What Is Rose Gold? Everything to Know About This Beautiful Metal

Is there any more romantic sounding material than rose gold? We’ve all heard of it, but what is rose gold exactly? Learn more about the properties of rose gold as well as how to style your rose gold jewelry with this handy guide.

Keyword(s): what is rose gold

If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention to the trends of the past few years, then you’ll have seen rose gold almost everywhere. Rose gold homeware, rose gold nail polish, and especially rose gold jewelry.

For all the hype rose gold gets, not many people know what rose gold is. So, what is rose gold? What are the details on this gorgeous and trendy metal?

We’re going to take you through everything you need to know about rose gold. Good luck resisting the gorgeous jewelry it makes after reading this article!

What Is Rose Gold?

Let’s start with the basics. What is rose gold, exactly? This metal that’s also known as pink gold or red gold is actually misleading-it isn’t 100% gold.

Rose gold is a delicate mixture of classic yellow gold, copper metals, and (sometimes) silver metals. The silver and the copper combine with yellow gold to create the pink hue that we’re familiar with when it comes to rose gold.

So, Is Rose Gold Actually Gold?

Yes. Rose gold is made of real gold, even it if isn’t 100% gold. The higher the karat amount in the piece of jewelry will indicate the purity of gold in the piece. For example, 18 karat gold is 75% gold, while 14 karat gold would have 58% gold.

Why Is Rose Gold a Combination of Metals?

Rose gold is made by combining specific amounts of silver, copper, and gold into one combined substance. When you refer to a karat number, that refers to the “parts” of gold within that piece.

So 24 karat gold would be 100% gold. 18 karat gold, as we mentioned earlier, would be 75% gold, or 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy.

“Alloy” refers to the other metals added to the gold to create the final product. In the case of rose gold, it’s alloyed with both copper and silver.

The metals added to the pure gold serve a few purposes. In the case of rose gold, the copper and the silver add the pink color that’s desired from a metal called rose gold.

But there’s another reason most gold jewelry isn’t 100% gold. Gold by itself is a soft metal. It’s so soft that jewelry made with only gold would bend, dent, and generally, be destroyed by even sporadic wear let alone daily wear.

Adding stronger metals to the gold allows it to be made into jewelry that won’t be ruined after a few months of wear. Well-made and high-quality rose gold is durable and beautiful thanks to the specific combination of metals used to make it.

Does Rose Gold Tarnish?

Tarnish refers to when metals lose their luster, darken, and essentially rust due to chemical reactions with the air.

This doesn’t sound pleasant, and it isn’t. Tarnish is usually quite visible on older pieces of jewelry or decor. It is dark and grimy and looks like a layer of dirt over your precious treasures.

The good news? Rose gold doesn’t tarnish. It can, however, begin to appear darker and slightly redder after years of wear.

This isn’t because of tarnish, though. It’s the copper part of the rose gold becoming slightly darker and more vintage looking. This can take many years of wear to happen, so there’s nothing to really worry about.

In fact, many people seek out this darkened and vintage look for their jewelry, since it makes it naturally makes it look like an interesting piece of vintage jewelry.

Is Rose Gold Durable?

We mentioned that gold is soft and that the alloy parts of gold jewelry make the pieces stronger.

This is especially true for rose gold because of the copper component. Copper is considered one of the most durable metals, even being used for building construction, as electrical conductors, as well as for transportation like trains and cars.

Rose gold pieces of jewelry will last for years, and they’ll only look better with age.

What Types of Jewelry Can Be Made With Rose Gold?

Whatever kind of jewelry you want, chances are you can find a rose gold version. While rose gold might not be as popular as some other types of metal jewelry, the trendiness of it the past few years has made rose gold jewelry options much more widely available.

The soft color of rose gold makes it pair well with other types of metal in the same piece, as well as with many different color gemstones.

Styling Rose Gold Jewelry

Now that you know what rose gold is, it’s time to get to the fun stuff-styling the jewelry.

We mentioned earlier that the soft color of rose gold allows it to go well with other metals. You could pair rose gold jewelry with sterling silver, yellow gold, platinum, or white gold jewelry for a classic and clean look.

The “tri-color” look of silver, gold, and rose gold has been a hit on the fashion scene for a number of years now.

This mixing and matching of rose gold with other metals doesn’t have to be only in reference to other pieces of jewelry. It would pair well with metal fashion items as well, like a gold top, silver shoes, a copper accessory, etc.

