If you are interested in purchasing gold jewelry at auction for either personal use or as an investment, you may be interested in learning more about the different colors and gold karats available. What exactly does it all mean and what are the specific differences? Brigitte Kruse and her team of appraisers at GWS Auctions LLC are experienced in all manner of jewelry and the different materials, precious gems and historical significance they may entail. Below is a reference guide to educate you about the differences between gold color and gold karats.
Gold Color Wheel
Jewelry made from gold is generally a mixture of metals (alloys). Gold jewelry can be mixed with silver, copper, palladium, zinc and nickel to create different colors. Some of the more popular colors of gold include yellow, white, rose and green.
• Yellow gold is a mixture of gold, silver, copper and zinc. It is purest in color.
• White gold is a mixture of gold and platinum (palladium) and can also be made of gold, palladium, zinc and nickel. White gold is durable, resistant to scratches and more affordable than yellow gold.
• Rose gold (pink gold) is made from gold, copper and silver. The copper content makes rose gold much more durable than both yellow or white gold. Rose gold is also the least expensive.
• Green gold (electrum) is mixed with gold, silver and on occasion copper. The silver content is responsible for giving the gold its greenish hue.
Most Popular Gold Color?
Yellow gold was once the most popular but as gold prices began to rise, many people started purchasing white gold instead. In fact white gold has been the most popular choice for the past 30 years. White gold is often the preferred choice for engagement and wedding sets.
What Does Gold Karats Mean & What is the Difference?
One of the first things you will need to be aware of when purchasing gold at auction is the karat mark. The karat mark or “k” mark will indicate the gold content of the piece. Gold that is 100% pure is marked as 24K gold. It is very unusual to find 24K on jewelry because pure gold is extremely soft and much more likely to scratch. Gold is generally mixed with other metals (alloys) to make it much more durable. In the United States for example you will more than likely find a mark which states 14K. 14 karat gold is the most common form of gold used in jewelry in the United States.
Gold Karats Numbers Chart
The following breakdown explains the gold karat, stamp markings, gold content and alloys used in the different karats of gold:
• 24 karat gold may be stamped with either 24k. 24kt or 999 and has a pure gold content of 100%. 24 karat gold has a tendency to bend and is easily scratched.
• 18 karat gold may be stamped with either 18k, 18kt or 750 and has gold content of 75% with 25% alloy content and is ideal for jewelry.
• 14 karat gold may be stamped with either 14k, 14kt or 585 and has a gold content of 58.5% with 41.5% alloy content and is ideal for jewelry.
• 10 karat gold may be stamped with either 10k, 10kt or 417 and has a gold content of 41.7 with 58.3% alloy content and is the most affordable option for jewelry.
Estate Sale Gold Jewelry Auctions in Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills, Palm Springs, Indio & Southern California
If you are interested in purchasing gold jewelry at auction, contact Brigitte Kruse and the expert appraisers at GWS Auctions, LLC and check out our upcoming auctions page for future opportunities to buy or sell.