Most customers have many questions about the choices in colors and karats of gold. There are so many available choices on the market today it can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. Below is some basic, need to know info and examples.
Karat: 100% pure gold which is 24K, is too soft to withstand everyday wear and tear of a wedding band. For this reason, gold is mixed with different alloys to make jewelry that you can wear. Alloys are created when one metal is mixed with other metals to create a stronger version of itself and create the variations in color. The proportion of alloys used results in the variations in karats (18k at 75% and 14K at 58% pure gold).
Colors: All gold starts out rich and yellow, in the case of white gold and rose gold it is actually the alloys that were mixed with the gold give it color. All colors of gold will still contain the same amount of pure gold per karat.
To make it simple, here are the basic different types of materials you have to choose from. Please keep in mind that the color displayed will vary by the device you view it on, but these examples still should give you the general level of contrast between your available options.
Yellow 18K gold, the most traditional choice for a wedding band, is also very strong but is also richer in color since it contains 75% pure gold, this makes it the more precious (and more expensive) option. 14K gold is incredibly durable containing 58% pure gold. In the case of yellow gold, the remainder is a mix of equal parts silver and copper alloy with a small amount of zinc.
Rose gold, like yellow gold, is alloyed with silver, copper, and zinc. However, with rose gold the alloy ratio is shifted to incorporate more copper and less silver, resulting in a warmer hue. But not nearly enough copper to turn your finger green (a common concern). 14K rose gold is preferred for fabrication.
White gold can be alloyed in a variety of ways. There are pros and cons to each method, but all usually include copper, silver, and nickel. In this example, palladium replaces the majority of the nickel to create a white gold that is more durable and hypoallergenic.
When it comes to white gold, there is more than meets the eye. Standard white gold is alloyed with nickel to give it its white color, which has a yellow cast to it. Most of the white gold found in US jewelry stores is nickel-based and rhodium plated or “dipped” to give it a bright white, platinum color. This is a temporary finish which will wear off over time and need to be reapplied every 6 months. Nickel makes the gold generally durable, but it also makes the gold more brittle to work with. Nickel is known as a common metal allergy and the cause of why many people are allergic to white gold. Also, nickel is commonly corroded by household chemicals and cosmetic cleansing products over time.
We want you to work with the highest quality metal in its natural state and do not want to have to make you rhodium plate the wedding rings you make in our DIY workshop. For this reason, we use yellow gold that is alloyed with Palladium, another precious metal that is part of the platinum family of metals. Palladium white gold is the preferred type of white gold for DIY fabrication and is far superior to nickel. Palladium white gold tends to be the safer bet for sensitive skin, it is more precious, and looks fantastic! Although Palladium white gold is slightly grayer in color than nickel bearing white gold, it is still very white.