Types of yellow gold purity and the difference in colour - Mia Ishaaq

The Truth About Gold: Shocking Differences

Understanding Yellow Gold Purity and Color Differences

Yellow gold is a timeless and popular choice for jewellery, prized for its rich, warm hue. However, the color and characteristics of yellow gold can vary significantly depending on its purity. Let's explore the different purities of yellow gold, their color variations, and what sets them apart.

Purities of Yellow Gold

Gold purity is measured in karats (K), with 24K representing pure gold. Here's a look at the most common purities of yellow gold used in jewellery:
24K Gold

Purity: 99.9% pure gold.
Color: Bright, rich yellow.
Characteristics: Soft, malleable, and prone to scratches and dents. Typically not used for everyday jewellery due to its softness.
    22K Gold
    Purity: 91.6% gold, alloyed with 8.4% other metals (such as copper, silver, or zinc).
    Color: Slightly less intense yellow than 24K gold.
    Characteristics: More durable than 24K gold but still relatively soft. Common in high-quality jewellery and traditional pieces, especially in India and other Asian countries.
      18K Gold
      Purity: 75% gold, alloyed with 25% other metals.
      Color: Warm yellow with a balanced tone, not as bright as 24K or 22K.
      Characteristics: Offers a good balance between purity and durability. Commonly used in fine jewellery, including engagement rings and high-end pieces.
        14K Gold
        Purity: 58.3% gold, alloyed with 41.7% other metals.
        Color: Lighter yellow compared to higher karat golds.
        Characteristics: Durable and suitable for everyday wear. Widely used in a variety of jewellery pieces, offering a balance between affordability and quality.
          10K Gold
          Purity: 41.7% gold, alloyed with 58.3% other metals.
          Color: Pale yellow, often with a slight whitish hue.
          Characteristics: Very durable and affordable but less lustrous than higher karat golds. Commonly used in budget-friendly jewellery.

            Color Differences and Alloy Effects

            The color of yellow gold varies with its purity due to the different proportions of gold and alloying metals. Here’s how:
            Higher Karat Gold (22K and 24K): These have a rich, deep yellow color because of the higher concentration of pure gold. They are also softer and less durable.
            Medium Karat Gold (18K): This gold has a warm yellow color, slightly toned down by the presence of alloy metals. It strikes a balance between the rich color of higher karat golds and the durability needed for everyday wear.
            Lower Karat Gold (14K and 10K): These have a lighter yellow color, often with a hint of whiteness due to the higher proportion of alloy metals. They are much harder and more resistant to scratches and dents.
              Interesting Facts
              Alloying Metals: The metals used to alloy gold, such as copper, silver, zinc, and nickel, not only affect the color but also enhance the durability of the gold.
              Cultural Preferences: Different cultures have preferences for different gold purities. For example, 22K gold is highly popular in Indian and Middle Eastern jewellery, whereas 14K and 18K gold are more common in Western countries.
              Hypoallergenic Properties: Higher karat golds (18K and above) are less likely to cause allergic reactions because they contain fewer alloy metals, which can sometimes cause skin irritation.


                Understanding the different purities of yellow gold helps you make informed choices when selecting jewellery. Whether you prefer the rich hue of 24K gold or the durability of 14K gold, each purity level offers unique benefits and aesthetic qualities. When choosing yellow gold jewellery, consider both the visual appeal and practical aspects to find the perfect piece for your needs.
                For more detailed information on gold purity and its implications, you can refer to resources like GIA and Blue Nile.
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