Most similar in color to pure gold, yellow gold is commonly a mixture of pure gold with either zinc or copper. Of the three types of gold, it is the most malleable and therefore easiest for jewelers to manipulate when creating settings. It needs to be cleaned and polished regularly to maintain its brilliant color. Historically yellow gold was the most popular metal used for engagement rings and wedding bands, making it an ideal choice for vintage style settings. It is also the color associated with winning, of example as plating for the first place Olympic medals.
Pure gold and some combination of silver, palladium and nickel creates white gold. Nickel provides the strength needed for a durable setting that will last. A slight yellow tint is still present, so many pieces of white gold jewelry are plated with a thin layer of rhodium. Cleaning and polishing regularly is necessary, and to retain color and luster white gold should be re-dipped every few years. This color has gained popularity in recent years, serving as a less expensive but equally beautiful alternative to platinum. It pairs beautifully with white diamonds, invoking a sophisticated almost mono-chromatic style.
To create rose gold, pure gold is mixed with copper in varying quantities. The more copper introduced to the pure gold base, the deeper the pinkish tint. It is the strongest of the three colors of gold, but still requires regular cleaning. Rose gold is said to have been initially created in 19th century Russia and has since made a resurgence in popularity, especially with rings. Its color gives a romantic feeling to jewelry because its soft, rosy tones that compliment all skin tones.
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