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Yellow Gold: Everything You Need to Know and More

Yellow Gold: Everything You Need to Know and More

Today’s topic, as the title says, is Yellow gold. Therefore, we will do our best to go through everything related to yellow gold with you, starting from its continuation to its use, distribution, and much more.

Yellow gold is the most well-known precious metal on Earth. It has been used for centuries as a staple of prestige and glamor. It has been used for making crowns for countless kings and queens all around the world and crafting exquisite pieces of jewelry.

In order to find out all about yellow gold and to learn some new interesting facts that you can use to wow the people around you, keep reading!

What Is Yellow Gold?

The one from which we must undoubtedly start and open this topic is the definition of yellow gold.

Yellow gold jewelry is frequently made of pure gold mixed with another white metal or metals to boost durability and achieve the desired color tone.

Pure 24 karat (K) gold is not suited for producing everyday jewelry because it is too soft. 

Therefore, 75% pure gold (naturally yellow) is combined with 25% other white metals to form 18 K gold

These are known as alloys. For example, when pure gold is blended with white metals, it produces a softer, creamier yellow as opposed to 24-karat gold’s buttery, brassy tint. 

Yellow gold use is prevalent, and today, the term yellow gold is widely known. It is a precious metal that complements many gemstones.

Gold is a malleable material, so mixing it with other metals is simple, and it makes it stronger and more durable. Because gold is highly tensile, it is ideal for making elaborate designs without putting the materials under stress.

Let’s look at the statistics and percentages, which are also important!

Nine-karat yellow gold comprises 37.5% gold, 10.3% silver, and 52.2% other metals, including zinc and copper, which give the jewelry its yellowish color.

The more valuable your jewelry, the more care you must take in caring for it. Because yellow gold is readily damaged and dented, taking care of this precious metal is critical.

This is done by cleaning and polishing it regularly to keep its brilliant brightness and clarity.

The History of Yellow Gold

As well as many other materials – yellow gold has a long history.

The history of yellow gold is as old as human history, and this metal is highly prized across cultures.

Its origins may be traced back to 3000 BCE, when royal families buried gold robes, crowns, and ornaments in their tombs. So they existed long before.

Yellow gold has been a staple in many ancient societies’ jewelry, art, and regal adornment.  

Yellow gold was even utilized as cash in several places. 

Speaking of history, many valuable things today were used in the past in exchange for money.

When comparing white gold to yellow gold, yellow gold has a history dating back to 4000 B.C., with the oldest specimens originating from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Men and women both wore gold jewelry. It was widely desired as a sign of riches and power.

We can agree that today both men and women wear gold jewelry, but throughout history, men wore much less than gold and jewelry in general. Now, we are back to some era of 3000-4000 BC when everything was normal and without judgment as the world should be.

Gold jewelry was a rare luxury, sometimes inlaid with vividly colored stones.

Gold was valued as an adornment in every part of the planet throughout history, with magnificent specimens of yellow gold jewelry from every major ancient to modern civilization filling museums worldwide.

It was mixing pure gold with other metals that resulted in more substantial, more vital pieces of jewelry that were also less costly. 

If you are wondering why yellow gold costs less, it is undoubtedly because a smaller amount of actual gold is used, and it is combined with other materials.

Yellow gold reigned supremacy until the invention of white gold in the nineteenth century.

White gold did not gain widespread popularity until the 1920s, when it was marketed as a platinum alternative. People needed Platinum for military equipment throughout the war, and white gold has been popular ever since.

Related Read: Platinum Vs. White Gold: Which One Is Better?

You may wonder what about more recent events and how yellow gold giant today’s popularity?

Yellow gold saw periods of popularity and fall during the 1900s. It was fashionable in the 1960s and 1980s with yellow gold wedding bands and engagement rings, but this craze faded.

Yellow gold in the nineties struggled to regain its popularity and needed something or someone big to push it back into the market. Of course, that happened.

Meghan Markle’s (actress but also the current wife of Prince Harry) yellow gold ring has revived widespread interest in yellow gold in the recent decade.

Finally, due to its long lifespan, gold symbolizes eternal love for many people who wear it as a wedding ring.

We hope you enjoyed the concise throwback to the past! Let’s move on to the origin of the yellow gold!

The Origin of Yellow Gold

Pure gold is always yellow and too delicate to be used in jewelry. For example, if you wore a pure gold ring, you would see scratches within a few days!

The gold used in rings, bracelets, and other jewelry is an alloy. Other metals are added to gold to give it the strength and hardness required for jewelry manufacture. 

