Pure gold (24ct) is a dense metal that is shiny with a yellowish colour and is very soft and malleable. More commonly used in jewellery, it must be combined (alloyed) with another metal to strengthen it.
Difference between 9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold
The main difference is the amount of actual gold in the jewellery item (gold content). As 24ct(100% pure) is too soft for jewellery items it must be combined (alloyed) with another metals to strengthen it. The more pure the gold is the greater the colour and the greater the value will be but the softer the item. That is why men’s jewellery is more commonly made in 9ct as it is stronger and more durable and ladies diamond fine jewellery is made in 18ct gold.
White gold is an alloy of yellow gold and at least one white metal, usually palladium (a form of platinum). Jewellery made from these metals has a slight yellow colour. To enhance the whiteness, all white gold is plated with rhodium – a shiny, white metal which is extremely hard. Depending on the amount of wear to a piece of jewellery, over time the rhodium plating may wear off, revealing the original metal colour. Jewellery can be re-plated with rhodium to restore the whiteness.
Rose gold, red gold, or pink gold are made from a gold and copper alloy. Since copper has a bold pinkish-orange colour, adding this alloy to gold gives the gold a beautiful pinkish gold colour.