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How Is Rose Gold Made?

Rose gold has become a popular choice for both engagement rings and all jewelry. Its feminine look, refined nature, and unique color appeal to a variety of tastes and styles. Plus, it looks beautiful with diamonds and precious gemstones, making rose gold engagement rings well sought after. While rose gold is its common name, it is also referred to as pink gold or red gold because of its various hues. So how does it get its coveted rosy color and how is rose gold made? Here, we’ll discuss how rose gold is made, its rose gold composition, and the uniqueness that makes it so desirable.

Without further ado, let us introduce you to the pink metal of the family…

A rose gold engagement ring with an accented band

The History of Rose Gold

Rose gold was first popularized in Russia in the 1800s, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “Russian gold.” However, it didn’t stay confined to the country for long. During the Victorian era, it became a fashionable choice for fine jewelry, and by the 1920s, it had made its way into popular culture in the United States. At this time, it was famously used in Cartier’s eye-catching “Trinity Ring” alongside white gold and yellow gold—a mix that is still quite popular today. Despite the famed Trinity Ring, rose gold fell from popularity after the 20s until the 1940s when the top metal choice for engagement rings, platinum, was needed for war efforts. This spawned the use of rose gold for engagement rings and wedding bands.

Today, rose gold is still widely used in engagement rings, and for good reason. Its rosy sheen is romantic and pairs beautifully with bright white diamonds and other popular stones such as morganite too. Its popularity as a metal has spawned rose gold in everything from makeup to laptops to hair color.

Since its beginning, the desire for rose gold jewelry has swelled and waned. And while some may think it’s a trendy choice for modern brides, its history also appeals greatly to the vintage heart.

A chart outlining the history of rose gold

What Is Rose Gold Made Of?

Unlike gold, rose gold is not a pure substance occurring in nature. Like other gold material used in jewelry, rose gold is made up of a combination of gold alloys and other metal alloys. Pure gold is far too soft to be made into jewelry, which is why it is paired with other, stronger metals to withstand everyday wear and last forever. The particular metals it is paired with, however, impact its color. In the case of rose gold, the additional metals are chosen for the very reason of impacting its color.

What metals turn yellow gold to rose gold? It is a combination of copper and silver metal alloys, and sometimes zinc. When these alloys are added to pure yellow gold, the result is an irresistible pink hue.

How Is Rose Gold Jewelry Made?

To understand how rose gold is made, you must first understand how all gold for engagement rings and other jewelry is made.

Pure gold is 24 karats. However, as we mentioned above, pure gold is far too soft to be made into durable jewelry. This is why gold jewelry is offered in 14 karat gold and 18 karat gold. There are many similarities and differences when comparing 14K rose gold vs 18K rose gold. While 18K gold may be purer and thus, more valuable, it is also weaker than 14K gold. Similarly, rose gold most commonly comes in 18 karat and 14 karat varieties. The remaining 6 karats or 10 karats, respectively, come from additional metals such as copper, nickel, silver, zinc, or palladium.

Rose gold is made by combining pure gold with copper metal alloys and silver metal alloys. The amount of each metal used will affect the final hue of the rose gold. This is why you may see rose gold that appears lighter than other rose gold, rose gold that appears pinker than other rose gold, and rose gold that appears redder than other rose gold.

A chart showing the composition of rose gold

What Makes Rose Gold Unique?

It is undeniable that rose gold is a unique metal. Unlike silver and gold, it has only become popularized in the last two hundred years. In addition to it being new on the scene, though, there are a few features of rose gold that make it particularly unique.

The Color

The most unique thing about rose gold is its color. The rosy hue is eye-catching and both modern and vintage at the same time. The color is not only unique but also less popular than both yellow gold and white gold, which gives people with alternative styles an enticing option.

The Meaning

Another unique feature of rose gold is its symbolism. Like the color gold, rose gold symbolizes elegance and affluence, but that’s not all. Rose gold uniquely stands for style, passion, and refinement, but most of all it represents love. If symbolism is what you seek for your engagement ring, it doesn’t get more romantic than rose gold.

Rose Gold Ages Beautifully

Fresh from the furnace, rose gold has a beautiful color, as we mentioned above, but its beauty only grows over time. The copper tinge that gives it a vintage feel from the beginning continues to contribute to its elegant quality over the course of a lifetime. After many years, the copper in rose gold oxidizes to create a beautiful patina on the surface of the metal. This particular look is unique to aged rose gold and makes it extremely valuable. This quality makes rose gold the perfect metal choice for heirloom-quality jewelry you hope to pass down through the generations.

A rose gold bracelet

Rose Gold is Easy To Match

If you are interested in mixing rose gold jewelry with the jewelry you already have, you will find it both easy and striking. Rose gold, being made of both gold and silver, pairs beautifully with both yellow gold and white gold or silver. In addition to mixing everyday jewelry, you can also mix rose gold with other metals for your engagement ring and wedding band. Consider stacking a rose gold engagement ring with a white gold band or adding rose gold bands to a white or yellow gold engagement ring.

In addition to matching other metals well, rose gold also matches all skin tones well. The mix of yellow gold, silver, and copper complements both warm and cool skin tones equally.

The Durability

Given the presence of copper, rose gold is actually more durable than both white gold and yellow gold. Durability is an essential feature for both everyday jewelry that you want to keep from breaking and wedding rings that you want to last forever. In addition to being durable, rose gold doesn’t need much maintenance to retain its luster. While white gold requires a rhodium plating every few years, rose gold ages well and never needs to be re-plated. If you know how to clean rose gold and polish your jewelry regularly, it will always look beautiful.

The Best Rose Gold Jewelry

Rose gold is extremely versatile, and thanks to its recent popularity it is widely available in an array of styles and jewelry types. Rose gold is a popular choice for everyday jewelry such as dainty necklaces, stud earrings, and stackable rings because rose gold tarnish does not occur if it’s real. Not to mention, this is because its subtle color complements most skin tones, clothing, and pairs beautifully with other colored jewelry. Whenever you shop for rose gold jewelry, be sure to look for a hallmark that displays a karat weight of 18K or 14K rose gold. Rose gold jewelry without a hallmark is likely rose gold plated, which will fade and tarnish over time.

Shop our selection of 14K rose gold pendants and chains, rose gold earrings, and rose gold bracelets to experience the beautiful variety of everyday rose gold jewelry available.

Beyond everyday jewelry, though, rose gold is a coveted option for an engagement ring as well. Gone are the days when brides could only choose from silver or gold for their diamond engagement ring. This precious metal not only provides another option, but a romantic, fashionable, and non-traditional one that speaks to many future brides and grooms too.

At the end of the day, the color gold you choose for your engagement ring is completely up to you. Your style and preferences may lead you to choose a rose gold engagement ring. If this unique metal is calling your name, browse our selection of rose gold diamond engagement rings to find a style that suits you best.

A solitaire rose gold engagement ring


*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.

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