The colour of gold varies according to its purity. Absolutely pure gold is measured as 24 carat, but because at this purity it is too soft for jewellery intended to be durable, it is mixed with other metals. To achieve the colour of rose gold (sometimes also called red or pink gold), 25% copper is included. This alloy became fashionable around the turn of the 19th century, especially in Russia.
Did you know?
- The popularity of rose gold in Russia led to the fashion for the Russian wedding ring – three interlocking rings of rose, white and yellow gold.
- Some high-quality flutes are made from rose gold, as the alloy is believed to create a warm sound.
- A 50th wedding anniversary is known as the golden anniversary.
- The legend of the golden fleece may be a reference to the use in antiquity of fleeces to collect gold dust from alluvial deposits.
- In the Middle Ages, the nobility sometimes used gold flake as a food decoration to demonstrate their wealth or because they believed that such a valuable material must also have health benefits. Gold leaf is still used in foods and some cocktails contain flakes of gold.