While the average American doesn’t invest in precious metals, a recent survey reveals about 10.8% of the population owns gold. About 6.5 % of this number owns both gold and silver as investment vehicles. What is more, these are millennial investors aged between 24 and 35.
Gold is one of the oldest precious metals used in early human civilization to measure and store wealth. However, there are various types of gold influencing multiple uses. Moreover, pure gold is too malleable and requires other alloys to increase its strength.
So, in case you want to invest in gold today, what options do you have? This article highlights the prevalent types of gold.
Yellow gold is the purest, naturally occurring metal. It comes in investment-quality ingots.
This gold offers a perfect hedge against inflation. However, the percentage purity may range from 99.5% to 99.5%
If you want to buy gold today, rose sounds like a go-to option because it’s relatively affordable than other types of gold. Also known as pink or red gold, it contains 25% copper and 75% pure gold. However, some gold alloys may have more copper to give a deeper reddish look.
It’s imperative to note that you can’t obtain 24K rose gold. This is because adding copper alloy to give the rose color lowers the percentage purity of gold. For this reason, rose gold offers more durability than white and yellow gold alloys.
The Different Types of Gold According to Karats
Generally, gold karats express the purity of gold alloys. These alloys include various metals such as zinc, copper, nickel, and silver. According to karats, the prevalent types of gold include 24K, 22K, 18K, 14K, and 10K. 24K contains 100% gold with zero traces of other metal elements.
22K gold contains about 97.1% gold occupying 22 of the 24 parts, while 18K contains 18 pieces or 75% of gold. This karat is common in fine jewelry because it doesn’t require gold plating to prevent oxidation. 14K and 10K golds contain 58.3 and 41.7% of pure gold, respectively.
The use of green gold dates back to as early as 860 BC. Also known as Electrum, green gold contains silver or copper alloys, or both. It’s the silver alloys that refract the green coloring. If the alloys include both silver and copper, the gold will look greenish-yellow instead of green.
Besides copper and silver gold alloys, cadmium elements can also create a green color. However, this element is rare because it’s toxic.
Black gold is a go-to option for many jewelers. This electroplated gold mainly features a ruthenium or black rhodium finish. However, the biggest drawback of gold plating is that the finishing material wears with time.
Black gold production can entail oxidation using sulfur-oxygen-based compounds. Also, cobalt alloys (25% cobalt) can form a black oxide layer on gold. In the case of copper alloy electroplating, the gold may appear brownish.
Gold for Jewelry and Investment
The information above gives you in-depth insight into the various types of gold. Just remember that each option is ideal for different use. For instance, yellow gold is suitable for investment, while gold alloys are ideal for jewelry.
Learn more about gold and other precious metals by checking more articles on this website.