Thursday, 28 September 2017

Rose Gold Jewellery from Ancient Colombia

Rose gold is trendy now, but ancient Colombians also valued it. Researchers have found Colombia's Nahuange people, who lived during the first millennium AD, were capable of making impure gold appear more valuable. And they often intentionally over polished their gold products to reveal pink and orange tones underneath - creating a rose gold jewellery. Rose gold gets its colour from copper. The pink hued metal was particularly popular in Russia with Jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in the late 19th century.
Researchers studied 44 pinkish metal artifacts from the Nahuange culture. Little is known about the society of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, near Colombia's Caribbean coast, which flourished between 100 and 1,000 AD.

Andean goldsmiths created a process called depletion gilding that allowed them, through a combination of oxidation and polishing, to bring the gold to the surface. In the case of the rose gold jewellery, the craftsmen intentionally polished past this golden layer to reveal the copper content beneath.