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Colored gold

Various colors of gold obtained by alloying gold with other elements / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Colored gold is the name given to any gold that has been treated using techniques to change its natural color. Pure gold is slightly reddish yellow in color,[1] but colored gold can come in a variety of different colors by alloying it with different elements.

Ag-Au-Cu-colours-english.svg
Ternary plot of different colors of Agā€“Auā€“Cu alloys

Colored golds can be classified in three groups:[2]

  • Alloys with silver and copper in various proportions, producing white, yellow, green and red golds. These are typically malleable alloys.
  • Intermetallic compounds, producing blue and purple golds, as well as other colors. These are typically brittle, but can be used as gems and inlays.
  • Surface treatments, such as oxide layers.

Pure 100% (in practice, 99.9% or better) gold is 24 karat by definition, so all colored golds are less pure than this, commonly 18K (75%), 14K (58.5%), 10K (41.6%), or 9K (37.5%).[3]

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