Gold alloy - jewelry

Gold in almost pure form, with a fineness of 999 (24 carats), is mainly used for investment coins such as the Krugerrand and gold bars. However, it is unsuitable for jewelry making and daily use because it is too soft and jewelry pieces would easily deform and suffer scratches. For this reason gold alloys are used.

But what exactly is a gold alloy? A gold alloy is gold mixed with at least one other metal such as copper, silver, palladium, platinum, zinc or iron. Depending on the metals used, the alloy has different properties and a diverse appearance. It is important to note that gold alloys should not be confused with imitation gold or gold plating, as these either contain no gold at all or only contain a small amount.

Of course, the addition of other metals leads to a reduction in the gold content and thus a reduction in the price of jewelry and other products that use gold.

Possible gold alloys

The fineness of gold for an alloy is given in 1000th parts. The stamp 333 means that 333 parts of gold out of a total of 1,000 parts were used in this piece of jewelry. The composition of the other metal components can differ. There are no fixed compositions and no labeling requirements. Copper and silver are mainly used in combination with other metals.

Examples of color design using gold alloys

The most common are yellow gold alloys. The following compositions are possible here:

Gold 14 carat Gold 18 carat Gold 22 carat
58% gold
4-28% silver
14-28% copper
75% gold
10-20% silver
5-15% copper
92% gold
4.2% silver
4.2% copper

In the past, nickel was often used, but today it is rarely used due to the high possibility of causing allergies.

By adding copper you get red gold, if you alloy the gold with iron it becomes blue gold and green gold is achieved by adding cadmium and silver. Palladium is added to the popular white gold.

Alloys with a low gold content can discolor the jewelry and leave black deposits on skin and clothing.

Properties of gold alloys

The addition of other metals changes not only the color but also the hardness of the gold, abrasion and corrosion resistance. Common and popular is 585 gold, in which the hardness and abrasion are increased by alloying with silver and copper, the elasticity is low and the corrosion resistance is good.

333 gold is the lowest gold alloy on the market. The jewelry made from it is more robust than higher alloys and significantly cheaper. In Germany, 333 gold jewelry is offered, while in the future this alloy will be referred to as a “gold-containing metal” according to an EU directive that has not yet been passed. In Switzerland, jewelry with a gold content of 333/1000 cannot be offered as gold jewelry.

Hallmarking of gold alloys

Hallmarking is an embossing, for example of precious metals. This imprint is small and in a hidden location. This stamp indicates the fineness of precious metals. Hallmarking is common in Germany, but not mandatory. The forms and type of hallmarking differ from country to country.

The following stamps can be found on gold alloys:

Rubber stamp Rubber stamp Rubber stamp
333 8th 33.3
750 18 75.0
833 20 83.3
22 90.0
24 98.6

Production of a gold alloy

A gold alloy is melted gold to which other metals are added. There are several reasons for this:
1. To make gold easier to work with for jewelry making. Hardness, formability and melting point can be changed through targeted additions.
2. Alloying can also change the color of gold.
3. In order to save costs, cheaper metals are also added.

In order to achieve the best possible result with alloy, a lot of sensitivity is required from goldsmiths.

Titanium Gold Alloy

Since titanium can withstand high temperatures and is very hard, it is suitable for many applications. It is very popular in making wedding rings. Since pure titanium alone is not suitable, it is mixed with gold. The titanium gold alloy is also used in the production of medical technology.

Gold silver alloy

Gold-silver alloy is a commonly chosen option in the electronics industry due to its inexpensive silver component. The use of silver instead of gold in this alloy makes it possible to produce electronic components more economically without sacrificing the necessary electrical and technical properties. This makes them a preferred choice for various electronic applications and devices.

Our gold jewelry collection: Perfectly sorted by carat

Discover our exquisite collection of gold jewelry, carefully sorted by carat to suit your individual style and preferences. With a wide range of gold alloys, from 8 carats to 18 carats, we offer you jewelry of the highest quality and timeless elegance.

8 carat jewelry: Click here

9 carat jewelry: Click here

14 carat jewelry: Click here

18 carat jewelry: Click here

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