What is 999 333 equal

Gold alloys overview

  • Gold alloy: at least one additional element added
  • Properties of gold can be influenced as desired
  • Important in industry and for jewelry production
  • Many gold coins are also alloys
  • 100% pure gold only exists in theory

What is a gold alloy?

At a Gold alloy it is gold with at least one other element added. The gold content is expressed in thousands of parts of the weight. An older designation is the specification in carats, which is still used in the jewelry sector.

Gold imitations are to be distinguished from this. These either contain no gold at all or the proportion is dwindlingly low. In the latter case, one speaks of gilding. There are various test procedures to detect this.

Gold alloy / finenesscorresponds to caratShare of fine gold
333 gold8 carat333 thousand parts by weight
375 gold9 carat375 thousand parts by weight
417 gold10 carat417 thousand parts by weight
585 gold14 carat585 thousand parts by weight
750 gold18 carat750 thousand parts by weight
833 gold20 carat833 thousand parts by weight
875 gold21 carat875 thousand parts by weight
Fineness 916.66722 carat916,667 thousand parts of Weight
Fineness 999.924 carat999.9 thousand parts by weight

How do I recognize gold alloys?

About this gives the Hallmarking Information desk. It is a small embossing in a hidden place. However, this is often missing from old gold jewelry. More: hallmarks

What is pure gold?

Completely pure gold only exists in theory. In gold mining, too, gold is only available as more or less rich ore. Strictly speaking, every gold we know is an alloy.

The highest gold alloy to date with 999.999 parts by weight was achieved in 1957 by the Australian mint Perth Mint. Since then also known as the gold purity world record.

In practice, 999.9 gold is considered pure gold. This alloy is therefore very common in investment gold. Many well-known gold coins and almost all common gold bars have this fineness. For many investors, this gold, also known as four nine fine, is therefore the gold best gold alloy. But pure gold is very soft. It is only partially suitable for everyday use.

In addition, this does not take into account the fact that there are many coins that have a lower gold content, but can still develop better in value. This is especially true for historical gold coins.

And in the industrial and jewelery sector, completely different factors count anyway, why you choose a particular gold alloy.

Manufacture and composition

A gold alloy is produced by melting. The reasons for this are diverse:

  • Physical reasons: Specific additions can change certain properties of gold such as hardness, malleability, conductivity or melting point as required
  • Aesthetic reasons: Gold is naturally yellowish. Alloys can be used to create color nuances
  • Cost reasons: Costs can be saved by adding inexpensive metals
  • Medical reasons: Depending on the application, various alloys are used. The decisive factors here are compatibility, malleability, strength, acid and corrosion resistance

As far as composition is concerned, many elements can be combined into one Melting gold alloy. Common admixtures are copper, silver, nickel, palladium, platinum, titanium, cadmium, zinc or tin.

Of Alloying one speaks when a goldsmith increases or decreases the proportion of fine gold in an already existing alloy. This is how old gold can be melted into new gold with a different fineness.

Typical uses

  • 333 gold: May be officially called gold jewelry in Germany. Often used for gold rings
  • 375 gold: Minimum floor for gold jewelry in the UK
  • 417 gold: Minimum lower limit for gold jewelry in USA
  • 585 gold: Popular jewelry alloy, because it is of relatively high quality with high scratch resistance. Gladly used for gold earrings, a gold bracelet or a gold watch
  • 750 gold: Also called “crown gold”. 750 gold is often used for relatively high-quality jewelry, such as a gold chain
  • 833 gold: Often used for dental gold alloys, but also for high-quality jewelry
  • 875 gold: For particularly high-quality gold jewelry, such as a gold necklace
  • 895 gold: Historical gold coins. Also called “pistol gold” (pistol = historical Spanish gold coin)
  • Fineness 900: Various gold coins such as the Tscherwonetz gold coin. Also called “coin gold”
  • Fineness 916.667: Various gold coins, such as the Kürgerrand. Due to the copper admixture, the Kügerrand is considered to be less sensitive to scratches
  • Fineness 965: Also called “Thai gold”. Not very common here
  • Fineness 986: Some gold coins such as Emperor Franz Joseph ducats from Austria. Also called “ducat gold”
  • Fineness 995: Minimum salary for gold bars. More: LBMA Good Delivery Standard
  • Fineness 999: Some gold coins such as China Panda. Popular as 999 gold jewelry in China
  • Fineness 999.9: Common for many investment gold products, i.e. gold coins and gold bars.

Color gold alloys

Gold colors play a particularly important role in jewelry production. The gold tone can have reddish, yellowish, greenish or whitish hues.

Alloy shadeTypical common alloy additivesDetails
Yellow goldCopper, silverDepending on the mixing ratio, color shades from light yellow to yellow-orange
Red goldCopper, silverA higher copper content creates a reddish sheen and makes alloys harder
Rose goldCopper, silverLike red gold, slightly lower copper content
Green goldSilver, cadmium, cobaltLess common
White goldPalladium, silver, nickel, platinumWhite-pale hue. Originally developed as a platinum substitute in Pforzheim. Also known as “gray gold”

Gold alloys in the industrial sector

  • Titan-gold alloys:Considered to be particularly firm. Interesting for medical technology. Now also popular for wedding rings
  • Gold-silver alloys:Are often used in electronics because silver is cheaper than gold, but conversely, the properties of such alloys correspond to those of pure gold in many areas
  • Gold-copper alloys: Have excellent electrical conductivity
  • Dental alloys: The gold content of dental gold is different