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Rose Gold vs White Gold: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

Comparing rose gold and white gold is a bit like comparing red roses and white tulips. Both offer a beautiful, classic aesthetic, as well as plenty of luxury and confidence. Likewise, many people may simply be drawn to one versus the other due to their personal tastes.

But these are also two very distinct materials—and depending on their attributes, one may be more compatible with your lifestyle and needs than the other. So, what are the differences between rose gold vs. white gold jewelry, and which one is right for you?

In this guide, we’ll talk about the key differences between the two metals, including price, trendiness, and longevity. We’ll also dive into wear and care and detail their pros and cons to help you better understand which is right for you.

White Gold and Rose Gold: Composition

First, let’s talk about what makes both white gold and rose gold jewelry pieces so uniquely lovely. Here, they share a common factor—neither is made of pure gold. Instead, they are both alloys or mixtures of gold and some other precious metal.

The exact composition of the two options is where they diverge:

  • Rose gold is a gold alloy typically consisting of 75% pure gold. Its rosy hue is achieved through a combination of copper and occasionally silver. Beyond aesthetics, the inclusion of copper adds strength to the metal, contributing to its durability and distinctive charm. This blend of metals not only imparts a warm and romantic color but also enhances the tactile and visual appeal of rose gold jewelry.

    The varying percentages of copper give rise to a spectrum of shades within rose gold, allowing for versatility in design. Higher copper content results in a more intense reddish-pink hue, while lower copper content produces a subtle and delicate blush. This versatility makes rose gold a favorite for crafting intricate and artistic jewelry pieces, offering designers a rich palette to express creativity.
  • White gold, In contrast, white gold is another captivating alloy consisting of pure gold and lighter-colored metals like palladium, nickel, or manganese. Its brilliant radiance comes from a plating of rhodium, a white-toned and extremely durable metal. This addition not only enhances the aesthetic but also contributes to the metal’s durability. The choice of these metals allows for a stunning silvery appearance that closely resembles platinum, providing an elegant and timeless backdrop for various gemstones.

    White gold’s popularity surged in the twentieth century, gaining recognition for its ability to complement the brilliance of diamonds. The alloy’s neutrality allows it to showcase the intricate details of diamond settings, making it a sought-after choice for engagement rings and other diamond-centric designs.

White gold is a relative newcomer on the jewelry scene, with its origins in the nineteenth century. However, rose gold has gone in and out of fashion since ancient times. In fact, it was extremely popular among the Nahuange people, who rocked this tinted metal about 2000 years ago in the area we now know as Colombia.

Rose Gold vs White Gold: Cost

Beyond the gold color and composition, understanding the cost difference between white gold and rose gold is crucial.

As with many precious metals, the price of either white gold or rose gold can vary substantially depending on their caratage. Pure gold has 24 carats, whereas an alloy made up of 75% gold is 18 carats. While both white gold and rose gold varieties can come in alloys with as few as 9 carats, in the United States, the minimum standard for gold is 10 carats.

The price depends not only on the purity of the gold included in the alloy but also on the value of the other metals included. Copper, often used in rose gold, tends to be less expensive than the metals included in white gold. For this reason, rose gold at the same caratage as white gold is often a slightly more affordable option.

Considering cost alongside lifetime value widens the gap even more, making it essential to weigh your preferences against your budget.

The cost considerations extend beyond the initial purchase to the long-term investment value. While rose gold may present a more budget-friendly option at the same caratage due to the lower cost of copper, white gold’s enduring popularity and versatility make it a timeless investment, offering a balance of affordability and lasting value.

Rose Gold vs White Gold: Durability

Rose Gold Durability
Rose gold, particularly strong, can withstand daily wear admirably. Its durability increases with lower caratage, indicating a higher percentage of copper, which enhances the metal’s strength. This robustness makes rose gold an excellent choice for those who lead an active lifestyle and seek jewelry that can endure daily wear and tear.

The unique blend of metals in rose gold not only contributes to its durability but also offers resistance to tarnishing and corrosion. This makes rose gold an ideal choice for individuals seeking low-maintenance jewelry that retains its luster over time.

White Gold Durability
Does white gold tarnish? It does not. it requires maintenance due to the rhodium plating. The plating is tough, but it can wear down with use, necessitating re-plating every year or so. If you’re comfortable with this occasional maintenance and appreciate the enduring appeal of white gold, it remains a popular choice for various jewelry pieces, including engagement rings.

The longevity of your diamond alternative jewelry is also influenced by personal preferences and current trends. White gold has been gaining in popularity for almost half a century, especially when used for white gold engagement rings.

While rose gold jewelry is often harder to come by thanks to its singular hue, it has seen an explosion in popularity over the last ten years. This is particularly true for delicate white gold bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.

