Are White, Pink, and other Golds Worth Less than Yellow Gold?

Over the years, clever jewelers have created ways of lending a variety of colors to gold. They have developed white gold, rose gold, pink gold and even – get this – green gold.

Are those tinted golds worth less than yellow gold? After all, yellow is gold’s natural color. The simple answer to that question is, the color of gold doesn’t affect its value too much. What affects the value the most is the karat rating of gold. To review . . .

Image Credit: Metallos [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Metallos [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • 24K gold is pure gold
  • 18K gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of another metal or metals
  • 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of another metal or metals
  • 12K gold contains 12 parts gold and 12 parts of another metal or metals
  • 10K gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of another metal or metals

So Where Does the Color Come From?

The answer to that question can be found in the words just above, “another metal or metals.” Those other metals that are added to 24K pure gold determine the color of the resulting gold alloy.

Here’s a quick rundown on what those other metals are . . .

  • White gold is an alloy created by adding palladium to gold
  • Pink gold and rose gold are alloys created by adding copper to gold
  • Green gold is an alloy created by adding silver to gold

But Isn’t 18K White Gold Worth More than 18K Pink Gold?

If you just asked that question, you are a critical thinker. And you are right to ask, because 18K white gold is worth more per ounce than 18K pink gold is, because palladium will make up 6 parts of white gold (25%) and copper will make up six parts of pink gold (25%); because palladium is worth more than copper, white gold alloys will be worth more than pink gold alloys.

But it all gets even more complicated, because gold smelters sometimes add more than one metal to karat gold to achieve the exact hue that they are seeking.

So if you want to know exactly how much pure gold is in a quantity of gold jewelry that you have on hand, and whether it contains other precious metals that can be recycled profitably, you’ll need to send us a sample for testing. If you give us a call at 800-426-2344, we will tell you how.

Related Posts:

What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?
The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys
A Fast, Fascinating History of Metals like Gold and Silver
An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery