What is Rose Gold? Unveiling the Beauty of This Stylish Metal

rose gold rings next to white and yellow gold rings on white background

If you are wearing gold, silver, or platinum jewelry, it’s a good bet your jewelry has a special meaning. Rose gold jewelry is the perfect marriage of classics. Its soft pink color is romantic, elegant, and stylish. 

Rose gold jewelry is rising in popularity for engagement rings and becoming a prized addition for the distinguished jewelry collector. Despite its stand-alone beauty, rose gold is spectacularly versatile. You wear it with yellow, gold, white, and even silver metals, creating a brilliant array of complimentary colors.

Are you ready for the perfect rose gold piece for your jewelry collection? Discover its unique characteristics and determine if rose gold is the right kind of gold for you. 

The Rose Gold Basics

While you may be familiar with rose gold jewelry, there is more to it than meets the eye. Knowing the basics about rose gold is the first step in making an informed purchase.

Facts about Rose Gold

Rose gold is an alloy that combines two or more elements mixed to create strength and durability. The most common alloy combination to create rose gold is a mix of 75% pure gold with 25% copper. This gold and copper alloy makes an 18K rose gold. If the percentages are changed, it will alter the karat value.

Sometimes referred to as pink gold or Russian Gold, rose gold first appeared on Russian royalty in the early 1800s. Carl Faberge made the pink gold famous in the 19th century when he used it in his exquisite Fabergé Eggs. Today in America, rose gold is becoming a classic for engagement rings and a piece of preferred jewelry for all skin colors.

Is Rose Gold Real Gold?

close up of rose gold bangle

Rose gold is made up of real gold. There’s a myth that rose gold is worth more than pure white gold or yellow gold. Rose gold’s value is simply based on the gold content, ranging from 9K to 18K.

The yellow gold to copper content ratio affects the rose gold hue. Sometimes, silver is added to the alloy metals, creating a slightly different shade of pink. The gold content determines the karat of rose gold. For instance, if it’s labeled as 18K, it contains 75% real gold.

Does Rose Gold Tarnish?

While it’s not prone to tarnish, rose gold may slightly change in color over time. You might notice slightly redder hues. It will be gradual and may not occur for many years. The change occurs when the copper matures and exhibits an earthy “patina.” This maturity creates more value and uniqueness to the piece; hence, the reason vintage rose gold is so attractive and desirable.

Is Rose Gold Durable?

Part of what makes rose gold so desirable is that it is mixed with copper, which is harder than yellow gold alone. This makes it more durable and scratch-resistant. You might even say copper is rose gold’s superpower, increasing its longevity and helping it last for ages.

Shop Lexie Jordan Jewelry Collections: Various necklaces and gold charms

Are Different Metals Mixed to Create Rose Gold?

Yes. Copper and gold are mixed to create rose gold. Gold must make 37.5% of the total alloy to qualify for a nine-karat rating. 14 karat is 58.3% gold, and 18 karats are 75% gold. 

The beauty and nuances of rose gold come from combining specific ingredients. The recipe will vary from one jewelry maker to another. The closely guarded secret of their creation may include mixing quantities of yellow gold, white gold, and copper with a dash of silver to enhance the color and improve workability. Sometimes, zinc, nickel, and palladium can be sprinkled into the mix.

Rose Gold Jewelry in Fashion & Style

Close up young woman in white shirt wearing silver necklace

Rose gold is highly fashionable as an engagement ring. It is also gaining notability in the world of gold jewelry due to its use in other pieces. You can find rose gold in chunky bracelets, elegant bands, eternity rings, and engraved message plates.

Here are some of the other factors that make rose gold shine:

  • Rose gold pieces compliment yellow gold, sterling silver, platinum, or white gold.
  • The tri-color combination of silver, gold, and rose gold is trending in popularity.
  • It’s the perfect median between stark white gold and traditional classic gold.
  • Rose is a gentle color that isn’t brash like high carat yellow.
  • It complements all colors and skin tones.
  • It’s a new option for those looking for something classic yet different.

 The popularity of rose gold has increased and continues to be a trending phenomenon in many countries. It has become a classic in both jewelry and accessories.

