What is Fine Gold?


Gold is a metal found in nature that requires mining for extracting it from earth. Due to the latest data from 2015, it's known that 186,700 tons of gold in existence above ground. The population consumes gold 50% in jewelry, 40% in investment and 10% in industry.

The gold's purity has a direct effect on the bullion's value. Appraisers use a scale of karats specific for jewelry to measure the fineness of the item. 24 Karat gold is technically considered pure gold when in reality 99.9% and 100% pure gold can be found only in laboratory conditions.

Because naturally, gold is a soft metal, for making jewelry is it mixed with other metals, this brings different shades of gold. You will find more detailed information below. 

What are the Gold colors?

For making gold a solid metal, refineries mix it with other metals and this combination changes the gold's color. Important to mention that different gold colors are specific for jewelry, as bullion bars or coins are made of fine gold, the color does not change much.

  • White Gold: 14K (meaning 58.5% fineness). In the alloy are added nickel, manganese or palladium - where the white color comes from. Copper and zinc are also added to the alloy.
  • Rose, Pink, Red Gold: The usual rose gold is 18K, 75% gold and 25% copper. A 50/50 alloy gives the red gold of 12K.
  • Green Gold: called electrum, is a nature-made alloy, of gold and silver, usually in share 73% gold and 27% silver
  • Blue Gold is 54% indium, 46% gold.
  • Purple Gold is 80% gold, 20% aluminum.
  • Black Gold is 75% gold, 25% cobalt.

Gold Hallmarks

In the US, jewelry's purity may be identified by independent signage or by being verbally informed. The item does not have to have the mark applied specifically on it. However, if jewelry is marked, it must also have a trademark stamp applied on label or package for identifying its origin.

Where is Fine Gold used?

As Fine gold is quite soft, it is not used in jewelry production. However, it is used for producing gold bars and gold coins. Meanwhile, some people prefer to invest in gold, and then the fineness of bullion is essential. Fine gold is graded by using a scale of millesimal fineness, which is rounded to a three-figure number, with decimal places to follow 99.9%, 999 or .999 are all equivalent labeling of a fine gold item. 100% pure gold is impossible to have outside of laboratory conditions, the finest type of gold available on the market is 999.99, also referred to as five nines fine. The Royal Canadian Mint is famous for its production of commemorative coins from 999.99 fine gold. Next in line is 999.9, or “four nines” fine. American Buffalo and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins made from 999.9 fine gold. Fine gold of .999 or three nines fine, also referred as 24 karat gold  (Chinese Panda coins). The most common fineness of the gold bullion coins is 917, used for American Gold Eagles, British Sovereigns, and South African Krugerrands. There are quite rare types of fine gold that are mostly found in ancient coins: 995 and 990. 900 rating is the least pure gold that is still considered fine gold. Karat rating is mostly used for jewelry and not bullion, as it does not correctly express fineness. 

You can check the entire Bullion Exchanges collection of fine gold coins and bars here!

Why is Fine Gold used?

Fine gold is highly valuable and collectible with nothing to make its value go down. For this reason, bars and coins are highly popular items for investment. Bullion is also not handled as much as jewelry because it's made with less pure gold, so its softness is not an issue for collectors and makes its easier to store gold.
An understanding of fine gold, including the way it’s made and used, can help investors and collectors make more informed and wise buying decisions.