Gold is malleable, durable, hypoallergenic, and tarnish-resistant. 24 karat is the gold standard and represents gold in its purest form (99.9+% pure gold). Although pure gold possesses a highly desirable deep, full yellow color, it is too soft to effectively be used for making rings. Therefore, alloying pure gold with other metals improves its mechanical properties such as strength and durability.
Typically, 18K gold is composed of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals while 14K gold contains 58.33% pure gold and 41.67% other metals. Palladium, nickel, silver, and copper are alloyed with pure gold to create a variety of colored golds. For example, adding copper imparts a reddish, pink hue while adding silver results in a greener shade of yellow.
Alloying not only changes the properties and color of gold, but also the cost. Generally, using lower cost alloying metals results in lower pure gold content and, thus, lower overall cost.
Andrew Nyce Designs offers 14K and 18K yellow gold, 14K and 18K palladium white gold, as well as 14K white gold.
18K gold is considered the industry standard for high-quality jewelry and is favored by European jewelers. Andrew Nyce Designs offers both 14K and 18K yellow gold. Our 18K gold, known as Royal Yellow, exhibits a rich yellow color with a slightly greener hue. The 14K yellow provides a warm yellow color with a slightly pinker hue.
Although 18K yellow gold is more valuable and tends to have a deeper color, 14K yellow gold tends to be stronger and more durable. On the down side, 14K gold is more likely to tarnish compared to 18K yellow gold.
White gold is an alloy made by adding at least one white metal such as nickel, palladium, or silver to pure gold. 18K white gold is mix of 75% pure gold and 25% white metal. Andrew Nyce Designs offers 14K and 18K palladium white gold as well as 14K nickel white gold.
Compared to yellow gold, white gold is stronger and more durable. It is also more scratch-resistant. Compared to platinum, white gold has several advantages including lower cost and lighter weight.
In general, palladium white gold has a warmer color than nickel white gold, but is more expensive.
For engagement rings, white gold complements the brilliance of diamonds.
Andrew Nyce Designs offers both 14K and 18K white gold alloyed with palladium. The 14K palladium white gold provides a cool, gray tint, whereas 18K palladium white gold appears lighter, whiter. Palladium white gold alloys are soft and pliable.
Compared to nickel white gold, palladium white gold is hypoallergenic and holds its white color better. Palladium white gold is a good choice for white gold gemstone settings.
Andrew Nyce Designs offers 14K white gold alloyed with nickel. The nickel white gold tends to have a colder white color.
About one in eight people have allergies to the nickel used in white gold alloys. Reactions include itching and swelling where the metal comes in contact with the skin. Although white gold alloys containing palladium generally are not allergenic, they are slightly more expensive.
Red gold is a gold and copper alloy with a distinctive reddish color. It is also known as pink or rose gold. Typically, 18K red gold is composed of 75% pure gold, 21% copper, and 4% pure silver while 14K red gold contains 58.33% pure gold and 41.67% copper.
Higher karat red gold alloys (18K or higher) are lighter in color than lower karat alloys (14K) because there is more pure gold (yellow) than copper (red). In other words, the higher the copper content, the deeper and richer the red hue. Andrew Nyce Designs offers both 14K and 18K red gold.
Red gold can be used to complement colored diamonds. From a price perspective, red gold is similar to the more traditional and common yellow gold.