The Truth About Yellow Gold

The Truth About Yellow Gold

And its Suitability for Engagement Rings & Wedding Bands

Since early civilisation, yellow gold jewellery has been linked to beauty, royalty and deity in cultures across the globe. Its association with wealth, power and success is reinforced by its rarity, and society’s enduring thirst for this precious metal sees almost half of all gold mined today made into jewellery - the single largest use.

18k yellow gold engagement ring18k yellow gold engagement ring18k yellow gold engagement ring 


If you’re considering yellow gold for your engagement ring or wedding band, these yellow gold facts will help you reach a decision with confidence.

What is yellow gold?

The chemical element gold is a naturally occuring precious metal identified by its metallic yellow colour. The symbol for the element gold is Au, which comes from its Latin name aurum, meaning ''shining dawn''.

Pure yellow gold has one of the highest densities of all elements and is the most malleable and ductile of all metals, making it ideal for metalworking like jewellery making. Due to its high resistance to corrosion, artefacts like yellow gold rings and coins from ancient civilisations can be discovered in near-perfect condition today.

While yellow gold has been used to make jewellery since at least 4000 B.C, today it can be found in a variety of industries, including electronics, dentistry, aerospace and glassmaking.

18k Yellow gold wedding band
18k Yellow gold wedding band
18k Yellow gold wedding band


Is yellow gold real gold?

Yellow gold is indeed real gold, though in the case of yellow gold jewellery, like diamond engagement rings and wedding bands, pure yellow gold is mixed with other metals like silver, platinum, copper, palladium, zinc, nickel, iron and cadmium to make the rings more durable, as pure gold on its own is far too soft for jewellery.

The purity of gold when alloyed with other metals is measured in karats. Pure gold contains 24 karats, while 18-karat gold jewellery is 75% pure gold, 14-karat gold is 58.3% pure gold, and 9-karat gold is 37.5% pure gold. For jewellery to be sold as “gold” in Australia, it must have at least 9 carats of pure gold.

Where does yellow gold come from?

According to scientists, all the accessible pure yellow gold found on Earth is the result of a meteorite bombardment more than 200 million years after Earth was formed. Because gold is inert (unreactive to other substances and decomposes at a negligible rate), it appears naturally for miners to discover today.

18k yellow gold engagement ring


18k yellow gold engagement ring
18k Yellow gold engagement ring

Is yellow gold rare?

There’s no question that gold on Earth is a finite resource. The 1.6 quadrillion tonnes of it hidden in the Earth’s core we’ll never even get to see due to searing hot temperatures rendering it impossible to extract… making what we can mine ever more precious.

One estimate predicts all accessible yellow gold will be mined by 2050. And because gold cannot be manufactured in a lab from other raw materials, owning your very own yellow gold wedding ring or gold diamond earrings will be more appealing than ever when accessible stocks are depleted.


What’s the best yellow gold karat purity for engagement rings and wedding bands?

The higher the carat, the greater the pure gold content; the greater the pure gold content, the stronger the yellow colour. Remember, however, that while pure 24-karat gold produces the richest yellow colour, this level of purity is far too soft for diamond and gemstone jewellery and will not hold its shape.

Due to its purity, 24-karat gold is considerably more expensive than alloyed gold and is typically used as investment currency, rather than in modern engagement ring designs and fancy wedding bands.

22-karat gold is similarly soft, at 91.6% pure gold, and reserved for special occasion jewellery requiring careful handling and appropriate storage in between use.

18kt gold is therefore the ideal metal for yellow gold engagement rings and wedding bands, as it strikes the perfect balance between durability and colour richness.
18k yellow gold engagement ring
18k yellow gold engagement ring
18k Yellow gold engagement ring


How does yellow gold become white gold jewellery?

All gold starts off yellow - the naturally occurring colour of pure gold. It is then combined with different metal alloys to create white gold and rose gold jewellery.

Regardless of the colour, the karatage indicates the exact same level of gold purity. For example, an 18kt yellow gold halo engagement ring contains exactly the same amount of pure gold as an 18kt white gold three-stone engagement ring.
18k Rose gold engagement ring

Is yellow gold hypoallergenic?

24kt pure gold is completely hypoallergenic. For people with sensitive skin, yellow gold engagement rings and wedding bands are an option, as they don’t contain nickel; an alloy commonly added to create white gold, which can cause mild irritation for sensitive skin. Whichever metal colour you choose, the higher the pure gold karat content, the lower the chance of reactions.


Yellow Gold Mythology & Folklore

Ancient cultures held some pretty interesting beliefs about how yellow gold came to be on Earth. The Incan Empire referred to yellow gold as “tears of the Sun” or “sweat of the sun”. Aztecs’ word for gold, teocuitlatl, was somewhat more scientific, translating to "excrement of the gods".

Breaking away from bodily fluid, Ancient Egyptians believed yellow gold was the substance that formed the skin of the gods.

From whichever holy orifice it was bestowed, ancient civilisations of varying creeds considered yellow gold a god-given gift to be pursued and worshipped.
18k yellow gold ring

Australia’s History With Yellow Gold

The majority of the world’s biggest gold nuggets were discovered right here in Australia, including “Welcome Stranger” (a replica can be seen in the Melbourne Museum); the “Welcome Nugget” discovered in Ballarat; and the world’s largest gold nugget found using a metal detector, the 27kg “Hand of Faith”, now on display in the Gold Nugget casino in Las Vegas.
Gold Nugget 'Welcome Stranger' (1869). Photographer: Rodney Start, Museums Victoria
Gold Nugget 'Welcome Stranger' (1869). Photographer: Rodney Start, Museums Victoria

Get Help Finding Yellow Gold Wedding Bands & Engagement Rings

At SH Jewellery Springvale in Melbourne’s South East, we’re renowned for our extensive range of exclusively designed 18kt yellow gold rings, making us Australia’s Best Google Reviewed Jeweller.

Whether you’re looking for something more traditional, like a classic engagement ring, or something contemporary like a celebrity-inspired engagement ring with sapphires and halos, our non-commissioned Diamond & Jewellery Experts will guide you through a budget-sensitive selection process to help you find The One.

Alternatively, you can shop online with free delivery, 30-day exchange and price match guarantee. All yellow gold jewellery under $3k is available for purchase with Afterpay, and all yellow gold rings over $1k are available using Zipmoney.


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