How soft is Yellow Gold?
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  1. #1
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    How soft is Yellow Gold?

    Hello WUS,

    My next watch I want to get would be something in a precious metal, most likely the yellow gold day dates since I absolutely love the bracelet.
    However, I know gold can be quite soft, and I hear yellow is the softest of all (with white gold being slightly sturdier).

    In everyone's experience, just how soft is gold?
    If I tap a desk end or wall is there going to be an indentation?
    Is it even feasible to repair if its damaged?

    Cheers,
    Jim9162

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    Re: How soft is Yellow Gold?

    Well it's not putty, so you are unlikely to get indentations unless you really bang it!

    Of course it will scratch, as does stainless steel, but people have been wearing gold rings for years and they get a lot more battering than a watch will. They still look fine after all the abuse they get, so I think that you can rest easy with your watch.

    Small scratches do buff out quite easy if you need them to.
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    Re: How soft is Yellow Gold?

    Gold is a lot softer than steel, and thus will mark easier.

    The real issue is that when refinishing the watch you tend to lose the original lines a lot easier than with harder metals, thus the watch tends to look smoother.

    Check out gold cased Rolex for sale on Watchfinder, the refinished cases look different, and not in a good way.

    I would say IMO it is not suitable for a daily wearer if you are active.
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  5. #4
    lvt
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    Re: How soft is Yellow Gold?

    I used to think that rose gold is the softest.
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    Re: How soft is Yellow Gold?

    I see you are considering a Rolex day date. I wear my rolex day date a lot. Firstly the president bracelet is excellent at hiding scratches. In regards to the case, I have banged it a few times by accident and no major marks or dings. I think if you lead relaxed lifestyle gold holds up fine. I have had no issue with the PCL's on my TT blue sub either. So its a little softer but just fine for a daily IMO. Now if you are going rock climbing, shooting the rapids of the grand canyon, or playing beach volleyball YMMV. My day date handles casual extremely well though.
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    Last edited by Maiden; December 3rd, 2019 at 22:06.

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    Re: How soft is Yellow Gold?

    Quote Originally Posted by lvt View Post
    I used to think that rose gold is the softest.
    From my reading, RG is the hardest for a given karat content due to its copper content.


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    Re: How soft is Yellow Gold?

    Can't give a simple answer, as the exact composition matters. Even within the same karat grade, the composition has scope for variation. 4N rose gold is 75% gold, 16 copper, 9 silver; 5N red gold is 75-20.5-4.5. Yellow golds can vary.

    As has been noted, increase the copper content and generally, the hardness should go up. It'll also slide in color to the red scale, so the more yellow, the less copper, and by and large the softer. You can also work-harden the gold, but I'm not sure that's practical for a watch case.

    It shouldn't be the case that you're gonna be putting a big, really visible mark on a watch case, unless it slips out of your hand. Which can certainly happen. But figure...anything that might be scratching the case or bezel is something you're not exactly gonna want smacking your wrist. That said...slight dings, scuffs, and scratches will develop over time. If you're the particularly OCD type with regard to that, then...you probably don't want to go gold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saintsman View Post
    Well it's not putty, so you are unlikely to get indentations unless you really bang it!

    Of course it will scratch, as does stainless steel, but people have been wearing gold rings for years and they get a lot more battering than a watch will. They still look fine after all the abuse they get, so I think that you can rest easy with your watch.

    Small scratches do buff out quite easy if you need them to.
    Thanks for the note, I think that context always helps! I'm not concerned about scratches as those are inevitable, but dents would just give me complete anxiety over bumping anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigclive2011 View Post
    Gold is a lot softer than steel, and thus will mark easier.

    The real issue is that when refinishing the watch you tend to lose the original lines a lot easier than with harder metals, thus the watch tends to look smoother.

    Check out gold cased Rolex for sale on Watchfinder, the refinished cases look different, and not in a good way.

    I would say IMO it is not suitable for a daily wearer if you are active.
    That's something I hadn't considered before, thank you for the tip. I'll have to find examples of repolished vs non.

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    Re: How soft is Yellow Gold?

    It’s especially noticeable on gold Rolex clasps, where the Crown just ends up looking like a lump.
    " I am easily impressed by the best" - Winston Churchill.

    "One cannot but admire the cold-bravery and enterprise of these Italians"
    Admiral Cunningham, referring to the frogmen of the M.A.S in WW2.



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