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A Guide to Gold Types and the Valuation Process

Published: 15 Dec 2016

If you’re looking to buy or sell gold, you may have come to realise that different gold items can be worth very different amounts, and some may not even look like ‘gold’ as we know it. The world of gold is more complicated than it first appears, but is generally simple to learn if you have the right information. Estimating the value of your gold means looking at a number of different aspects, which we’ll guide you through in this handy guide to gold types and how different gold is valued.


Types of gold

There are a number of different gold ‘types’ out there which are used for jewellery and decorative items. Gold on its own is too soft and prone to damage in its purest form, so it’s mixed with other metals in varying degrees to provide strength and colour.



The most common and widely recognised style of gold is yellow gold. This is the classic gold we all know and love. It’s mixed with silver, copper and zinc in varying quantities which helps to determine the karat (more on this below). Yellow gold requires the least maintenance of any other gold colour and is the best type for those who are sensitive or allergic to certain metals.



White gold looks more like silver, and is traditionally mixed with platinum, although it can also be mixed with palladium, nickel and zinc to achieve the same colour effect. Many people prefer white gold due to the aesthetics of it and due to the fact that it’s more scratch-resistant and hard-wearing than yellow gold, thus making it favourable for jewellery pieces which are worn often.