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In part one of this article, the term “karat” was identified as referring to the purity of gold.  24k gold is the purest form of gold, and as the number of karats lessens, so does the purity of the metal.

Goldsmiths mix other metals to gold, in a process called “alloying”. The purpose of alloying is to harden soft gold so that it is durable and wears well. Different types of metal alloys will also change the colour of the gold. The most common alloys added to pure 24K gold are as follows:

Yellow GoldSilver, Copper, and Zinc. Yellow gold is the most popular worldwide.

White Gold: Nickel, Zinc, Silver, Platinum, and Palladium. Brilliant luster.

Pink (Rose) or Red GoldCopper and Silver. Pink gold has become increasingly popular and looks lovely when combined with yellow, white or green gold.

Green GoldSilver, Copper, and Zinc. Green gold is being used more and more with pink and yellow gold to make uniquely contrasting designs.