Rose Gold vs. Plating

Rose Gold Plating is a less expensive option and may become your favorite accessory. 

What is Rose Gold Plating?

Plated jewelry has a base of copper, brass, bronze, or sterling silver. Rose gold plating is a less expensive option for those who love the look but not the price tag of real rose gold. 

A base is dipped into a mixture of gold, silver, and copper that provides the rose gold appearance. Be sure to know the difference between real rose gold and gold plated items before you make your purchase.

How Long Will Plating Last?

close up of rose gold wedding band set

Here are the facts about rose gold plating.  

  • Rose plated gold jewelry can last around three years.
  • It will not last as long as other platings such as gold and rhodium white.
  • Signs of wear may include uneven wearing or a spotty appearance.
  • You can have your jewelry replated with rose gold.

Environmental factors cause the plating to break down. The copper in the plating can react with airborne chemicals, water, or ingredients in beauty products which causes erosion and color changes.

Tips to Keep Your Rose Plated Jewelry from Tarnishing

Here are some tips to protect your plated jewelry.

  • Don’t wear your plated jewelry in the pool, hot tubs, or the ocean.
  • Gently clean it with a few drops of mild dish soap and warm water, then air dry and buff with a microfiber cloth (buffing removes corrosive oils).
  • Take off your jewelry before going to bed, working out, or applying lotions, creams, or perfume.
  • Store in a plastic bag by removing excess air and then sealing to help prevent tarnishing.

Rose Gold FAQs

Diamonds Wedding Eternity Band Ring in tri-color gold isolated on white background

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about rose gold.

What makes rose gold popular?

Rose gold is popular because of the variety of romantic, soft shades. It’s suitable for all jewelry types, and it complements other precious metals and every skin tone.

Is rose gold hypoallergenic?

Rose gold can be hypoallergenic if it is 18K or higher in gold content. If there is a high copper content or traces of nickel, rose gold jewelry may not be hypoallergenic.

What types of jewelry can be made from rose gold?

Just about anything! You can find rings, chains, pendants, bracelets, earrings including posts, wires, and links, and combination jewelry with other precious metals and gemstones.

Are rose gold rings an alternative to yellow gold rings or white gold?

rose gold ring with white and yellow gold rings

While yellow and gold rings are classic, rose gold has a uniquely distinct color that can be worn with and complement the classics. The alloy composition makes it more durable and resistant to damage than yellow or white gold.

Is rose gold more expensive than yellow gold?

Rose gold is usually less expensive than yellow gold. The cost of the piece is based on the amount of pure gold in the alloy.

Are red gold, rose gold, and pink gold the same?

Yes. The only difference is the amount of copper mixed with the gold.

Do white gold and rose gold have the same percentage of gold components?

If you compare 18K white and rose gold, white gold has 75% pure gold and 25% other alloys. Rose gold contains 75% pure gold and 25% copper. They both contain 75% pure gold.

The Takeaway

rose gold jewelry

Rose gold is an ingenious and delicate mixture of the classic yellow, white, and sometimes silver metals mixed with vibrant copper. The result is a combination of metals that creates a varying pinkish hue.

Rose gold will never distract from classic jewelry. Rose gold complements every skin tone and is the perfect accessory for any occasion. It’s more durable and scratch-resistant than pure gold. Over time, it will be enriched with distinctive patinas, making it perfect for an heirloom or valued antique collection piece.

Rose gold is found in rings, bracelets, chains, or earrings. You can never go wrong with rose gold as it grows in popularity over time. Be sure to choose your rose gold piece wisely as the pure gold content may vary. Know if your piece is pure gold or plated gold, and ask the seller lots of questions!

Quality rose gold will keep its luster, never tarnish, and will stand the test of time. Rose gold plate will wear after a few years and does not have the long-lasting attributes of real rose gold.

Whichever rose gold jewelry you choose, you will love the unique pink hues that highlight every nuance of your wardrobe, from your jewelry to your skin, and most of all, to the smile it will surely bring to your face.

Shop Lexie Jordan Jewelry Collections: Various necklaces and gold charms