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Is 14K or 18K gold greener?

I am going to be making a ring from green gold soon and have decided I probably want to go with green gold. The master alloy I will be using can be used for both 14 and 18 karat, it is composed of 85% Silver and 15% copper and nothing else (homemade master alloy)

I don’t know whether or not I should go with 14 or 18K to achieve the greenest possible colour. Most refiners say their 18K mix is greener than their 14K, however I have also heard that 18K green is more of lemon yellow than a true green. I have used a 14K green composed of 58.5% gold and sterling silver which turned out surprisingly green but a bit soft. Around as soft as sterling, which would incidentally be the hardness of the 18K alloy using the 85% silver master alloy.

Anyway I digress, which would be greener, 14K it 18K?


As I have suggested to you before, you need to do two things, especially given your alloying interests:

  1. Learn to read phase diagrams-- they will answer many of your questions:

  2. Search both Google and the Orchid archives. The above phase diagram is in fact from an excellent technical article on colored golds in the Orchid archives which I’m sure you will find very useful:

Any article should be used as a starting point. Make use of the bibliographies they give you.

Janet in Jerusalem

If you know how to read phase diagrams, could you provide a quick overview on how to read them?

Generally I am more interested in hearing your personal experiences with colour of the alloys then reading a phase diagram which will not predict the colour but the working properties (which are important aswell. But around 5% copper and green golds are perfectly hard enough)

Phase diagrams do predict colors, as we can see from the phase diagram above. Phase diagrams do not predict working properties. If you Google gold color phase diagrams, you will even see some of them in color showing you the gold colors. I posted the one I did because they wrote in the karat markings, which is what you were asking about and does not usually appear on a phase diagram.

To learn how to read phase diagrams, I recommend starting with typing “how to read phase diagrams” into a Google search…

I have done what you said before. I do use ternary plots to predict alloy colour, is this what you are referring to?