Mostly we think of shining yellow gold when we think of gold. This is its natural colour when 24 karat gold jewelry is created. Gold jewelry does in fact come in many colours, variants on the classic pure gold.
The most popular and most often referred to is white gold jewelry, which was first brought into vogue in the 1920's. White gold is made by adding "white" metals to gold, such as platinum, silver, zinc and nickel. White gold jewelry made with platinum can be more expensive then pure gold jewelry because platinum is currently worth more than gold.
The second most common variation on 24 karat gold jewelry is rose gold or red gold jewelry. Rose gold is created in varying hues by adding copper to gold.
In recent years, thanks to new technologies, new gold jewelry colours have evolved. Gold jewelry can now be found in colours such as black gold, green gold, purple gold and blue gold.
These new colours are often used in combinations to highlight each other or in small amounts to add contrast to yellow, white or rose gold.
Examples of designer gold jewelry using different coloured golds can be seen in the Les Symboliques collection by Boucheron.
Jarretiere has also been innovative with their creation and use of coloured golds in their jewelry collections.
How are coloured golds made?
According to KaiJewels.com, making coloured golds is possible by formation of special gold metal compounds (Intermetallic Compounds) or by forming a surface coating on gold (Patination Of Gold).
Alloying gold and aluminium makes purple gold. Purple gold is often used to highlight white gold jewelry. View examples of purple gold jewelry.
Blue Gold is made by the interaction of gold and indium with manufacturing techniques being similar to those used to make purple gold.
Black Gold can be created using quite a few techniques using black rhodium or ruthenium, amorphouse carbon, and oxidation of carat gold containing chromium or cobalt. Read more about the techniques used to create coloured gold jewelry.
According to 24carat.co.uk, Green gold is made by combining gold and silver with no copper in the alloy mix producing a greenish yellow. Most green golds are very soft and generally used only as small amounts to highlight other gold colours.
Coloured golds add another avenue of creative possibilities for gold jewelry designers. The gold jewelry being designed with coloured golds incorporated is a testimony to this and coloured golds are becoming more popular in their use in modern gold jewelry design.