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Antique rose and green gold brooch made in 1889

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Antique rose and green gold brooch made in 1889

A brief history on green gold:

Green gold first has to be looked at as being a very soft green colour. Don’t expect the green colour of the gold to be as rich as an emerald green colour, rather a more delicate soft hue.

Gold in its purest form is a very bright yellow that is quite malleable and easy to be worked with. Indeed pure gold can be hammered so thin, that 200,000 sheets would only be one inch in thickness, and one single ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire an astonishing one mile long.

Because of its rich golden colour and softness, gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its hardness and alter its colour.

Rose or pink gold as it is also known is produced by adding copper as its main alloy to produce a lovely warm rose colour that achieves a wonderful patina over time, and the alloys in white gold have changed over the years mostly due to the cost of others alloys such as palladium which was the alloy of choice in the early 1900’s, whereas now manganese, silver, palladium, nickel or a combination of the metals are used.

Green gold was produced sporadically in during the 1800’s and mostly in the late 1800’s by adding silver as well as cadmium, however the major drawback with cadmium is that it releases toxic fumes when being melted, a problem that was not really known to the jewellers of this period.

However once alloyed, green gold is completely safe to handle, its danger only lies in the alloying/melting process.

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