The Different Types of Gold

Gold is not a one-size-fits-all sort of investment. Depending on preferences and decisions, one person’s gold investment can look very different than someone else’s. This is because gold doesn’t all look the same. It can come in different colors and in different purities. It may also be presented in different shapes and forms. All of these types of gold will vary in value and demand.

Gold Colors:

Gold as a precious metal is too soft to be used for much on its own. While valuable, it can be damaged easily, so it is often combined with other metal alloys in order to boost its durability. As a result, the type of gold can change. It may be yellow, white, or rose gold, depending upon the alloys mixed into it.

types of gold

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is the naturally occurring form and therefore, the purest. This also makes it the most expensive form. When used on its own, it can be up to 24-karat gold, meaning it has a 99.9% purity rating. When used for jewelry, it often is mixed with zinc and copper to keep its color. When people want to invest in gold, they typically want to buy the purest form of gold they can, which is yellow.

White Gold

White gold is created by combining gold with either palladium or nickel. This causes the gold to become a silvery or platinum color. This gold is predominantly used for jewelry rather than investment purposes.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is an alloy that includes roughly 1/4 copper, which causes it to turn the pinkish color associated with it.

Gold Purity

The karat of the gold refers to the purity of the metal. 24-karat gold is that which is considered as pure as is possible, at 99.9% pure gold. From there, 18-karat gold is 18/24 parts gold. 9-karat gold is 9/24 parts gold. The higher the gold content, the more valuable the piece is.

Types of Gold:

When investing in gold, most people purchase one of three forms of yellow gold: Bullion, coins, or jewelry. When investing in physical gold, you purchase gold in some form and then store it somewhere.


If you have images of gold bars in stacks in a vault, you are thinking of gold bullion. However, you don’t have to purchase a full-sized bar. Bullion can be purchased in just grams and all the way up to 400 ounces. Most commonly, it is in one- and 10-ounce bars. Because you cannot really sell a fraction of a share of a gold bar, many people like to have several different sizes in their collection.


Gold coins are the next most common way of investing in gold. These often weigh just one or two ounces, with some half-ounce and quarter-ounce coins available. These are often sold as collectibles. However, because some coins are in more demand than others, the price may decouple and coins may trade at a premium compared to plain gold.


Finally, some people choose to invest in gold jewelry. However, there are a few complications with this. Gold jewelry is usually made from alloys that have less gold than a coin or bullion. Likewise, jewelry can sometimes be damaged and is a common target for stealing. It is also potentially marked up in value based on company and manufacturer.