This is usually copper, silver, palladium, nickel, or Platinum, in variable amounts and proportions. That is how we get what we are most interested in today, a material called Yellow Gold. 

Yellow Gold purity is measured in karats (with the letter “k” not “c”). The term ‘karat’ has nothing to do with the diamond weight unit, commonly referred to as a carat.

There are different yellow golds, so let’s discuss a few!

24-karat gold, often known as 24 kt gold, is 100% gold. An 18 kt ring comprises 18/24 gold and 6/24 other metal.

14 karat jewelry comprises 14/24 gold and 10/24 other metal, whereas 10 kt jewelry has 10/24 gold and 14/24 other metal

Put another way, the lesser the karat, the less ‘valuable’ the jewelry. So the question is: Should one thus avoid purchasing a ring with a lesser karat weight? 

That depends on the application. If you want to buy jewelry as an investment, buy at least 18 kt since it includes more pure gold.

However, because copper, silver, and other (valuable) metals give additional toughness, 14 karats is a great option too. As a result, it is a widespread option as an engagement or wedding ring in the USA. 

A 10 kt ring also has more copper, silver, or palladium than gold. As a result, many high-end jewelers do not sell ten-karat jewelry.

Related Read: Do Diamonds Weigh More Than Gold?

What about the mining of yellow gold? Don’t worry, it’s time to learn all about it!

The Mining of The Gold

Most gold is extracted from mines, although it may also be discovered in rivers. Gold ore is frequently composed of gold veins surrounded by quartz.

People can recover the gold from the ore by grinding it, sifting it, and isolating the gold from the rest, but this is prohibitively expensive in practice.

Nowadays, gold is primarily extracted chemically from ore. In Roman times, wars were fought over places rich in natural gold resources.

The gold rushes were actual exoduses that took place worldwide in the 18th century to win the golden prize.

However, after 1910, three-quarters of all gold was mined.

China is now the most excellent provider, accounting for 440 tonnes per year in 2017, followed by Australia, Russia, and the United States.

The mystery of where gold comes from is finally addressed, but do you know about yellow gold’s characteristics?

The Characteristics Of The Yellow Gold

Often beginning as a modest present between loved ones or a token of celebration, gold jewelry’s particular resistance to degradation, together with its color and style, is its most enticing feature.

Over time, the gold retains its particular yellow color and may become an incredible inheritance whose legacy resembles and frequently surpasses the gold’s distinctive attributes.

Because of its malleability, gold is exceedingly easy to deal with. Even when it’s cold, it may be battered and stretched.

Jewelers may turn one gram of gold into a one-meter-squared sheet.

Because pure yellow gold is too soft to be used in jewelry on its own, it is frequently mixed with other metals or alloys to make it stronger and more durable.

Copper, zinc, and nickel are examples of common alloys. Gold is also one of the most malleable metals, making it suitable for shaping into intriguing designs without overworking the metal.

We get something completely new when we make yellow gold out of gold. The characteristics of yellow gold are its hardness (it is much stronger and more complex than gold). 

Also, there is a lower price for something that is the closest and most similar to gold. This is because the colors are relatively identical, and the beautiful yellow characteristic of yellow gold attracts many eyes. 

We would also highlight that it is a resistant material that can last for an extended period.

Only silver and copper can carry heat and electricity as effectively as gold, but unlike these metals, gold does not tarnish, making it essential in electronics.

At 20 °C, gold has an electrical resistivity of 0.022 micro-ohm m and thermal conductivity of 310 W m-1 K-1. One of gold’s most exceptional features is its corrosion resistance.

Electrode potentials help indicate a metal’s propensity to corrode. Electrode potentials are monitored about hydrogen, and an electrochemical series for metals may be created, as illustrated below.

It’s no surprise that gold ranks first in the series, owing to its exceptional corrosion resistance.

Even when used regularly, yellow gold does not tarnish.

Yellow gold is hugely malleable (the degree to which a material can experience deformation in compression before failure).

You can melt pure gold at 1064 °C. The melting process occurs at various temperatures when gold is alloyed with other elements, such as copper or silver.

The boiling point of gold, or the temperature at which it transitions from a liquid to a gaseous state, is 2860 °C or 5,173 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gold has various non-jewelry applications since it is tarnish-resistant, conducts electricity, and is naturally soft and malleable. But, people may now find gold in electronics and medical and aeronautical technologies.

Gold has always been associated with power, strength, luxury, and beauty. It also denotes purity since it is the foundation for white and rose gold.

