We’ve already written about pink gold, rose gold, white gold, and even green gold on the Specialty Metals blog. (See related posts below.) We thought we’d seen just about every color, then we found an article entitled “What Can Make a Piece of Gold Turn Blue?” that Esther Inglis-Arkell wrote for io9.com.Read More
If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know a lot about recyclable precious metals and where they can be found.
We’re going to give you some more valuable information today, in a list of precious metal alloys. You might want to print out a copy for your files or bookmark it on your browser, because it can help you find and understand valuable alloys.
Argentium Sterling Silver
This alloy of sterling silver and germanium, popular in jewelry, answers the need for a lustrous sterling-silver alloy that resists tarnishing. It is about 90% pure silver.
Since Roman times, billon has been used to mint coins and medals that look like silver, but which contain copper and other base metals. Billon coins, commemorative medals and other items contain small quantities of silver and are generally not worth recycling.
This is an alloy of silver and copper that got its name nearly 300 years ago, when the British government attempted to set up standards for silver that could be used by silversmiths. It generally contains about 90% silver, but that percentage can only be accurately determined by a qualified precious metals recycling company.
Pink, Rose, Yellow and other Colored Golds
These tinted golds are alloys that have been created by combining 24K gold with silver, rhodium, nickel, and other metals. The value of these metals can be determined after testing by Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.
Electrum is an interesting alloy of gold, silver and copper that occurs naturally in nature. It has been mined and used in coins since ancient times. It can contain as much as 70% pure gold, but that percentage varies. If you come into possession of ancient coins, some of them could be made of this alloy.
Mokume Gane, which has gotten to be something of a craze among people who are shopping for wedding rings, isn’t an alloy per se, but a striated metal that is made up of thin laminated layers of gold, silver, platinum, and other metals. When it is twisted and formed by a jeweler, beautiful and unusual surfaces are created. How much gold and other precious metals does Mokume Gane contain? It depends completely on the way the laminate was created and what it contains.
Platinaire is a patented alloy used in jewelry. It contains 92.5% silver, 5% platinum and 2.5% base metals. It is often made from recycled silver and platinum.
As we explored in an earlier post on this blog, alloys of platinum and rhodium are widely used in lab testing equipment, thermocouples, and other applications. And don’t forget that platinum and rhodium are often found side-by-side in catalytic converters.
Platinum sterling, like Platinaire, is an alloy of silver and platinum that is used to make jewelry. It is made of about 92.5% sterling silver, amounts of platinum that can vary from between 3% to 5%, and quantities of gallium and base metals.
Just as the name implies, this is an alloy of titanium and gold, most commonly used in jewelry and dental applications. The percentages of gold and titanium can vary widely, according to the application.
Find Out What Your Precious Metal Alloys Are Worth
Remember, a qualified precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can test your holdings of these alloys and quickly determine their value. Give us a call at 800-426-2344 or fill out our contact form today.
What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals
Are White, Pink, and other Golds Worth Less than Yellow Gold?
Platinum Sterling: What You Need to Know about this Precious Alloy
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining 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 . . .
- 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.
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