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White and yellow gold have many similarities, including the fact that they both work well with nearly any cut, clarity, and carat of diamond. The primary distinction between white, yellow, and even rose gold is simply the metal mixture used to create them. Copper, silver, nickel, palladium, and zinc are some of the most common metals mixed with gold. These three common colors are determined by the metals used and the percentage that they are present. White gold has a higher concentration of nickel and zinc, whereas yellow gold has a higher concentration of copper.

However, if you’re concerned about the presence of pure gold, you should pay attention to the karat number. The percentage of gold in 18 karats yellow gold and 18 karats white gold is the same, plus 6 parts ‘other metals’ (totaling 24 karats). If you find a ring made of 24k gold, it is 100 percent pure. However, because gold is such a soft metal, it is not recommended that you buy a 24k gold engagement ring.

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