A Complete Guide to Rose Gold

The blushing hues and the warm romance of rose gold has seen it capture the hearts of jewelry lovers, fashionistas and brides-to-be all over the world. It has been used in jewelry for generations, but has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years, coveted for its flattering tones.
We are often contacted by customers wanting to know more about this beautiful metal; a little knowledge can go a long way and understanding the subtleties of rose gold might just persuade you to consider opting out of the mainstream and into a stand-out metal selection.
Simon G. MR2533 Passion Halo Diamond Wedding Set
Simon G. MR2533 Passion Halo Diamond Wedding Set in 18k Rose Gold

A Brief History of Rose Gold

We have heard a lot about rose gold in the last decade, but the history runs deeper than you may think. Rose gold was first used in 19th Century in Imperial Russia. Renowned jeweler to the Czars, Carl Faberge adorned his exquisite creations with rose gold, most notably in his ornate and world-famous Faberge eggs.
The dawn of the 1920’s brought with it a love of lavish opulence, and rose gold was a favored choice by women of the time. However, after the Wall Street Crash in 1929, the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era was quickly surpassed by Art Nouveau which favored clean lines, monochromatic themes and the icy sheen of white gold and platinum.
Tacori 2638RD Dantela Crescent Motif Solitaire Engagement Ring
This striking 18k Rose Gold Tacori engagement ring would have turned heads at a Gatsby party.
During World War II, the use of platinum as a strategic material for the war effort saw jewelry makers return to the warm tones of yellow and rose gold once again.
The most recent chapter in rose gold history was 2012, when a huge rose gold trend took hold with incredible force. While the rose trend in fashion in general may have waned since, rose gold remains a popular option in the jewelry and engagement ring world.
Just as jewelry trends change, so too has the jewelry manufacturing process evolved; modern processes are complex and laborious but result in precise and stunning jewelry.

What is Rose Gold?

You may hear rose gold referred to as Russian Gold, Red Gold or Pink Gold. For jewelry making, pure gold is alloyed with other materials to make it harder and suitable for everyday wear and tear as well as for setting diamonds and gemstones securely. Gold is alloyed with silver and copper to create rose gold; it is the addition of copper that gives rose gold its distinctive color. Rose gold is real gold! However, pure rose gold does not exist in nature as it is an alloy of copper and yellow gold. In the same way, white gold does not exist outside of alloy mixtures that make the metal look much less yellow – almost white.
Verragio D-106W Diamond Wedding Ring
Verragio D-106W Diamond Wedding Ring in 14k Rose Gold
The percentage of copper used will affect the color of the gold – the more copper, the more intense the color. Gold purity is expressed in karats with a percentage given for the amount of gold.
  • 24K Gold = Pure Gold
  • 18k Rose Gold = 75% Pure Gold
  • 14k Rose Gold = 58.5% Pure Gold
  • 10k Rose Gold = 41.7% Pure Gold
Most of our engagement rings are crafted from 18k and 14k rose gold which are typically the ideal purities for setting diamonds. However, due to the addition of copper, which is extremely durable, a higher gold purity is sometimes effectively used for engagement rings and jewelry. Verragio engagement ring designs use 20k rose gold, for an utterly luxurious and durable design.
Though the exact tone of rose gold varies with both the alloy and the process for making it, below are general rules of thumb:
  • 18K Red Gold = 75% gold / 25% copper / 0% silver
  • 18K Rose Gold = 75% gold / 22.5% copper / 2.75% silver
  • 18K Pink Gold = 75% gold / 20% copper / 5% silver
Our full guide to alloys and metals in jewelry making can tell you more about which metals are the best choices for fine jewelry.

Pros of Rose Gold Engagement Rings & Jewelry

There’s a lot to love about rose gold; here are some of the highlights:
  • Although it has seen waves of popularity and steady success, white metals are still the leading choice for wedding jewelry. For many buyers, this is a positive for choosing rose gold, knowing that they are choosing something to stand apart from the crowd.
  • Rose gold is extremely flattering, particularly on mid to dark skin tones. It is typically associated with summer trends, but on the right skin it is simply stunning all year round.
  • Rose gold can help diamonds with a lower color grade appear whiter by comparison.
  • Having had a long history, rose gold naturally lends itself to vintage styles, yet its revival brought about a burst of contemporary rose gold styles too.
  • Copper is a strong metal so its inclusion in rose gold gives added durability.
  • Rose gold does not require replating and it does not tarnish. Over many years, the red tones in the metal may deepen, for a richer, more vintage look.
Elegant Solitaire Engagement Ring
This stunning solitaire shows that rose gold can comfortably lend itself to a sleek, classic style.

Cons of Rose Gold Engagement Rings & Jewelry

All metals have their own unique properties and with that comes differing setbacks. Here are some considerations to make before selecting a rose gold engagement ring.
Due to the inclusion of silver, rose gold is not hypoallergenic. It may cause skin irritation in some wearers.
Without the consistent popularity of other metals, selections for a rose gold engagement ring may be limited. Fortunately, we have a beautiful collection of rose gold jewelry and engagement rings, and many of designer engagement rings can be crafted in rose gold.

An Expression of Personality

Engagement rings become a part of you and choosing the right metal is just the first step in creating the perfect engagement ring. Personal, sentimental and simply stunning; contact one of our experts for friendly support in finding your dream ring.

Be Inspired By Our Designer Engagement Rings

Find the perfect Designer Ring for your special diamond by clicking the links below, and let us build the ultimate ring for the love of your life!