Rose gold is this unique and beautiful version of gold that everyone is loving. Being different from what we’ve always expected of gold, it is highly desirable, and most people looking for new jewelry varieties will tell you that they have at least one set or piece in rose gold, or they are eyeing something on the market.
Despite being the perfect new version of gold, there is one thing that we are all worried about when buying this type of gold jewelry – that is, color change. There is the huge risk of color change when you are buying any type of jewelry, but the risk is all too real when it comes to this version of gold.
To help allay your fears as you consider this gorgeous piece of jewelry, we’ll take a look at whether rose gold turns yellow (or some other color) after some time. Thanks to this knowledge, it will be easier for you to protect this investment.
Is rose gold real? What is rose gold made of?
Before we delve into matters regarding the color change to rose gold, let’s first take a look at the basics of rose gold. For instance, is rose gold real?
For starters, rose gold is real. Rose gold represents a version of gold that is made from pure gold that is mixed with copper as well as silver alloys. It is as real as it gets, but it isn’t pure gold. Like other versions of gold, even what is considered solid gold, gold is actually an alloy – it is mixed with metals like copper and silver, which harden it and create the resultant rose gold color. The reason for the incorporation of these other metals has to do with the fact that pure gold is too soft to be used in jewelry on its own, and it has to be mixed with other metals for it the creation of a stronger metal.
To create rose gold, copper is the primary metal used because of its natural color. As expected, the rose color of the gold will appear lighter or darker depending on the percentage of copper added to the gold – more copper added to the gold results in gold that is redder. Note that in its elemental form, pure gold is yellow-colored, and the pink or red tinge is only attainable from the addition of metal with reddish color properties.
The most common metal mix that creates rose gold, however, is the 18k rose gold which features 75% pure gold and 22.5% copper (by mass), as well as a small percentage of silver. That said, you should know that the other version of gold, like white gold, rose gold is an alloy, and there is nothing like pure rose gold in nature or the jewelry world.
Given the differences in metal compositions added to the pure gold, there are different versions of rose gold, including red gold, pink gold, and there also is Russian gold.
Does Rose Gold Turn Yellow?
Yes. Although the color change doesn’t happen easily, the rose gold jewelry will turn yellow over time.
Why Rose gold turn yellow sooner or later?
The main reason for the color change has to do with wear. With time, the copper is oxidized, and every time that rose gold piece of jewelry is polished, the copper is lost, and this means the loss of the reddish tinge with time.
Exposing rose gold to oxygen, saltwater, chlorine, sweat, as well as skin and body care products, will affect the appearance of the rose gold jewelry. Essentially, the copper molecules in the gold react with these elements, causing discoloration, and the exterior of the rose gold piece will lose the pinkish or reddish tones with time. The good news is that these changes happen only on the surface, and polishing will retain the rose gold color.
However, it isn’t uncommon for older rose gold pieces to lose the rose gold tinge, taking on a more permanent yellowish look, even after polishing. This is often the case with rose-gold plated pieces.
Remember that pure gold is prized for its non-reactivity, and it neither tarnishes nor gets oxidized under normal conditions. But the copper added to the copper is reactive, and this and red-colored metal will oxidize and develop a pale-green outer layer or a patina which has to be cleaned or polished off for the rose gold color to be retained.
Tip for protecting your rose gold jewelry
- Clean the rose gold jewelry regularly using a soft clean cloth and warm, soapy water, then dry it well afterward
- Avoid the buildup of grime and other forms of dirt by taking the jewelry to the jewelers for professional cleaning, especially if the jewelry has gemstones or diamonds.
- Don’t clean your rose gold jewelry using harsh chemicals or soaps with fragrances and additives.
- Always use a soft material or cloth to clean the jewelry because gold is susceptible to scratching.
- Store the jewelry in dry, airtight containers
- Avoid showering or showering with your rose gold jewelry to reduce exposure to harsh chemicals or conditions that speed up oxidation and tarnishing.
- Always use your body products – skin and hair care before you wear jewelry. Essentially, your jewelry should be the last thing to go on your body and the first to come off.
- Remove jewelry when cleaning or washing hands. Some of the household cleaners that are said to be gentle are quite harsh to your gold jewelry, and it’s ideal for removing jewelry before cleaning or only starting cleaning after wearing your rubber gloves.
- Invest in anti-tarnish storage pouches and Ziploc bags for jewelry.
- Don’t store jewelry in the box the jewelry came in unless the jewelry is in an airtight bag or if there is a reliable moisture absorbent material.
- Keep your rose gold jewelry from all kinds of hard surfaces – gold is soft, and it will be scratched or bumped on contact.
- Use a polishing cloth for that extra layer of shine.
Rose gold may turn yellow at some point in the future, but the tips above will prolong its natural shine.