Gold is definitely one of the most attractive precious metals, with its yellow color it has been captivating the hearts and minds of people since the ancient times. Countless wars have been fought in part for power, but also another very big part of the reason why warlords were invading other groups was because of gold, because of the spoils of war that were awaiting them after the victory. Those who have been thinking about gold and how it’s very attractive are probably wondering why is gold alloyed with other metals, why isn’t it distributed in its pure state?
There’s actually two reasons why that is the case, and one of them is actually very important if you’re not willing to have your jewelry damaged and destroyed by constant nicks and knacks that it suffers. The two reasons that we’re mentioned are the fact that pure gold is very soft, and it can be very easily damaged if not properly taken care of, and the second reason why gold is alloyed with other metals is so that it’s color can be changed from the usual yellow, not that there’s anything wrong with this particular color that gold has, it’s just that people want something different.
First reason why gold and other precious metals for that matter have to be alloyed is because of the fact that they will gonna be damaged otherwise. Gold is a very soft metal, so much so that if you take a gold rock and you hit it with a hammer it can be thinned in a sheet so thin that you can see through it without causing it to tear, gold is very malleable. That’s one of the reasons why precious metals are mixed with other metals, actually that’s one of the reasons why they need to be mixed with other metals.
Imagine that you are wearing jewelry, a ring for example which is made entirely out of gold, and that when you reach for a door knob, or a railing that you hit with your pure gold ring against the hard surface, which most of us does. Bottom of the ring will be dented is not worse, and these are ust some of the situations where pure gold jewelry can be easily destroyed, if it’s not properly taken care of, because if you’re wearing high purity gold, over 22K pure, then you need to make sure that there aren’t any kind of situations where such jewelry will be brought, where it can be destroyed.
Another thing that you could do in order to decrease the chances that you’re jewelry is damaged during everyday use is that you buy jewelry which is mixed in with other base metals. Mixing precious metals with other base metals, gives them increased hardness and because of that there are no dangers when it comes to wearing jewelry and even hitting and knacking with it, because it can withstand the abuse.
Color is the other less important aspect of why precious metals like gold are mixed with other metals. You’ve undoubtedly heard about white gold, well something similar is done even with regular gold, a bit of zinc will give the gold a more reddish tonnes and it immediately makes the jewelry appealing to people who like to wear something a little bit different. Same thing is true for pretty much every other color, because believe it or not, gold comes in a wide variety of different colors from which you can choose the one you like the most.
Next to the standard, yellow, white, red and pink, there’s green gold, black gold (we’re not talking about oil:)), purple, blue, grey and several others which are all achieved by adding various different base and other precious metals into the mix. For example white gold is known to mix in silver and as of late even metals from the platinum group, for example palladium white gold is a very popular choice for those who want to wear gold yet not wear the yellow color that it sports.
If you were wondering why exactly is gold mixed with other metals when sold in jewelry now you know. Same thing is not true for bullion bars and coins, because they will not be used as decorations and they need to have a decent amount of precious metal in them so that their prices are justified. Try to make sure that your jewelry is pure, but not too pure, because it could cause you troubles, same thing is true for other colored gold, make sure that it’s not too pure, and everything should be fine.