12% of American adults own gold, and global investment demand for it recently jumped by 80% YOY.
Precious metals are great for portfolio diversification and protect you from a drop in any part of it. Gold is one of the best if you choose the right piece.
Read on to learn the types of gold you have to choose from.
Table of Contents
The basic components of what to know before buying gold or silver include color, karat, and coating. They all affect the metal’s value and rarity. They also help you decide what types of gold to invest in.
Gold alloys are created by combining gold with another metal. This is the most common way to give them unique colors that look great but cost less.
Yellow gold is the purest and most popular. It’s created by adding metals such as zinc and copper. It’s more affordable, durable, and scratch-resistant than pure gold but looks almost the same.
White gold is either a hypoallergenic mixture of palladium, gold, and silver or a more affordable mixture of nickel, gold, copper, and zinc. It’s usually plated with rhodium and is the most popular option for engagement rings.
Rose gold contains approximately 25% copper, giving it a unique pinkish color. Purer alloys have deeper, darker colors.
Black gold is a rare color created by giving gold a black surface coating. Methods include electroplating, CVD or chemical vapor deposition, and oxidation, but only femtosecond lasering is permanent.
Green cold is a combination of gold and silver. There is a natural form called electrum, but it’s difficult to find.
Purple gold combines gold and aluminum. It’s easy to break and not malleable, so it’s mostly decorative.
Blue gold is the least common color of all. It’s made from an alloy of gold and indium or gallium that’s subjected to heat. It may also have an intermetallic like purple gold or an oxidized coating like black gold.
Gold Karat Measures
Karat is a measure of the purity of gold alloys.
24-karat gold is pure gold. It’s hypoallergenic and resists tarnishing and corrosion but is easy to scratch or break.
18 karat gold is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. It isn’t as bright as 24-karat gold but is more durable.
14-karat gold is the most popular in the US. It’s made up of 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% other metals. It’s more affordable and durable than 18-karat gold.
10-karat gold was once the lowest level of purity available in the US. It only contains 41.7% pure gold and has a dull color, but it’s the most affordable.
Types of Gold Coating
Gold-filled metals are coated in a gold alloy using mechanical bonding. The coating accounts for at least 5% of the total weight. It’s the thickest and longest-lasting type of coating.
Rolled gold also uses mechanical plating but only requires 2.5% pure gold.
Vermicelli and gold plating use electroplating to suspend a base metal into liquid gold and bond them together with an electric current. The former uses sterling silver, while the latter uses brass or copper.
How to Be A Smart Investor
There are several types of gold to choose from if you want to invest in precious metals.
Look at color, karat, and coating to determine rarity and value. These factors will help you decide if a piece of gold bullion is worth your money.
Read the rest of our content for more investment tips.