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Gold and silver are precious metals and are expensive to produce. Their ductility means they can be stretched and formed into thin wires or pounded into sheets less than four millionths of an inch thick. Because of their softness, they are frequently combined (alloyed) with other metals to make them harder and more resistant to corrosion.

Adding other metals to gold creates many different coloured alloys used in jewelry. Yellow gold, white gold and rose gold are the most common shades, but there is a huge range of possibilities based on the addition of other metals. Introducing copper produces reddy yellows and brassy reds, while tin leads to pale green gold. Other colours can be achieved by combining copper, tin, zinc or palladium with gold in different proportions.

The metallurgical process by which these alloys are made is complex, but the end results are well worth it. These gold alloys are not susceptible to oxidation when plated, and they can maintain their golden luster in harsh environments, including hydrochloric acid.

American Elements supplies these alloys in a wide variety of forms, including bar, ingot, ribbon, wire, shot, sheet and foil. They can also be produced to most standard grades when required, such as Mil Spec; ACS, Reagent and Technical Grade; Food, Agricultural and Pharmaceutical Grade; and USP/BP. The company is able to provide samples of the alloys for high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and high angle annular dark field imaging (HAADF). Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) elemental mapping is available upon request.




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