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Gold alloys are created to change the working properties of gold and sometimes colour too. The goldsmith is sensitive when creating alloys because every addition of other metals decreases the special qualities of gold and the value of the precious metals.
Alloys of Gold
Generally, a gold alloy is made by adding other metals to the pure gold, which reduces its hardness and increases its density. By varying the quantity of the other metals, jewelers and metalsmiths can create an alloy that has the perfect characteristics for the jewellery they are making.
Silver is a common component in gold alloys and combines with the gold to create a range of different colours. Combined with copper, it gives a pink or rose gold. When combining with zinc, it gives a white gold.
Nickel and silver are two common components in gold alloys and help to lower the risk that a gold alloy will turn green. This is because nickel and silver act as bleachers that pale the gold.
Platinum is another common element in gold alloys and adds strength and durability to the metal. It also gives the gold a glossy sheen, improving its luster.
Other popular elements in gold alloys include aluminium and palladium. Aluminium and palladium can be combined with gold to produce a range of different colours.
Rolex, Panerai and other luxury brands have all developed their own proprietary alloys that are used to create distinctive pieces. These unique recipes offer a number of benefits, such as a stable and accurate colour or improved durability.