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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gold of a Different Color

Everyone knows that pure gold is the color of the early morning sun, a great golden yellow, but one gold is pure it is too soft to be worn or have any other useful purpose other than its intrinsic value. Not all gold is golden yellow because when it is alloyed it is possible for the metal to assume different colors. The effective changing of the color of gold has been known to goldsmiths for thousands of years to create many of the effects that are seen in gold jewelry. This effect is produced by alloying gold with other base metals.

This is a phase diagram illustrating the various colors of gold alloys.
Image by Metallos

One of the most common ways that the color changes and gold are observed is when different alloys are combined as inlays in jewelry where the lighter color of a particular alloy is used in conjunction with a darker colored alloy.

Although most interesting varieties of jewelry made this way is what is termed Black Hills Gold. Most of the jewelry made from this kind of gold is 10 to 12 caret is carefully alloyed with other metals to create the colors.

A Tibetan gold statue from Mustang made from an alloy of gold and copper. 

Pink or rose gold is created by alloying copper with the gold causing it to acquire a pinkish or rose-colored caste. Another common alloy of gold creates a greenish caste by making an alloy containing silver.

Metallurgists will find them there recipes for different colors of gold. There is even a purple colored gold that is produced by alloying gold and aluminum.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting, John, this information could also help those assessing antique metal items which at times can be overlooked.

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