YELLOW GOLD IS NATURAL, UNDERSTATED, AND SEDUCTIVE
by CAROL BESLER
There is nothing like the soft glow of precious yellow gold. It is the ultimate feminine jewelry statement, classic and timeless. Yellow gold is more subtle than other gold colors, and it is also more natural. Gold, when it is mined from the earth in its natural state, is yellow. There is no such thing as naturally occurring rose, white, or green gold. These colors are created by mixing pure 24 karat yellow gold with various other metals. Adding copper, for example, produces rose gold. Adding nickel or palladium creates white gold. Yellow gold is mixed with traces of nickel, copper, and zinc, mainly to make it stronger and more suitable for wearable jewelry and watches, but also to make it slightly lighter and more subtle in color than pure gold. It renders the gold soft enough to engrave or create gems, yet hard enough to withstand the wear and tear of daily life — because jewelry is meant to be worn. The metal alloys are mixed to create a combination of gold and metals that results in 18 karat gold, compared to 24 karat. 18 karat is the industry standard.
Yellow gold is considered the ultimate feminine choice among gold colors. It also beautifully shows off any finishes on the surface, such as burnishing, engraving, beading, or sandblasting. Given a high polish, yellow gold is at its most glittering. A satin finish lends itself particularly well to yellow gold jewelry. It is also beautifully set off with colored gemstones, particularly greens, pinks, and yellows, as well as white diamonds. Best of all, yellow gold looks right at home with rose or white gold, so you can mix and match your gold jewelry.
This year’s gold jewelry trends include plenty of chain bracelets and necklaces, with unusually shaped links and lots of convertible pieces that can be worn several ways. It dovetails with the trend toward layering more than one bracelet or necklace together, using a variety of link sizes, shapes, finishes, and even gold colors. Some links are large and hollow and big enough to have pavé diamonds or gemstones set into them, another way of transforming an individual link into a decorative element. Gold bangles and cuffs are also part of the layering and stacking trend that is here to stay, and this year we are seeing bigger cuffs, often set with gemstones. There’s never been a better time to wear gold jewelry every day, thanks to the number of brands recognizing the need for casual luxe gold pieces that can be worn to the grocery store as easily as to a dinner date.