What Is Rose Gold? 9 Little Known Facts Everyone Should Know


Rose gold has been gaining popularity in the jewelry industry because of its charming and feminine colour. 

Up until a few years ago, we didn't see much of rose gold jewelry in the market. 

But, nowadays many large jewelry brands are selling rose gold products of various designs. 

Not only for everyday wear, but recently, more and more people are choosing rose gold as a wedding ring or an engagement ring.

Have you ever wondered the following:

"I'm interested in rose gold, but I'm not sure if it suits me."

"I hear it's easy to discolour, is that true?”

“Will I get an allergic reaction to it?”

"Why is it pink in the first place?"

Today, I will explain everything you’ll need to know about rose gold and answer all your burning questions about this lesser-known metal. 

Also, if you are wondering whether or not to choose pink gold as your wedding ring or engagement ring, this complete guide makes a great reference.

What Is Rose Gold?

Rose gold is an alloy consisting of pure gold and other metals.
It is the “other metals” in the alloy that gives rose gold its distinct pink colour.

The pink colour in rose gold is from the copper content added to the gold alloy. 

What Is in Rose Gold?

Pink gold is indeed gold, but it is not pure gold.

As a refresher, pure gold is 24K gold.

The measurement of gold purity is divided into 24 parts. 

24K gold is made of 24 parts gold and 0 parts other materials. 

Did you know, many gold products are not made of gold alone?

While it is true that the higher the gold's purity, the more valuable it is as a precious metal. 

However, there are also drawbacks to pure gold.

Gold in its purest form is very malleable which means it can deform, lose shape, or get stretched easily.

So-called "coloured gold" such as pink gold (or white gold) is called an “alloy”.
It is made by mixing "pure gold" and "other metals". 

The colour of the resulting metal changes depending on the type and amount of other non-gold metals used in the composition.

Is Rose Gold Natural?

Unlike pure gold and pure silver, rose gold is not a naturally-occurring metal.

With that being said, you know, the 18K gold that we are all so familiar with?

That is actually not a natural-occurring metal either.

Although 18K gold is very common in the jewelry market, it is not naturally-occurring either since it is created by mixing different metals together. 

Is Rose Gold Actually Gold?

Yes, rose gold, just like yellow gold or white gold, is made of gold. 

The composition in rose gold is different than in yellow gold and in white gold.

The other metals added to the alloy is what gives these coloured golds their distinct pink, yellow or white colour.

What is Rose Gold Made Out Of?

Pink gold is made by mixing pure gold with copper, silver and palladium. 

Among these, “copper” has the highest mixing ratio. 

In other words, the reason why rose gold has a distinct pink colour is due to the copper content, which makes up the highest proportion.

Furthermore, by mixing only copper and silver or changing the ratio of silver and palladium, the shade of pink can be adjusted to a “deep pink” or “pale pink”.

How Is Rose Gold Made?

Depending on the shade of pink you are looking for, rose gold is made by mixing gold with other metals in different proportions. 

Compared to white gold and yellow gold, the proportion of "copper" is much more significant.

As discussed, it is the copper content that gives the metal its pink hue. 

Since the mixing ratio of copper and silver varies depending on the jewelry maker, the same metal we refer to as “rose gold” can vary slightly in colour.

What are Pink and Red Gold?

The difference between warm shades of gold like red gold, rose gold, and pink gold is its copper content.

The higher the copper content, the stronger the red hue.

Let’s take a look at 18K pink gold and 12K red gold.

18K pink gold consists of:

  • 75% gold
  • 20% copper
  • 5% silver

12K red gold consists of:

  • 50% gold
  • 50% copper

The warmer the shade, the lower the gold content.

This is because more copper needs to be added into the alloy to produce a redder hue. 

What is Russian Gold?

Today, Russian gold just refers to gold from Russia. 

However, in the past, rose gold was referred to as Russian gold.

This was because rose gold jewelry was extremely popular in the early 19th century in Russia. 

Today, the term Russian gold is not used any longer to refer to pink gold.

Difference Between White Gold and Yellow Gold

The difference between white gold and yellow gold is the proportion of "other metals" mixed into the alloy.

Let’s take a look at 18K yellow gold and 18K white gold:

18K yellow gold contains the same amount of silver and copper (12.5% ​​each) in addition to 75% gold.

