Gold Alloys

November 15, 2021
Written by Peter Anderson

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are from sponsors. The list below is an honest review gathered from thorough research, experience, and consumer-based feedback. 

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When it comes to gold, just about any other metal can be alloyed with it. 

However, the majority of the metals used to mix with gold do not have much significance.

This means metals such as antimony, zinc, tin, and arsenic will decrease the gold's appearance and create a color of grey or pale yellow that becomes brittle, fusible, and hard.

With iron and lead alloys, they can create growth and with copper, it does not cause a difference in the volume.

What is Gold Alloy 

Gold alloy is a mix of gold and another metal that is mixed to form a specific gold characteristic. 

Having a gold alloy that includes lead will develop an alloy that is pale, hard, and fragile and can disintegrate with a single touch.

Having a mix of gold and 4% lead will lead to a significant amount of isolation as the elements bind.

Many different gold alloys have been easily mixed in a variety of ways. 

An example is the AuSn, which was discovered through the conductivity of electricity.

An alloy of gold and zinc was discovered through a spongy flock after water and gold sulfate were mixed in.

With gold and cadmium, the alloy is a precipitate that is grey-colored. 

When heated, it becomes gold and mono cadmium alloy. 

When a mix of cadmium salt is added, the alloy becomes gold-cadmium and zinc salt.

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Gold Bars & Ingots 

Gold bars are also known as gold ingots.

It is a measured amount of gold that is refined and in any type of shape using producing methods that are standard.

With larger gold bars, the molten gold is poured into an ingot mold.

With smaller bars, they use gold sheets for minting.

Gold bars that are standard and held as a reserve are 400-troy-ounces.

The 100 troy ounce and 1,000 grams kilobar is the most achievable and invested the most among all of them. 

Each bar premium is low upon trading and over gold's spot value.

This makes it the perfect choice for transfers by traders and financial institutions.

The majority of kilobars are in the form of a brick or flat. 

The gold markets in Asia deal mostly in bars that are in grams.

Gold Purity

The purity of the type of gold needs to be at least 10K and with a content minimum of 1/20th of the gold's weight.

So, if gold is 400, then the purity of the gold will be 40%, which is close to 10K. 

For US standards, it is set at a minimum of 10K, which is now marketed by other foreign markets, which is used in both dental and jewelry processes.

Gold Colored Alloy

When copper is added to gold, the alloying will create several colors, which will then allow a jeweler to use it for several uses.

Although gold-colored alloy is not as popular as others, it is becoming more recognized.

What is also less known is that many different colors can also be achieved, unlike the alloys that are more traditional.

A few examples include black, purple, and blue alloys.

Gold Alloys consisting of red, yellow, and green colors are also possible.

In order to achieve red color alloy, copper needs to be added. With silver added, it creates a green alloy.

When 15% of zinc is added to gold allow, the red color can become richer in red and eventually turn a red or darkish yellowing.

Having alloys like these can be described by the way they are worked.

The addition of zinc is able to influence the arrangement of gold's order and the amount of a1 and a2.

This will ultimately alter the alloy's ability to harden.

A zinc relationship can easily be seen in 14-carat gold alloys in regards to color and makeup.

Where is Gold Alloy Used?

Many uses exist with gold alloy as well as a variety of industries, but is usually not used for investing like physical gold or paper gold are.

However, the most notable is in the dental field. Outside of the dental field, it is used heavily in jewelry.

Gold Alloy in Jewelry 

There is a good reason why gold is used so much in jewelry and the main reason is its ability to mold into a variety of formations.

 Gold in its purest is a soft texture so it is not used in much.

But when gold becomes alloyed with another type of metal, its strength is increased thus making it more malleable.

The most used alloys in jewelry involve yellow gold that is 18K, white gold that is 18K, and white gold palladium that is 18K.

With 18K, it consists of copper, silver, and/or cobalt, zinc with 75% pure gold.

This is used the most and is a standard among all jewelry makers.

White gold that is 18K is made up of both palladium or zinc along with 75% pure gold.

Jewelry made with white gold needs a plating of rhodium due to it deteriorating with constant wear.

 White gold-palladium that is 18K is an alloy made of 25% palladium and 75% pure gold.

This gold is the most expensive and also deteriorates quickly after extended periods of use.

There is also a green-gold that many pieces of jewelry contain as well as a nice rose gold option.

Gold Alloy in Dentistry

 When it comes to dentistry, nothing seems to be complete unless some gold is involved. 

In fact, gold is used in many dental applications such as crowns, fillings, bridges, and even as a tooth itself. 

Because of the inert properties of gold and nonallergenic state, gold can be easily manipulated by the dentist. 

The Use of Alloy in White Gold 

Alloys involving white gold were the result of a need for platinum substitutes, which are incorporated with diamond jewelry.

With jewelry, the setting, the clasps, and yellow/white pieces. 

The clasps need to be of good quality and good strength.

The yellow and white alloys are not used as much as the color alloys; however, they do have a good use for many instances such as fashion.

In the 70s, there was an increase in the price of gold with a pure fineness, which then made many obtain more jewelry consisting of white gold. A white gold trend continues to make headway in Europe.

Alloy consisting of white gold jewelry is made up of different alloy components.

When palladium or nickel is bleached, they will create a decreased amount of reflection obtained by the alloy due to it being on the lower end of the spectrum. 

Integration is made possible because of lower levels of energy as opposed to gold in its pure form, with the reflective nature being decreased in the spectrum ranges of infrared and red.

What are the advantages of gold being part of an alloy?

Many advantages exist by having a mix of gold within an alloy.

A few of them include:

  • Resistance to tarnishing
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Improved chemical properties once combined.