Different Types Of The Yellow Gold

We already mentioned that there are different varieties of yellow gold, and now it’s time to go through each of them!

18K Gold

  • 75.0% Gold
  • Its malleability makes it exceedingly simple to deal with.
  • It is simple to polish and repair.
  • Tarnishing and rust resistance.
  • The color of 18k yellow gold is intense.

18k gold is classic metal with high gold purity and excellent value. A renowned karat has historically been preferred when selecting a metal to commemorate momentous occasions.

It has a traceable cultural legacy and represents the natural characteristics of gold that initially sparked alchemists’ and goldsmiths’ imaginations.

14K Gold

  • 58.5% gold
  • It is simple to polish and repair.
  • Tarnishing and rust resistance
  • Compared to 18K yellow gold, 14K yellow gold has a more subdued color.

14K gold is a very popular karat in exquisite jewelry. Artisans and designers like 14K gold for its strength and resilience. 14K gold is produced and crafted at a lower cost than 18K gold.

14kt yellow gold is the most powerful and long-lasting of the yellow golds, with 18kt and 9kt being almost comparable in strength. (In the case of white gold, the strongest is 18K, followed by 14K, and finally 9K.)

9K Gold

  • 37.5% gold
  • The most affordable and accessible karat of gold
  • Keeping the traditional metal’s majesty and natural characteristics

A metal that creates a subdued gold color, giving a ring a more minimalist appearance. A modern metal that mutes the richness of larger karats favors a more discrete look while retaining the metal’s essence.

Pros of The Yellow Gold

There are pros and cons to owning and using any metal in your jewelry, but if you’re contemplating yellow gold, you’ve got a strong competitor.

There aren’t many disadvantages to using yellow gold. But, in reality, it offers several advantages – here are a few to consider!

1. Yellow Gold Is Made To Last

Despite its innate malleability, yellow gold is quite durable. Gold produces a durable, hard-wearing metal when mixed with other precious metals.

Owners of yellow gold jewelry don’t have to worry about the metal deteriorating or losing its luster over time. Because gold metal is made to last for long periods, even generations, and is utilized in many family heirloom pieces, such as yellow gold engagement rings. 

2. Designers Adore Yellow Gold

The malleability of gold is a jewelry designer’s dream.

Yellow gold may be used to create elaborate designs that give your ring a distinctive and customized appearance. If you like a braided style or a piled pattern, yellow gold is the way to go!

3. Yellow Gold Is A Complementary Metal

There’s a reason why yellow gold is paired with almost every stone on the market.

Yellow gold can complement any stone, from sapphire to diamond, so if you have a distinctive stone color or want a simple and beautiful touch, yellow gold is the way to go!

4. Yellow Gold Is Quite Valuable 

There’s a reason the U.S. economy was once so reliant on gold prices and value.

While the price of gold varies, it is still a good investment. In addition, because yellow gold is formed of valuable metals, it is an excellent choice for passing on your jewelry. It is expected to retain and possibly rise in value over time! 

5. Yellow Gold Looks Great On Everyone 

18K yellow gold is essentially the purest gold compound in jewelry.

Also, 18K yellow gold is the purest gold compound in jewelry. We think yellow gold looks great with diamonds and warmer-toned gemstones like morganite, ruby, and purple sapphire.

Cons of The Yellow Gold

Every valuable metal has drawbacks aka cons. The primary disadvantages of 14k gold are that you must polish it over time to keep its luster and beauty.

No metal is impenetrable (even Platinum needs some TLC now and then). This is important to remember, but regular maintenance and cleanings for your engagement ring and jewelry, in general, are recommended to keep it in pristine condition.

So it shouldn’t be too difficult to put in a little more effort to maintain the yellow gold looking its finest.

Another disadvantage of yellow gold is that it might cause skin irritations or allergic responses in certain people. Because yellow gold contains other alloys (nickel, copper, etc.), people who are allergic to one or more should avoid it. 

We always recommend that you pay attention to the content of what you buy if you are prone to rashes and have allergies!

The most costly form of gold in jewelry is 18K yellow gold. Certain yellow gold varieties might be more challenging to match. Yellow gold is more prone to denting and scratching and must be polished regularly. 

The Best Way To Take Care Of Yellow Gold

Although yellow gold is not the softest or most fragile precious metal, it still requires some care. Even with regular wear, a few steps will help keep your favorite pieces looking beautiful and lasting a lifetime.

