Unlike most of your everyday possessions, gold is an evergreen substance. Gold from thousands of years ago has basically the same properties as any newly mined gold. The different types of gold, mentioned in the industry are just different combinations of pure gold that is mixed with different metals. However, there are also some gold names that refer to a form in which gold is presented.
This article will take a further look into gold and the different names we have for it. You will also find out the amount of purity for each presented type. You can check the rates for today here
The most common way to describe the purity of the gold is through the term ‘karat‘. The term was first used as a form of weight, however, nowadays people use it to describe the purity of the gold.
When dealing with gold in karat, we simply use a number that is followed by the letter K: 9K,12K,18K,24K Gold. If the gold is completely pure it is described as 24K gold. In most countries, however, 99% pureness is already enough for the gold to be considered as 24K.
To go further, 12K Gold translates to an item that has 50% of pure gold inside it. Other half is composed of other metals, such as silver.
All in all, when you want to know the purity of gold in your items, you should divide the karat value of your gold by 24 and multiply it by 100. The end result is the % of purity of your gold. With that simple formula, you can quickly find out the real value of your golden possessions.
Gold can be in found in different colors. Different metals, present in the mix are the reason for the different coloring of that precious metal. The variety of hues are there mainly for the purpose of jewelry. To give you an example, here are some of the gold color types with the description of how they are made:
- White Gold: Gold with a white color is mostly mixed with white metal like palladium or nickel. The standard white gold contains 14K of gold (58,5% purity). The rest of the mix contains 21% copper, 12.73% nickel and 7.84% zinc. In order to get more shine, white gold can often be rhodium plated.
- Red, Rose and Pink Gold: Gold shines in those colors when it is mixed with copper. The tone of the color depends on the amount of copper present in the alloy. The more copper used in the mix, the darker the hue of the red. Usually, a common rose gold mix contains 18K of gold (75% purity) mixed with 25% copper, while a 12K gold alloy, mixed with copper, is what we know as red gold.
- Green Gold: Green gold, which is also called electrum, is an alloy that can be also found in nature. It is a combination of gold and silver. The green tone of gold varies, based on the exact mixture combination. To give you some orientation, the common mix of green gold would be 73% gold and 27% silver.
- Blue Gold: Blue gold is a mix of gold and indium, more specifically, 46% gold and 54% indium.
- Purple Gold: Purple gold contains the aluminum The common mix is 80% gold and 20% aluminum.
- Black Gold: Black gold is a mix of gold and cobalt. The most common alloy is 75% gold and 25% cobalt.
The gold bullion is an expression that refers to gold that is valued based on its purity and weight, in contrast to jewelry or antique items that are also valued based on aesthetics, colors, design, novelty or history. Gold bullion is a term that is mostly used in the gold industry and when referring to gold as an investment.
Whenever you see gold in the movies or popular culture, it is most likely presented in the form of gold bars. The bars are usually in a rectangular shape. Nevertheless, they can be made into a multitude of shapes and forms as long as they are refined. Gold bars are generally arranged into two sub-types: cast and minted. Cast gold are bars which are thicker. They are usually called gold ingots. The thinner or flatter bars can be called gold biscuits or gold wafers. Despite those two types, gold can be split into 55 categories. Around 30 of those are in general circulation on the world markets. Among those, the most popular type is the Good Delivery gold bar.
Gold Bullion Coins
The common misconception is that gold coins should be expensive because they are mostly antiques or a collector’s item. This is not the case when talking about gold bullion coins. This form of gold is used in the same way as the gold bars, with the main difference being its shape. The gold bullion coins are smaller in weight. There are many different countries that produce their own gold coins with different national emblems. The most popular ones are the U.S Eagles, South African Krugerrands, and Canadian Maples.
Other Gold Types
Numismatic Gold Coins
Those type of coins are mostly collector’s items or antiques that are evaluated far above their weight in gold. They don’t have any general weight or purity standard and are almost always in a form of old gold tokens that are no longer in production.
Unrefined gold is a term used for gold in its original state. That form of gold is naturally unrefined and can be found in different forms. The most known form of unrefined gold are gold nuggets that are naturally formed golden pieces that are quite big and range between 20K-23K. Unrefined gold can be also found as gold dust among other types of natural gold deposits.
Gold scrap means any gold item that has more value in the weight of gold inside it than it does as an item in its current form. The most common item in that category would be broken jewelry. You can also find some of the precious metal in gold plated electronic items that are no longer in use. The terms that are used when describing gold scrap items include Gold Plate, Gold Filled, Rolled Gold and Gold Wash.