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18Dec

Alloyed Gold

Among all the natural elements found on the planet gold has stood out as the most elegant metal that has been treasured for its natural splendour and vivacity. It is due to this fact that gold has been regarded as a representative of the life giving sun by many cultures. Among the camaraderie of golden hues, yellow gold is and has always been the most popular colour throughout history, but at present gold is made available in a diverse range of colours through alloying processes. For those who are not familiar with the term alloying, it I a process whereby other metals are mixed with pure 24 carat gold which makes gold which soft in its pure form, much more durable.

The range of colours that gold come in depends on the type of metal that is missed with pure gold, for instance white gold is created by alloying pure gold with palladium or silver which gives it the metallic shine and sparkle and in most cases rhodium is used to plate the piece in order to create harder surfaces on top of giving it even a brighter glow. However the demand for different types of gold a usually depends on the region, white gold is a favourite for wedding bands in the US while rose gold is much more popular in Europe. Rose gold is a mix of copper which gives it the soft pink complexion and the hues of rose gold are entirely dependent on the amount of copper added. Other atypical colours such as blue and purple are created by adding patinas or oxides to the surface of the alloy and the more adventurous black gold gets its colour by fusing pure gold with cobalt oxide.

The prices of gold pieces such as jewellery or artefacts are always determined by other factors besides the value of gold itself, these factor include (but not limited to) the designer (brand is a major price determinant in the industry), the intricacy of the design and the value of other precious metals that might have been included into the mix (platinum, palladium, silver, etcetera). Regardless of what metal the pieces are mixed with, the purity of gold is always the constant and it is measured in terms of carats. The measurement is relatively simple as it is based on a 24 part scale. This basically means that when a piece (jewellery, or trinket) containing gold is imprinted with 18K, it simply means that 75 % of the total weight of that item is gold. The formula is 18/24 x 100 = 75 %. Thus the remaining 25 % is ‘other metals’ and the value for that piece will be based on the content of gold and the current spot prices.

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