18K white gold contains palladium and silver in addition to 75% gold, with palladium being the main component.

The proportion of palladium added into the composition depends on how white you want the 18K white gold to appear.

In addition to its composition, the mass of 18K yellow and white gold can be different. 

Comparing between two rings that are the exact same shape and size, it is 1.0 g for 18-karat yellow gold and about 1.09 g for 18-karat white gold. 

v. Ratio of Yellow Gold to Copper

As previously mentioned, pink gold is made by mixing pure gold with copper, silver and palladium. 

Among them, copper has the highest content. 

It seems that they are often mixed in the ratio of:

  • Copper = 7 ;
  • Silver = 2 ;
  • Palladium = 1.

In other words, the reason why pink gold has a pink colour is due to the copper content, which has the highest proportion.

Furthermore, by mixing only copper and silver or changing the ratio of silver and palladium, the colour can be adjusted.

Pros & Cons of Rose Gold

While rose gold is gaining popularity in the jewelry industry, is it right for you?
Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of rose gold jewelry.

While the gold content in a piece of 18K rose gold jewelry is the same as a piece of 18K white gold jewelry, the other metals added to the rose gold composition is often less expensive than the other materials added to white gold. 

The copper in rose gold is much more inexpensive than the silver or platinum in white gold, which contributes to the much more affordable price of rose gold jewelry.

Rose gold is also much more durable than white gold and yellow gold.

This is because copper is very durable and the copper content is available in rose gold in much larger portions than in white or yellow gold.

Unlike pure 24K gold, rose gold is not hypoallergenic.

This means, if you are allergic to any of the other metals in the rose gold alloy, you can have an adverse reaction to rose gold jewelry.

The Pros of Rose Gold Engagement Rings

While platinum and gold are the most common metals used in engagement rings, rose gold is a much more affordable option. 

The plus side of rose gold engagement rings is that it naturally compliments nearly every skin tone.

The warm shade of rose gold adds a modern classic flair to a classic engagement ring.

The Cons of Rose Gold Engagement Rings

Unlike its more traditional white and yellow counterparts, there seems to be less designs in rose gold wedding and bridal jewelry. 

The History of Rose Gold

As mentioned in an earlier section, the first rose gold alloy used in jewelry was back in the early 19th century by a famous jeweller, Carl Faberge in Russia.

Rose gold started gaining notoriety in North America during the 1920s. 

How to Use Rose Gold

What Types of Jewelry Can Be Made With Rose Gold?

Basically any jewelry you see in white or yellow gold can also be made with rose gold. 

The soft colour of rose gold allows it to go well with other metals. 

You can use a piece of rose gold jewelry as a base and build around it.

For example, if you choose a pair of warm-toned rose gold earrings as a focal point, try pairing it with other cooler-toned metals like silver to make your rose gold jewelry stand out more. 

You could pair rose gold jewelry with sterling silver, yellow gold, platinum, or white gold jewelry for a classic and clean look.

What Complexions Go Well with Rose Gold?

Rose gold is a soft colour that naturally compliments nearly every skin tone.

Find out what your personal colour is and look for jewelry that matches the colour of your skin, eyes, and hair to maximize your charm and personality. 

In other words, your personal colour is a colour that suits you.

Jewelry is an important element in fashion. 

If you can choose a colour that best suits you, your beautiful accessories will make you look sensational!

What Colours to Wear with Rose Gold?

Believe it or not, colours are powerful tools used to manipulate emotions and impact perception.

When putting together an outfit, you’ll want to pay close attention to the colours choices of your ensemble.

Poor colour choices will result in an outfit that is disproportionate and potentially awkward.

However, when done correctly, your pieces will complement each other and you’ll look remarkable!

The Meaning of Rose Gold

Historically, gold has been a symbol of wealth.

Rose gold’s soft hue appears to be romantic and composed. It is also associated with elegance and affluence. 

While rose gold is a shade of pink, which is a typically feminine colour, rose gold is often seen as a “gender-neutral” colour.

How Much Is Rose Gold Worth?

Is Rose Gold Expensive?

Rose gold is more affordable than yellow or white gold because of the cheaper costs of the other metals that are used to create the alloy.

While the gold content in a piece of 18K rose gold jewelry is the same as a piece of 18K white gold jewelry, the other metals added to the rose gold composition is often less expensive than the other materials added to white gold. 

