50 Shades of Gold: Exploring the Most Popular Types of Gold


Gold, with its timeless allure and enduring value, has fascinated humans for centuries. From ancient civilisations to modern financial markets, gold has been treasured for its beauty, rarity, and practical applications. In this post, we delve into the most popular types of gold, exploring their unique characteristics and why they remain highly sought after.

Firstly, the concept of the carat (ct) or karat (kt) remains constant among all different types of gold. The carat measures how pure the gold is, where the higher the carat, the higher the percentage of pure gold in the metal. 24ct gold is pure gold, which means it is not mixed with any other metals, referred to as alloys. However, 24ct gold is too soft for jewellery use. Therefore, it is mixed with other harder alloys, such as copper, palladium, and silver, to strengthen it and make it durable enough for every day wear. The most popular gold varieties are 9ct, 14ct, and 18ct gold. 9ct gold contains 37.5% gold, 14ct contains 58.5%, and 18ct contains 75%.

  1. Yellow Gold:

Yellow gold is the classic and most traditional form of gold. It's a timeless favourite for jewellery and investment alike. Its warm, golden hue is achieved by mixing pure gold with alloy metals like copper and silver (with the silver being in a higher proportion to the copper).

  1. White Gold:

White gold is created by mixing gold with other white metals like palladium, nickel, or silver. It's a popular choice for engagement rings and other jewellery, offering a modern and elegant aesthetic.

Another benefit of white gold is that, due to the addition of the white metals, which are typically harder, this variety is more durable. It can last long-term, which makes it ideal for engagement and wedding rings since these are worn daily. However, since white gold jewellery is often plated with a layer of rhodium (another precious white metal) to ensure it has a beautiful silver sheen, the rhodium plating can start to wear down with frequent wear. Therefore, white gold can require more maintenance as it will require dipping every few years to maintain its colour.

  1. Rose Gold:

Rose gold is a blend of gold, copper, and a touch of silver, resulting in a warm, pinkish hue. It offers a feminine and unique alternative to traditional gold types.

The addition of a high proportion of copper also makes this gold the most durable variety, which means it can last long-term without major scratching or damage.

This romantic gold type has gained immense popularity in recent years, especially among younger demographics.

  1. Green Gold (Blue Gold):

Less common but equally fascinating, green gold or blue gold is achieved by alloying gold with a small amount of aluminium. This mixture creates a distinct green or blue shade, which is used in specialized applications like watches and high-end jewellery.

  1. Black Gold:

Black gold is created by electroplating or chemically treating yellow or white gold with a layer of black rhodium or other black metals. This unique and edgy gold type is popular in contemporary jewellery designs.

Which Type Of Gold Is The Most Popular?

Since it was first discovered in the earth in its natural state, the most common type of gold found throughout history is yellow gold. It is the most common due to its availability and the limited methods available of alloying gold.

Since advances in science, however, and the knowledge to mix gold with other metals has grown, different gold colours have seen different periods of popularity. This is also dependent on the fashion trends of the day.

Which Gold Should I Choose?

The biggest choice that most people have to make when it comes to choosing a type of gold is colour: Which colour gold do you prefer? Which matches the best with your skin tone and fashion style? And so on.

Another factor to consider is the intended purpose of the gold. The durability properties of each type of gold can vary largely, based on the metals and quantities used in the blend. Therefore, if the piece of jewellery is likely to be worn daily (for example, an engagement ring or a wedding band) then a more durable gold should be chosen, however a less durable gold can be chosen if the jewellery will only be worn once in a while.

Another important consideration is cost, which varies depending on the proportions of alloy metals used. For example, a 10ct gold ring has been mixed with more alloys than a 14ct gold ring, which means that the 14ct ring is contains more pure gold, and therefore more expensive.

In terms of fashionable popularity, gold has also seen different periods. From the 1960s to 1980s, yellow gold was very popular. Then in the 1990s, the popularity of white gold started to take over. Recently, the popularity of rose gold has started to resurface in the past few years as well.

At Mark Whitehorn Goldsmith, we stick to the three most popular golds, being 9ct and 18ct yellow, white and rose gold, as we know that all of our clients walk away with something that is timeless and that they can cherish forever.

The allure of gold remains undiminished, and its popularity endures through various forms and types. From the traditional yellow gold to the modern elegance of white, rose, green, and even black gold, each variant offers a unique appeal for different tastes and styles. Whether for fashion or investment, gold continues to shine as a symbol of luxury and prosperity.