The versatility of rose gold also means that it can be paired with many different colors and patterns. It would work just as well in a ring with amber as it would in a woven ring with sterling silver and quartz.

What Is Rose Gold: Wrapping Up

So, what is rose gold? What have we learned? It’s a combination of metals that create a soft pink hue that goes well with almost everything. Not only that, but it’s also durable, doesn’t tarnish, and can be made into a wide variety of jewelry options.

Adding a piece of rose gold jewelry to your collection will provide you with a timeless classic that will be with you for years to come. Rose gold will go well with your collection of silver and platinum jewelry, so you know you’ll have a high-quality and long-lasting collection of beautiful pieces.


Q: What is rose gold made of?

A: Rose gold is an alloy made from a combination of gold, copper, and (sometimes) silver. The blend of the metals changes the color of the final product and its karat. For example, the most common alloy of rose gold is 75 percent pure gold to 25 percent copper, which makes 18k rose gold. 14K rose gold, on the other hand, contains 58.5% pure gold. The copper content of the piece is the primary differentiation in karat designation.

Q: Is rose gold more expensive than yellow gold?

A: When gold jewelry is created it is not 100% pure gold, but an alloy of gold and another metal. The jewelry industry uses standardized karat designations to indicate the percentage of pure gold to other metals in the alloy. These karat designations apply to yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. So this does not make rose gold more or less expensive than yellow gold, it’s going to depend on the karat designation (percentage of gold) in the jewelry piece. Since 14k rose gold or 18k rose gold contains the same amount of gold as 14k yellow gold or 18k yellow gold, they are essentially worth the same as their counterparts.

Q: Why is rose gold so popular?

A: Rose gold’s current popularity in jewelry (and pop culture) is due to the comeback of color in fashion at the start of the 21st century. Rose gold works well with most skin tones and is a chic alternative to more traditional yellow gold. Rose gold pairs well with sterling silver or white gold pieces and can be worn casually or in more formal settings. Rose gold provides a nice stackable look with sterling silver pieces or white gold pieces. It can be worn with a plain white t-shirt or a little black dress. In other words, it’s extremely versatile and looks great on everyone!

Q: What is 14k rose gold?

A: 14k rose gold, by definition, contains 58.5% gold. The additional copper content used to create 14k rose gold versus 18k rose gold results in a rosier, brighter pink color which is often desired by customers. Additionally, the 14k rose gold is tougher and more resistant to damage. 14k rose gold is a very common fine jewelry preference for those interested in rose gold rings for the simple fact that is going to last a long time and requires less care than 18k rose gold. Rose gold, in general, has become quite popular in recent years, but 14k rose gold seems to be the most popular ring style.

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

A: Many brands and jewelers use the terms interchangeably, but there are some differences, technically. There is no such thing as pure rose gold since rose gold is an alloy of gold, copper, and sometimes. The alloy ratios below are the most common when getting technical about the differences:

18K Red Gold consists of 75% gold + 25% copper + 0% silver

18K Rose Gold consists of 75% gold + 22.5% copper + 2.75% silver

18K Pink Gold consists of 75% gold + 20% copper + 5% silver

Similar ratios would be true for 14k rose, 14k red, and 14k pink although, again, most consumers and manufacturers alike use rose gold and pink gold interchangeably.

Q: Are rose gold rings a good alternative to yellow gold rings or white gold?

A: Rose gold rings are still considered fine jewelry and are very popular amongst younger brides and even grooms. Most traditional styles still lean towards engagement rings made with yellow gold or white gold, however. Feeling adventurous or looking to be non-traditional in your fine jewelry purchases? Go for a rose gold diamond ring or wedding band.

Q: Are rose gold and sterling silver a good fashion combination?

A: Many fashionistas have been seen stacking rose gold and sterling silver or white gold pieces to produce an elegant contrasting yet complimentary look. Designers have taken notice as well and are now producing pieces with white gold or silver paired with rose gold. You might see the trend in two-tone fashion ring style, rose gold and white gold wedding bands, and engagement rings. The rose gold engagement ring trend may not gain massive popularity, but the sterling silver and rose gold earring, bangle, and chain trend seems to be gaining traction.

Q: Do white gold and rose gold contain the same amount of gold?

A: With any form of gold, always look to the karat designation to tell you the ratio of gold to other metals is in the alloy. For example, 18k gold will contain 75% pure gold in rose gold or white gold whereas 14k gold will contain 58.5% gold.

Have any more questions or need help picking out your next piece of jewelry? We can help. Contact us to go over your options, and we can answer any questions you have.

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