The copper in rose gold is much more inexpensive than the silver or platinum in white gold, which contributes to the much more affordable price of rose gold jewelry.

Is Rose Gold Valuable?

A common misconception is that rose gold is more valuable than yellow or white gold due to its rarity. 

However, its colour is changed by the non-gold metals that base metal (gold) is alloyed with. 

The amount of gold contained in a piece of rose gold is exactly the same for a comparative piece of yellow or white gold of the same purity.

What is Rose Gold Worth?

When jewelry gold is created, it is an alloy of pure gold and another metal.

However, this does not make rose gold much more or less expensive than yellow gold. 

Since 14K or 18K rose gold contains the same amount of pure gold as 14K or 18K yellow gold, they are essentially worth the same as their counterparts in terms of gold content.

Does Rose Gold Tarnish or Change Colour?

Pink gold will gradually change colour over time. 

If it is 100% pure (24K) gold, it will not discolour.

But to create rose gold, other non-gold metals, such as copper, silver, and palladium are added into the composition.

The non-gold metals of rose gold have properties of discolouration.

Unfortunately, discolouration is unavoidable. 

There are three different types of discolouration and the cause of each is different.

Let’s take a look at each one in detail and ways to prevent this from happening.

Discolouration

Discolouration is caused by the chemical reaction of the non-gold metals within the rose gold alloy.

As mentioned above, rose gold is a mixture of pure gold and other precious metals in the ratio of copper = 7; silver = 2; palladium = 1. 

Copper and silver are vulnerable to oxidation and have the property of easily reacting chemically with oxygen, oil and sulphur.

Oil is contained in cosmetics and sebum, and sulphur is contained in seawater. 

By reacting with them, it changes rose gold jewelry to a colour like yellow or brown.

Especially troublesome is the chemical reaction between your rose gold jewelry and oxygen. 

Oxygen is present in the air, so accessories are always in contact with it. 

In other words, your jewelry will undergo oxidation even without you doing anything to it.

Lightened Colour

The colour of your rose gold jewelry can become lighter when fine scratches accumulate on the surface.

The accumulation of scratches diffusely reflect light, creating a "lightened” coloured state.

These scratches are so small that they can barely be seen with a microscope.

It is almost impossible to prevent cosmetic damages to your rose gold jewelry as these surface scratches are a normal sign of aging.

Peeling Colour

Peeling off occurs in rose gold plated jewelry only.

In this case, some colours may be exposed due to aging. 

Since the pink gold covers only the surface, due to scratches, it peels off and a part of the base metal may be visible. 

Can You Restore Discoloured Rose Gold?

The short answer: Yes

Now, as I explained earlier, discolouration in rose gold is unavoidable regardless of how careful you are.  

However, that doesn't mean you can't use it for long.

Although there are different home remedies that can allow you to restore your discoloured or faded rose gold jewelry, we recommend bringing your valuable piece to the jeweller for professional repair. 

Tips to Take Care of Your Rose Gold Jewelry

Many of the reasons why repairs are needed is not because care was not exercised when using the piece.

Jewelry can age quickly due to everyday use. 

By paying attention to various points, your rose gold jewelry can maintain a beautiful shine for a long time.

Wipe off Sweat and Cosmetics After Use

Rose gold will become dirty when it chemically reacts with sweat or cosmetics, so wipe it off with a soft cloth after each use.

Take off When Putting on and Taking off Clothes

Be sure to remove chains or jewelry fasteners when putting on or taking off your clothes.

Your jewelry may get caught in your clothes or hair and cause damage.

Remove When Taking a Bath or Shower

If you take a bath or a shower while wearing rose gold jewelry, the water and sulphur will accelerate the speed of discolouration.

In the event where you have forgotten to remove it before water-intensive activities, gently wipe it off after bathing.

Store When Not in Use

When not in use, put your jewelry piece in an accessory case to prevent it from being scratched. 

If possible, store your jewelry separately in order to prevent contact with other jewelry, which may result in scratching.

Is Rose Gold Durable?

Yes, rose gold is actually very sturdy.

The different metals in rose gold - copper, silver, and palladium have different levels of durability, or hardness, against deformation and scratches.

If you rank the hardness of each metal, it goes like this:

  1. Copper
  2. Palladium
  3. Silver

Out of the three, copper has the highest durability.

Rose gold, which has a high proportion of copper, has the highest durability against deformation and scratches amongst other coloured gold.

