Ring Guides

Learn About Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is a precious metal, adored for its warm charm in both contemporary and traditional designs. Learn more about the properties of yellow gold, and whether it is the right choice for your ring.

What is yellow gold?

Yellow gold is a warm-coloured metal type used to create fine jewellery. In its pure form, gold is yellow - albeit a little too garish and brash for fine jewellery. Because of this, other metals are added to the gold to create an attractive, sunny hue. Pure gold is mellowed and strengthened with the addition of metals, like silver and copper.

Yellow gold metal can consist of differing quantities of gold, copper and silver. Most commonly, engagement rings and fine jewellery will be created with 18K or 14K rose gold.

Yellow gold ring inspiration

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What is yellow gold made of?

18K yellow gold consists of 75% pure gold, 15% copper and 10% silver. The 24K gold found in nature is yellow, but considered too garish in tone to create desirable jewellery. Pure gold is also pretty soft, so is vulnerable to nicks, scratches and breakage - so adding copper and silver not only creates a more buttery yellow tone, but reinforces the strength of the metal.

Diagram showing which metals make up 18K yellow gold

What’s the difference between 24K, 18K and 14K yellow gold?

The terms ‘24K’, ‘18K’ and ‘14K’ refer to the purity of the gold within a gold-based alloy, in this case, yellow gold. 24K is the purest form of gold, which is deemed too garish in colour and too soft in durability for fine jewellery. The metals copper and silver are added to pure gold to create yellow gold metal. In the right quantities, this will make the yellow gold perfectly toned and adequately durable for everyday wear.

14K yellow gold contains 58% pure gold. With a greater ratio of copper and silver to gold, 14K yellow gold has a paler colour, and is a little more resistant to scratching. 18K yellow gold contains 75% pure gold, so has a richer golden tone, and is a little softer than 14K yellow gold. The difference in durability between 18K and 14K yellow gold metal is minimal, but you may notice a difference in the richness of colour. 18K tends to be the preferred colour intensity for yellow gold rings.

Queensmith's standard is 18K yellow gold, but we can create rings with 14K yellow gold. Get in touch to learn more.

How much does a yellow gold ring cost?

The cost of your yellow gold ring will depend on the design, and therefore the metal and workshop hours needed to craft it, and more prominently, on the size and number of diamonds or precious gemstones used.

The metal work for a yellow gold ring starts at £700, for a simple solitaire ring design. With the addition of a 0.30ct, good quality diamond, you’ll find that a well made yellow gold ring starts from around £1,300.

Until recently, yellow gold rings have retailed at a lower cost than platinum, but now you’ll find yellow gold and platinum rings costing the same price.

Popular yellow gold ring designs

Is yellow gold real gold?

Yes, yellow gold is real gold. In its purest form, the gold found in nature is a bright orangey-yellow tone. 24K pure gold is considered garish in colour and it is a little too weak to create a long-lasting piece of jewellery, so it is mixed with other metals to create the yellow gold used in jewellery. 18K and 14K yellow gold are still considered real gold, but they are an alloy that consists of further metals, like silver and copper.


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Why choose a yellow gold ring?

Yellow gold is a versatile metal. It can look classic and traditional, thanks to its historical routes, or totally contemporary with simple, refined ring designs. Once upon a time, yellow gold was the number choice for engagement rings, and whilst platinum has enjoyed the top spot since the late 20th Century, the sunshine tone is having a resurgence in popularity.

The colour of yellow gold provides charming character, and is incredibly flattering for most skin tones thanks to the warmth of the shade. The colour contrasts perfectly with coloured gemstones, like sapphires and rubies, or adds a pop of colour to diamond rings.

View the pros and cons of platinum in the table below.

Pros of Yellow Gold Cons of Yellow Gold
Versatile and suitable for both traditional and modern rings Slightly less durable than platinum and rose gold
Warming and flattering for most skin types, particularly olive and dark skin tones Non-hypoallergenic, due to the presence of copper - meaning some people may have an allergic reaction. This is, however, very uncommon
Contrasts beautifully will diamonds to make them pop Colourless diamonds can pick up and reflect the colour of the metal within the stone
Contrasts with coloured gemstones to make them pop, particularly sapphires, rubies and emeralds
Having a big comeback in modernity; offering character for refined and minimalists designs

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

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