Part 1: Red Gold’s Unique Properties and Working with Red Gold Alloys

With the increase in popularity of red gold alloys, we thought it would be appropriate to share some information about what makes these alloys unique and how to address challenges that arise from the special properties of red golds.

–        Composition of Red Gold Alloys.
Red gold alloys are characterised by a relatively high copper content. Copper has a higher melting temperature and different structure to gold and silver. This means that red golds can behave quite differently to most precious metal alloys. Lower carat red gold in particular may have a higher overall percentage content of copper, creating challenges when working the metal.

–        Difference between Rose, Pink and Red gold.
Typically, red golds are described as either Rose, Pink or Red. This may vary between suppliers and recipes and is mainly based on the colour. Here are some typical examples for 18 carat red golds:
18K Red gold: 75% gold, 25% copper
18K Rose gold: 75% gold, 22.25% copper, 2.75% silver
18K Pink gold: 75% gold, 20% copper, 5% silver

Next week we will share some information on working with red gold alloys, particularly tips around melting, cooling, and fabricating.