What Are The Different Types Of Gold?

April 9, 2019 By swj-eric

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When some people think of gold, they imagine yellow gold coins in a pirate’s treasure chest. Or, perhaps they think of a leprechaun’s “pot of gold” at the end of a rainbow. Most folks, however, probably think about Real Gold jewelry like rings and bracelets.


In every scenario, the gold is thought to be shiny and heavy with a yellow color. Yet, it’s important to acknowledge that all gold isn’t equal. There are many types of gold, especially when it comes to fine jewelry.


So, take the time to learn about the different varieties. When it’s time to Sell Your Gold, you’ll have an idea of how much it’s worth. To top things off, knowing how it was formed can help you appreciate your gold in a new light.


Gold Karats


Let’s start with the meaning of gold karats. The number of karats, or “K,” indicates how much gold is in an object. If something is 100% pure gold, it will have a “24K” mark. But if something contains a lower percentage of gold, it will have a lower karat mark. This might include 10K, 12K, 14K, 18K, or 22K.


Pure 24K gold is soft, so it’s rarely used in gold jewelry. In the United States, most jewelry is made with 14K.


Colored Gold


Gold pieces usually contain a mixture of gold and other metals like silver, zinc, and copper. (Obviously, the only exception is a 24K gold piece!)


Depending on the combination of metals, the final object will make a new color. These unique shades are usually created just for jewelry.


Yellow Gold


Pure gold is naturally yellow. When it’s mixed with silver, copper, and zinc, the yellow color becomes more intense. Compared to other types of gold colors, yellow gold is the most hypoallergenic gold.


White Gold


When pure gold is mixed with platinum — or platinum, zinc, and nickel — the result is white gold. It’s extremely strong and durable, so it’s often used in jewelry.


Rose Gold


Also known as pink gold, rose gold has become extremely trendy in recent years. It’s made when pure gold is mixed with silver and copper. The pinkish tint comes from the copper, which also gives it durability.


Green Gold


To make green gold, pure gold is mixed with silver and occasionally, copper. In this case, the greenish hue comes from the silver.


Gold Plating


If you like antiques, you’re probably familiar with silver-plated flatware and plates. Gold-plated items are created in a similar way.


Gold Electroplated


Gold electroplated (or gold plated) is stainless steel or brass covered with a thin layer of gold that’s at least 10K. It uses an electric current to apply the gold. But because the layer of gold is so thin, it will eventually flake off.


Rolled Gold Plated


If a metal has a slightly thicker layer of gold, it’s known as rolled gold plated or gold overlay. The base metal might be stainless steels, brass, or copper. Like gold plated, the gold layer must be at least 10K.


Gold Filled


A gold-filled piece is sterling silver, brass, or copper that’s coated with metal using heat and pressure. The layer of gold should also be at least 10K and makeup at least 5% of the object’s weight.




Vermeil is gold-plated sterling silver. It’s also known as silver-gilt, gilded silver, or gilt silver. While gold-plated and filled items can be made with any combination of base metals, vermeil is always made with sterling silver.

Gold Leaf


Essentially, gold leaf is a foil made with 22K or 24K gold. It’s made by hammering gold into very thin layers. Because it’s so delicate, gold leaf is usually used to decorate items like picture frames and book covers.


Gold Bars And Coins


Like jewelry, bars and coins can be made with various combinations of metals. The best way to know what it’s worth is to ask an experienced gold buyer like Southwest Jewelry Buyers.


Sell Your Gold, Silver, And More At Southwest Jewelry Buyers


As you can see, there are many types of gold. And if you want to Sell Your Gold Jewelry and items, this information can be overwhelming. However, you’d be happy to know that you don’t have to remember all the details.


At Southwest Jewelry Buyers, we can examine your unwanted gold and determine its purity. We’ll also offer you the best prices in the valley while coordinating stress-free, honest transactions. We also buy Precious Metals like silver and platinum, so you can make space and cash.

Call us at 480-773-8004 to Schedule An Appointment. We’re located in the Scottsdale Airpark and are available six days a week.