Different Types of Rose Gold

What Does Rose Gold Filled Mean?

Rose gold-filled jewelry is created by pressure bonding a layer of rose gold to another metal.

The gold in rose gold-filled jewelry is often thicker than the gold in rose gold-plated jewelry. 

What is Rose Gold Vermeil

Rose gold vermeil is a very specific type of plating that includes varying degrees of gold fineness (from 10K to 24K) on a sterling silver base. 

Want to know if your jewelry is a gold vermeil piece?

See if it checks off all these boxes. 

  • Sterling silver base metal
  • Gold fineness of 10K to 24K
  • Coated at 2.5 microns thick

To be legally classified as gold vermeil, the jewelry needs to satisfy all 3 conditions above.

Otherwise, it is only considered gold over sterling silver.

What is Rose Gold Plated?

Rose gold-plated jewelry is laced with a layer of gold. The thickness of the gold depends on what type of gold electroplating you are going for.

Can Rose Gold Be Resized?

Rose gold is coloured by mixing another metal with gold to give it its pinkish colour.

When you want to increase its size, the modified material may be slightly different from the original colour.

While resizing a rose gold ring is doable, it will differ slightly from the original.

Is Rose Gold Hypoallergenic?

Since rose gold contains gold, copper and palladium, it may cause an allergic reaction if you have a metal allergy to any one of the listed metals. 

Here, we will introduce the causes and countermeasures for metal allergies caused by rose gold.

Causes of Metal Allergies

First, let me briefly explain about metal allergies.

The first thing you should know is that metal reacts with sweat and other bodily fluids.

This interaction causes the metal to breakdown on a microscopic level into very small particles called “ions” that penetrate into the skin.

The metal then penetrates into the body and combines with protein to become an allergen.

Since metal ions are harmful to the human body, the body exerts a defence function, which appears as inflammatory symptoms (allergic reaction) in the body.

Especially for earrings, by making a hole in the skin, the metal comes into direct contact with the skin tissue, making it easier for allergic reactions to occur.

The precious metals contained in rose gold are mainly gold, silver, copper, and palladium. 

Let's look at the characteristics of each from the perspective of allergies.

Gold

Gold is known to be a precious metal that does not easily cause an allergic reaction because it does not react easily. 

Silver

There are few cases of allergic reactions caused by silver. 

With silver accessories, it's not silver that causes allergies, but other metals mixed together.

Copper 

Copper is a metal that can easily cause allergies. 

In addition, there is a high proportion of copper contained in rose gold. 

As a result, copper is often the cause of many rose gold-related allergies.

Palladium 

Palladium is an even more allergenic metal than copper. 

Although there is a very low content of palladium in rose gold, palladium can be another cause for allergies.

Is Rose Gold for Guys?

Although rose gold is less popular than platinum or gold in terms of wedding jewelry, most people like rose gold because it is a beautiful colour that can easily match any skin tone.

Rose gold can appear more elegant than yellow gold.

It is a gender-neutral colour that I believe will become a popular metal for both men and women in the future.

 

Is Rose Gold Nickel Free?

Rose gold usually does not contain nickel.

As we have previously mentioned, the common non-gold content of rose gold is copper, silver and palladium.

If you have a nickel allergy, you can wear rose gold without too much worry!

Conclusion

Did you learn something new about rose gold?

Whether you are deciding on a new piece of rose gold jewelry for everyday wear or as wedding jewelry, we hope you use the information from this article to help make your decision.

 

Related Posts

Meaning of Ankle Bracelet: What is the Effect of Wearing an Anklet?
Meaning of Ankle Bracelet: What is the Effect of Wearing an Anklet?
There are many reasons why anklets are popular today. Not just as a fashion statement, but for other reasons too! It’s a
Read More
Anklets Meaning: Anklets For Men - Fashion At Your Feet!
Anklets Meaning: Anklets For Men - Fashion At Your Feet!
Compared to women, men prefer to wear less accessories. But just by casually adding anklets to your feet, your whole loo
Read More
What Does Wearing an Anklet Mean? Deciphering Anklet Meanings Based on Colour
What Does Wearing an Anklet Mean? Deciphering Anklet Meanings Based on Colour
Do you know the meaning of the anklet you wear based on its colour? If you didn’t know that the meaning of anklets depen
Read More