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Gold: The Chameleon of Precious Metals

Metallurgists routinely blend gold with other metals to increase its strength and durability, but also to change its color. For example, the shimmering white gold that has been a strong fashion trend over the past several years is created by alloying yellow gold with palladium or silver.

The complexion-flattering rose, red and pink gold colors are achieved by adding to the gold and sterling silver. During the 1940s, rose gold came into its own in popularity and once again, pink-hued colors are making a strong comeback in fashion pieces. Today, however, they are most often used in combination with white or yellow gold.While the term ?green gold? might sound a little strange, the color is actually yellow, but with a slightly greenish tone. This is a color that is popular in Europe and preferred by many jewelry designers. To get this softer yellow tone, copper, silver or palladium are melted into pure gold.

These three colorations ? plus the traditional yellow ? remain the most popular shades of the metal, but you might also see jewelry using accents of black or brown, maybe even blue or purple gold. These later shades are most often achieved through electroplating or some other surface treatment. When in doubt, always check for the karat mark (14K, 18K or 750) and polish your gold jewelry with a soft cloth to avoid scratching it.