copper, which gives it the pink-tinted hue. The higher the concentration of copper, the deeper the reddish color of this alloy. Also, in case you come across this term, rose gold is also known as Russian gold.
Rose gold is increasingly becoming popular for wedding rings as it is a more subtle and feminine color than yellow gold. Another reason why this metal was initially chosen for jewelry is due to its durability. The copper content makes rose gold harder than other types of gold. Over time, the copper content can oxidize, requiring a polish, but this is rare.
Green gold, also known as Electrum, is an alloy of gold and silver. 14K green gold features 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts silver. At times, cadmium, palladium, or copper can also be added in small quantities for additional strength. Note that although we call this green gold, the green hue is very subtle and needs an excellent eye to notice its extremely pale jade hue.
Green gold, depending on the composition of individual elements, might have a change in color from yellowish green to blue/gray. This “patina” effect gives a ring an antique look that some people may not want.
Black gold is not a naturally occurring metal but is made by electroplating a piece of gold jewelry with a black finish. However, there are also other more complex ways of making black gold, such as femto-second laser and alloys. Whatever the method used, the value of black gold lies in how much pure gold the piece contains.
When used in wedding bands, black gold is a durable choice with the potential to add personality to your ring. It also tends to be less expensive than other precious metals like platinum.
Because black is somewhat uncommon in jewelry, this color will immediately stand out. It’s not for everyone but is ideal if you’re into avant-garde and modern looking types of jewelry.
The color, tone, and hue of the gold metal can dramatically change how a piece appears. When it comes to the different colors of gold, you have a lot of options. The color you choose will depend on your personal preferences, as well as factors such as budget, ring style, and aesthetic.
You might also want to consider your skin tone, as white gold tends to suit cool tones, while yellow gold suits warm tones beautifully. Black and rose gold suit any skin tone, with rose gold giving off a vintage, feminine aesthetic while black gold has the opposite effect.