The durability of these metals, combined with their timeless appeal, ensures that your investment in jewelry not only stands up to the test of time but also retains its beauty and allure throughout changing fashion trends.

White Gold vs Rose Gold: Which Is Better?

In the battle between white gold vs rose gold, which metal wins out? While personal preference is certainly a factor, we’ve provided a handy pros and cons chart below to help you assess their qualities and drawbacks as a whole:

Metal Pros Cons
White Gold Extremely Durable Regular maintenance required
Popular option for diamond engagement rings Not hypoallergenic
Corrosion-resistantMore expensive
Rose Gold More affordable Copper can irritate sensitive skin
Vintage look and feel Lower quality rose gold may tarnish
Durable and scratch-resistantOften harder to find

Caring for Rose or White Gold

Wondering how to clean white gold and rose gold? Ensuring the longevity and radiant beauty of your precious rose or white gold jewelry involves thoughtful care and maintenance. By following these guidelines, you can preserve the luster and allure of your cherished pieces for generations to come.

  • Avoid Exposure to Water: As a general rule, water and jewelry, especially metals like rose and white gold, don’t mix well. To prevent damage, it’s advisable to remove your jewelry before activities such as showering or swimming. Exposure to water, particularly chlorinated or saltwater, can lead to the accumulation of impurities and minerals on the metal’s surface, affecting its shine and potentially causing tarnishing.
  • Protect Against Chemicals: Chemicals found in everyday items, such as perfumes, lotions, and cleaning products, can impact the integrity of rose and white gold. To safeguard your jewelry, apply lotions and perfumes before putting on your pieces. Additionally, remove your jewelry when engaging in household chores or activities involving chemicals, as these substances can lead to discoloration and diminished brilliance.
  • Storage Matters: Proper storage is crucial to prevent scratching and tangling, ensuring your jewelry retains its flawless appearance. Store each piece in a separate compartment or pouch to avoid contact with other items. For added protection, consider placing a piece of soft fabric between individual pieces to prevent scratches. This meticulous approach to storage safeguards your investment and maintains the exquisite finish of your rose or white gold jewelry.
  • Regular Cleaning Routine: To keep your rose and white gold jewelry looking its best, establish a regular cleaning routine. A simple at-home cleaning solution can be made by mixing a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water. Gently scrub the jewelry using a soft brush or toothbrush to remove accumulated dirt and oils. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the pieces with clean water and pat them dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Professional Inspection and Cleaning: Consider periodic professional inspections and cleanings to ensure the longevity of your rose and white gold jewelry. Jewelers have the expertise and tools to assess any potential issues, such as loose stones or worn prongs, and address them promptly. Professional cleanings also involve techniques to restore the metal’s original brilliance, leaving your jewelry looking as dazzling as the day you acquired it.
  • Understanding Rhodium Plating (for White Gold): For white gold jewelry, particularly those with rhodium plating, it’s essential to understand the nature of this protective layer. While rhodium enhances the metal’s brilliance and provides a white, reflective surface, it may wear down over time. If you notice a change in color or brilliance, consult with your jeweler about the possibility of re-plating to restore the original appearance of your white gold pieces.
  • Tarnish Prevention for Rose Gold: Rose gold, while less prone to tarnishing than some other metals, can still be affected by tarnish over time, especially in lower-quality alloys. To prevent tarnishing, store your rose gold jewelry in a cool, dry place and avoid exposure to extreme humidity. If tarnish does occur, a gentle cleaning using a mixture of baking soda and warm water can help restore its shine.

By incorporating these care practices into your routine, you’ll not only maintain the exquisite beauty of your rose and white gold jewelry but also ensure that each piece continues to tell your unique story with timeless elegance.

Find Your Perfect Jewelry Piece

Diamond Nexus is your gateway to discovering the epitome of elegance and sophistication in jewelry. Whether you’re drawn to the timeless allure of rose gold or the classic refinement of white gold, our collection caters to diverse tastes and preferences. Meticulously crafted with precision, each piece is a testament to our commitment to quality, ensuring not just beauty but enduring value. Our lifetime and one-year guarantees provide peace of mind, extending our dedication to your satisfaction beyond the purchase.

Explore our extensive collection online, where the freedom to choose meets a curated array of options. From engagement rings to wedding bands, Diamond Nexus offers a range of designs, empowering you to find the jewelry that uniquely represents your style and milestones. Begin your jewelry journey with us, where every piece tells a story and reflects your distinctive brilliance.


Thought Co. Composition of Gold Alloys in Colored Gold Jewelry.

Live Science. Rose Gold Jewelry Was All the Rage with Ancient Colombians.

Owlcation. Understanding Gold Purity: 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, and 24K.

Jewelry Shopping Guide. 12 Things You Need to Know About Rhodium Plating (updated 2021). 

World Gold Council. About Gold Jewellery.

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