  • Tip #1: Use caution while wearing fine jewelry when participating in high-contact sports or other hands-on activities. Remove your jewelry and keep it in a safe place to avoid denting or scratching the metal. 
  • Tip #2: Avoid chlorine when wearing yellow gold jewelry! Chlorine will corrode your metal and cause severe damage to your ring. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry when swimming or being near harsh chemicals.
  • Tip #3: Pay attention to your regular routines. Simple actions like showering, washing dishes, applying lotion, and so on can cause the product to accumulate on your ring and around your diamond. This will not only make your diamond seem duller, but it will also dull your metal.

We recommend you clean your gold jewelry regularly, especially your engagement ring, to avoid damaging the setting or diamond and keep it looking fresh!

Learn More: Diamond Care: How To Take Care Of Your Diamonds

Methods For Cleaning Yellow Gold

A jewelry cleaning solution designed exclusively for yellow gold is a safe and effective approach to keeping your gold in excellent condition.

You may clean your yellow gold jewelry at home without using any professional solutions by following these simple steps:

  1. In warm, but not hot, water, combine a little amount of dish detergent.
  2. Add a few drops of ammonia to taste.
  3. Brush your yellow gold jewelry using a new soft baby toothbrush.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  5. Allow to air dry or carefully towel-dry with a paper towel or ordinary cloth.

Remember that yellow gold is a soft metal. So if you are cautious when brushing and drying your jewelry, it will preserve its unique brilliance!

Yellow Gold – FAQ

What’s The Distinction Between 14k, 18k, and 24k Gold?

The quantity of pure gold in 14 karat, 18 karats, and 24 karat gold differs. Any 14k gold jewelry has around 58% pure gold, whereas 18k jewelry contains approximately 75% pure gold.

The fact is the purer the gold, the softer the metal. Because 24k gold scratches and dings are ready, we do not suggest it for your engagement or wedding ring.

Furthermore, the more pure gold present (mainly yellow gold), the richer or brighter, and the more yellow the hue will look.

Which Gold is More Costly, 14k or 18k?

Because of its excellent gold content, 18k gold is a few hundred dollars more expensive than 14k gold, depending on the setting. A 14k halo setting is more expensive than a 14k solitaire setting. The most costly gold is 24k gold. However, it will not withstand daily wear and tear.

Is Yellow Gold Expensive Than White Gold?

There is no price difference as long as the gold in white and yellow gold jewelry is hallmarked at the same karat weight.

The percentage of gold in 18 karats white gold and 18K yellow gold, for example, will be the same. 

On the other hand, white gold jewelry might be slightly more expensive than yellow gold jewelry due to its manufacturing process when blended and coated.

Is It Possible To Turn White Gold Into Yellow Gold?

The considerably more complicated explanation is that removing the white alloys that give white gold its color is technically conceivable, but it is not practical.

To remove the white from white gold, melt the gold and carefully eliminate all non-gold alloys before hardening and reshaping the residual yellow gold.

It is simpler to remove the rhodium plating, but most rhodium-treated gold already includes nickel and palladium; rhodium plating is an extra step, not a distinct technique of producing white gold.

Is 14K Gold The Same as Yellow Gold?

The purer a piece of gold is, the more “yellow” it is, but the less durable it is. Most jewelry is crafted from 18K or 14K gold. So yes, the term yellow gold is the same as 14K gold.

14k gold is also known as 14k yellow gold. Both phrases mean the same thing. The most prevalent 14k gold color is yellow (so it means that pure 24k gold is yellow, but people expect gold alloys to be some shade of yellow too).

Is There a Distinction Between 14K White Gold and 14K Yellow Gold?

The primary distinction between white and yellow gold is the hue. White gold is combined with white metals such as nickel, whereas yellow gold is combined with yellow metals such as copper. 

White gold has a gleaming white appearance, whereas yellow gold has a luminous yellow tone.

Is There a Difference Between 14K White Gold and 18K White Gold?

The answer is yes, there is a difference between 14K and 18K white gold. 14k white gold includes around 58% pure gold and 42% silver and nickel alloys, whereas 18k white gold contains approximately 75% pure gold and 25% silver and nickel alloys.

Final Thoughts

Today’s topic was called yellow gold, and we did our best to gather all the information you needed.

So, we started today’s topic with a simple explanation of what yellow gold is, and through the article, we tried to explain its history, the mining process, pros and cons, and much more in detail.

To ensure that today’s topic covers the whole story for yellow gold, near the end of this article, you have the opportunity to receive answers to frequently asked questions.

We hope you discover the perfect jewelry for your special events, regardless of the sort of gold you pick.