What Is Rose Gold? Everything You Need to Know

Does thinking about true love make you blush? Do you love fine jewelry pieces and engagement rings with a taste of vintage flair? Or maybe you just love to keep up with the latest trends. If the answer is yes you need to know about rose gold, a shimmery metal in a charming pinkish hue that’s taking the jewelry world by storm.

In this article we’ll review everything that you need to know about rose gold from its international origins to how it stacks up against other popular metals.

rose gold

The History of Rose Gold Jewelry

First used in early 19th century Russia, rose gold color rose to popularity after jeweler Carl Faberge used the metal in his famed Faberge Eggs. Thus, the alloy became known as “Russian Gold” in the 1920s and skyrocketed in jewelry trends around the world.

One of the biggest names leading the charge was French watchmaker and jeweler Cartier who created a line of dazzling rose gold jewelry paired with diamonds and gemstones. The most famous of Cartier’s pieces during this time was the “Trinity Ring” a simple band that consisted of three rings – one yellow gold, one white gold and one rose gold tone.

Today, rose gold jewelry is beloved for the way that it perfectly compliments every skin tone and is widely available in both engagement rings and fine jewelry selections.

A rose gold engagement ring with an accented band

What Is Rose Gold?

There’s white gold, yellow gold and rose gold, but what about pure gold? Pure gold (aka 24 karat gold) is a naturally occurring element that sadly, due to its softness, just isn’t cut out for fine jewelry greatness. As a result, Pure gold’s durability is lackluster and there is no way that it can hold up to the level of wear and tear that we expect from our engagement rings and fine jewelry pieces. Instead, we mix metal alloys resulting in different types of gold that are stronger and more resistant to scratches, knicks and damage.

Rose gold is created when pure gold is mixed with silver and copper alloys. The addition of copper and silver helps to strengthen rose gold and gives the metal its signature pink hue(hence the nickname “pink gold”). The more copper content that’s in the mix the redder rose gold will appear.

A major perk of rose gold is that it doesn’t tarnish over time. However, just like any gold piece, rose gold jewelry like a rose gold watch, ring, bracelet, or earrings do need to be cleaned and polished from time to time.

Two pairs of rose gold accessories

Rose Gold vs Other Precious Metals

This is how rose gold stacks up against other popular metals.

Rose Gold:
As mentioned above, rose gold will not tarnish. In fact, over time rose gold develops something called patina, an outer layer that forms naturally due to the copper within the rose gold alloy. Patina is highly sought after in the jewelry world and will not damage your rose gold pieces and accessories as it can be easily removed with a quick polish or cleaning session. To care for rose gold jewelry, be mindful to prevent exposing it to hard knocks and blows and occasionally clean it using water and soap or a soft cotton cloth.

Yellow Gold:
Yellow gold is made from pure gold mixed with alloy metals like zinc and copper. Yellow gold is a surprisingly soft metal that requires special care to ensure that it remains in tip-top shape. Be careful to remove any jewelry containing yellow gold before doing household chores and before washing or showering as soap residue can build up quickly making the piece appear dull. After wearing, wipe down yellow gold with a soft cloth to keep it sparkling and nicely polished. Yellow gold items should be stored in a cloth-lined box when they aren’t being worn to prevent any knicks or damage.

White Gold:
White gold is a mixed alloy that typically contains around 75% gold and 25% nickel and zinc. White gold is sensitive to labor-intensive activities especially those that require chemicals. Keep this metal far away from chlorine-based detergents as they can easily damage white gold jewelry. To clean, create a cleaning solution using warm water and dish soap and let the item soak for 20-30 minutes.

Similar to platinum in appearance, palladium is a shiny, silvery-white metal that resists corrosion. Palladium is a hypoallergenic metal so wearers can rest easy knowing that this style ring won’t give them an allergic reaction. When it comes to durability, palladium is more durable than its gold counterparts ranking at 5.75 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Jewelry in this style can be cleaned using a pre-packaged jewelry cleaner or by soaking in soap and warm water.

Sterling Silver:
For best results, clean your sterling silver jewelry after each wear to prevent tarnish, dirt and oil from building up. Sterling silver can be polished using a paste made from baking soda and a toothbrush. Hot tip: be sure that your jewelry is completely dry before storing and store your sterling silver in a plastic baggie to limit air exposure.

Rose gold, white gold and yellow gold wedding bands compared side by side

Rose Gold Jewelry

Does rose gold sound right for you and your jewelry collection? Here are a few more things to keep in mind when choosing your engagement ring setting or fine jewelry metal.

Rose gold is less prone to damage from everyday wear than white or yellow gold. In fact, rose gold is so durable that it does not require additional layers of plating like other variations of gold do. As mentioned above, rose gold does not tarnish with age and its unique patina is adored in the jewelry world.

Price differences between rose gold and other alloyed metals is a bit of a wash. The value of a wedding band is determined by the amount of gold in the piece and since a rose gold ring will have just as much gold as a yellow gold ring, the bands are likely to be priced similarly.

Rose gold jewelry and engagement rings are all the rage so you can expect to find it as an option when shopping your favorite jewelry styles.

If rose gold comes to mind when you imagine your dream engagement ring consider a cushion, radiant or round cut diamond for your center stone. While all diamond cuts can be paired with a rose gold setting, these stones best complement its romantic hue thanks to their reflective facets and unbeatable sparkle.

A diamond’s cut isn’t the only thing to consider when selecting a rose gold engagement ring, color grade can also come into play. Because of rose gold’s pink color, many people avoid stones that contain hints of yellow and instead aim for a colorless diamond in the D-G range for maximum brilliance and fire.

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