There is no safe, commercially produced gold tattoo ink in wide use. Some tattoo artists add chemicals to yellow ink to create gold ink, but these counterfeit inks pose serious health risks.
The FDA warns potential tattoo customers against using non-standard, low-quality ink. These counterfeit inks are more likely to cause infection, allergic reactions, scarring and other health problems. FDA investigations found that some homemade tattoo inks used printer inks, paint meant for cars and other industrial-strength liquids. Even though gold tattoo ink is not available, skilled tattoo artists can create the appearance of metallic tattoo ink by using shading and other design tricks.