Gold Bulletin

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 10–14

The colour of gold and its alloys

The mechanism of variation in optical properties


  • K. E. Saeger
    • DODUCO K.G.
  • J. Rodies
    • Friedrich Uhde GmbH

DOI: 10.1007/BF03216519


The optical properties of metals, and particularly their high reflectivity, are related to the effect on their free electrons of the energy of the incident light, but a satisfactory explanation of the characteristic colours of gold and its alloys and intermetallic phases has become possible only since calculations could be made of energy band structures.

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© World Gold Council 1977