Have you ever wondered what the real difference is between rose, yellow and white gold? There are a lot of characteristics to keep in mind—not just the visible color variations—when searching for engagement rings or fine jewelry to ensure you make the right choice for your unique style.
When considering each gold option, it's crucial you know the composition and care instructions that come along with each. Though your first worry may be regarding the type of metal color you prefer, there are many other key elements to note in order to make an informed decision, especially if you’re considering white gold vs silver, or platinum vs gold. In this article, we will go over the most commonly asked questions about each gold type so you can choose the right base metal for your budget and style preference.
Is Gold Better Than Rose Gold?
Many consumers consider yellow gold to be the natural color of gold and therefore feel no need to qualify the yellow variety of gold, though that's not technically correct. When considering whether gold is better than rose gold, you first need to know how each one is made.
It is true that pure gold has a yellow hue, though most yellow gold jewelry is not made of pure gold. Gold is made up of 24 parts, meaning pure gold is 24K. Fine jewelry comes in 10K, 14K and 18K gold varieties. What many consumers don't know is that actual gold is a very malleable metal type, which is why jewelry is commonly crafted with other alloys to make it strong enough for everyday wear. The color of gold is determined by different mixtures of these alloys. 10K gold consists of 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloys, 14K consists of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloys, and so on. This is true for all types of gold jewelry, though their exact compositions vary.
Now to determine whether a rose gold ring is the right option for you, keep in mind the top differences between rose gold vs gold.
What Is the Difference Between Gold and Rose Gold?
There are a few key elements that make regular gold and rose gold so different. Sure, one is yellow and one is pink, but what causes these differences? Let’s dive into the composition of rose gold to get a better understanding of its properties.
Rose gold is made from gold and a variety of alloys including copper and silver. The exact amount of alloys will depend on the karat you choose. Though copper and silver are much more affordable than solid gold, they are actually stronger than gold making rose gold a very durable metal choice for engagement rings and fine jewelry.
Not only will the karat you choose affect the price and durability of rose gold, but it will also slightly affect the color of it as well. Here are some of the most distinct characteristics of each karat of rose gold.
10K Rose Gold: There are a few pros and cons to consider when looking into 10K rose gold. One major thing to note is that since it’s made mostly of alloys (10 parts gold to 14 parts alloys), it often looks duller than 14K and 18K because of its lack of actual gold. But don’t only look into the disadvantages, there are also a couple of great pros to choosing 10K. Firstly, it is by far the most affordable choice. Since copper is a fairly inexpensive and durable metal, it provides the most bang for your buck. Plus the more copper, the more pink the metal will be. So overall, 10K rose gold is affordable, durable, more pink but slightly duller in appearance.
14K Rose Gold: This is the most common choice for all gold, but especially rose gold. 14K is the middle ground for price, durability and appearance. While 10K gold may lack luster, 14K will appear the perfect shade of glossy pink. Since the metal mixture still contains a heavy amount of alloys, it is still a very durable base metal for everyday wear.
18K Rose Gold: Though the most expensive of all three choices, 18K rose gold is quite uncommon to find. Why is that? Because it is by far the most malleable of them all. Since 18K gold is made of only 6 parts alloys, the metal is not nearly as durable as the other choices. This can result in scratches over time, and although white gold can be rhodium re-dipped to cover imperfections, rose gold doesn’t have that advantage. So, while you may think more gold is better, it does come with some big disadvantages.
Which Is Better: Rose Gold or Yellow Gold?
Now that you have a better understanding of rose gold jewelry, let's delve into yellow gold and the differences between the two.
Yellow gold is the only color of gold that can be crafted from pure gold as it doesn't need other alloys to get its yellow finish—although that doesn’t mean you’ll choose it because of this. It also has copper and silver alloys like rose gold when crafted in 10K, 14K and 18K, though the formula is more balanced than rose gold which has more copper. This results in yellow gold being slightly less durable than rose gold, and due to this can be more easily scratched over time.
When comparing the price point, rose gold and yellow gold engagement rings tend to cost about the same. You might find that rose gold is slightly more affordable than yellow gold, but in most instances you will find that they are priced similarly. When it comes to style, yellow gold is often used for modern styles with a simplistic design, while rose gold is used more often in vintage pieces.
Overall, there is no clear advantage over one or the other. Both rose gold and yellow gold have advantages and disadvantages, and it will mostly depend on the style of jewelry you’re looking for. Both precious metals are durable enough for everyday jewelry, engagement rings and wedding rings, and will look stunning for decades to come as they are timeless in style.
Does Rose Gold Tarnish?
Rose gold gets its pink hue mostly from its copper alloy, which means that it has more copper in it than other precious metal types. While this does result in an increased likelihood of allergic reactions, copper content actually makes the metal more durable than other gold types. This means rose gold will not tarnish and is sturdier than both yellow and white gold for the same, if not lower price.
Rose gold also has an advantage because unlike white gold which needs to be rhodium dipped every so often to keep its shiny finish, rold gold does not. With a rose gold engagement ring, you don’t have to worry about maintenance down the road other than normal cleanings to keep it shining bright. Plus since rose gold is often used in vintage pieces, any wear and tear will add to its vintage vibe. If you do see your engagement ring or wedding ring becoming dull, it may be time for a deep cleaning. While occasional soap and water is great for weekly maintenance, it’s important to have a jeweler deep clean your precious metals and stones every year or so to keep it in mint condition.
Is Rose Gold Really Gold?
Now that you've learned all about rose gold, you know that it is indeed gold. Though it can never be pure gold, you can choose from 10K, 14K and 18K rose gold to find the color you like at the right price. Though copper gives rose gold its iconic blush color, it is gold that makes it shine so brilliantly.
Both rose gold, yellow gold and white gold and stunning precious metals for any jewelry type as they are durable and timeless. So no matter which gold type you choose, it is sure to make your adornment look luxurious enough to wear every day. Whether you’re looking for gold princess cut engagement rings, dainty necklaces, wedding bands or other jewelry, we have a wide selection of beautiful pieces to choose from at Diamond Nexus.
*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.