What Makes the Gold Yellow?
Naturally, gold is reddish-yellow in color. In order to get the traditional yellow color, it is mixed with other types of metals (alloys) to achieve the desired color. Yellow gold is typically comprised of 58.3-75% fine gold with 25-41.7% containing alloys. Most manufacturers alloy their gold with metals that most people have sensitivities to, such as nickel and cadmium, since they are cheap to produce and use.
Our manufacturers only use biocompatible elements, such as copper and zinc, to achieve the pure yellow tone. Using lower grade metals to alloy gold might be cheaper, but leaves room for potential problems when used for body piercing purposes.
Why is Solid Gold Jewelry Beneficial for Piercings?
Not only does alloying gold change the color, but it also improves the durability of the piece. Gold, in its purest form (24 karat), is too soft and susceptible to damage for daily or even internal wear. By using 18 karat and 14 karat gold, you have piece of mind in knowing you can wear something beautiful, without worrying about damaging it. Typically, manufacturers will cut down costs in a big way by plating their jewelry with a very thin layer of gold. Over time, your body begins to break down this thin layer of gold, exposing the lesser metal underneath that usually contains additives that many people have a reaction to.
The resulting damage to the jewelry from your body's natural chemistry begins to harbor bacteria along the jagged edge of what was once gold plating. The rough edge of the oxidized metal also causes micro-abrasions and further encourages irritation and swelling. Using 14-18 karat, solid gold eliminates these potential problems, although it is not as cost effective.