One look at rose gold jewelry, and you know exactly why this gold alloy is the most popular option around. It is a timeless elegance to it, and given the features and the finish of the rose gold, it makes sense that you’d want to get yourself a piece or 4.
But if asked, can you comfortably say that you know what makes the rose gold jewelry popular, stylish, trendy, or elegant?
Here, we take an in-depth look into rose gold and how it comes to be. So, let’s jump right into it.
What is rose gold? Is rose gold natural?
A romantic, beautiful alloy of gold that takes over the traditional yellow gold variety rose gold seems to be today’s most common jewelry choice, especially in the world of the fine jewelry world. So, in societies where the rich yellow traditional gold and the silvery-white gold have been the standard, having a rose gold piece that can be pink or reddish is a great addition to the stylish jewelry world.
To understand what rose gold jewelry is, an understanding of what rose gold is made of is important. This is because rose gold is not naturally occurring, which means that you may end up with a wide array of rose gold pieces.
For starters, it’s important to note that the pinkish-red color of rose gold is a result of the unique blending of pure yellow gold with other metal alloys. With this in mind, some people don’t regard rose gold as real gold by virtue of it being the result of alloying.
Now, you may side with individuals who share these sentiments, but it’s important to note that all the gold used in gold jewelry are forms of gold alloys – pure gold mixed with other metal alloys, which means that in the common jewelry marketplace, there really isn’t anything like pure gold jewelry. In its purest form, gold is quite soft and malleable, which means that it’s not the kind of elemental metal to be used in jewelry. Also, it tends to be damaged easily, and the pure gold is scratched and bent rather easily. So, to create durable or solid gold jewelry, the pure gold has to be mixed with an alloy that strengthens it and allow the gold to form sturdy jewelry. The most common metal alloys added to the gold include zinc, copper, and silver. For rose gold, the most common metal alloy is copper.
Naturally, this springs into mind endless questions about the value of gold and whether the gold are still valuable once it’s alloyed. That’s understandable, and what you need to know is that the value of the gold will be determined by the percentage of pure gold in the alloy. This also means that higher karatage gold is worth more than the lower karat gold.
Back to rose gold, it’s important to note that the pink or rose gold is significantly more durable than the yellow or white gold, and it also calls for less attention and maintenance over the years. The reason for this is that the white gold’s rhodium plating is indestructible, and it’s highly prone to damage, and you’d have to get the piece re-plated after some time and as the rhodium plating wears off.
The high percentage of copper in the rose gold, on the other hand, adds strength to the rose gold, and in as much as you expect this jewelry to darken slightly over time, the darkening gives the rose gold piece a richer color, which not only looks great but also enhances the jewelry’s vintage look and feel. This happens because copper is a hard metal, and this adds to the durability of the rose-colored jewelry.
Rose gold manufacturing process
Wondering how the 18k rose gold is made? Here are the steps followed in the manufacturing process.
Though it’s delicate for jewelers, it makes the best jewelry.
To create 18K rose gold, you need 75% pure gold and 25% alloy. The alloy used often is made of 80% high-quality copper and 20% dull silver. Why not use 95% copper and 5% silver for a richer color? Well, in as much as this would be a theoretical approach to attaining a richer color, this alloy combination isn’t the most ideal because the resultant rose gold would be too brittle and hard for jewelers to work with.
Now that you have your components, the process starts with the melting of the pure gold at very high temperatures. Once the gold melts, the alloy is added into the gold then the heat is applied once again as the pieces melt. As they melt, the gold-alloy mixture is mixed carefully as it’s also mixed. Once it’s all mixed well, it’s poured into a molding unit where it cools off into the most attractive rose gold in the color of the mold. The 18k rose gold boasts a nice shiny finish, and it’s easily cast. The rose gold is an impressive piece of gold that stands out really beautifully, which is why most people like rose gold. Its manufacturing process produces a piece that is nothing short of magnificent.
That said, you should know that the 22k rose gold is known as crown gold, and it’s made of 91.7% pure gold, and it is the purest form of rose gold ever in existence.
Why is rose gold mixed with alloy metals?
Rose gold is made of real gold, and often, the higher the amount of the gold karats, the higher the value or quality of rose gold.
As mentioned above, rose gold is a combination of metals, and it’s made of alloyed gold. As an alloy, you are looking at jewelry that is made of gold and other metals. Rose gold, for example, is a gold alloy that’s been alloyed with copper and silver.
Why mix gold with other metals? for starters, rose gold alloy is what gives this variety of gold its characteristic pink or reddish color that makes the gold desirable, and also the reason for the rose gold name.
But the use of metal alloys has to do with more than the appearance of the rose gold. Essentially, pure gold is a very soft and malleable metal that cannot be used to make jewelry. In its purest form, gold bends scratches and makes terrible jewelry. So, to create durable jewelry, other metals (alloys) are added to the gold, creating a more durable, solid version of gold. In other words, alloying ensures that the rose gold jewelry made is of the highest quality.
Some Basic Facts Of rose gold
As one of the often misunderstood versions of gold, a look at some of the important facts about rose gold will ensure that you make a more informed choice.
Characteristics and Properties of Rose Gold
One of the distinct features of rose gold has to be the fact that this gold alloy is often made without any nickel, which means that it’s an ideal metal of choice for anyone with sensitive skin or nickel allergies.
If you are allergic to white gold, the copper-gold alloy may be a preferable option for you. It’s also important to note that in as much as some of the versions of white gold are safe on the skin if you are allergic to nickel, this type of white gold would be significantly more expensive – to purchase and maintain. For example, the best hypoallergenic 14k white gold may cost significantly more than a 14k rose gold piece, even though they both have 58% of pure gold, and the latter would be most likely free of nickel.
- Durability and value for money
Out of all the versions of gold, rose gold or pink gold is the most durable gold alloy. It lasts longer than yellow and white gold, and the best part is that the rose gold jewelry requires minimal maintenance, unlike white gold that would have to be replated and the yellow gold that tarnishes and has to be polished often. Note that even with the rhodium plating, white gold tends to be more prone to scratches and other forms of damage over time, unlike the copper-gold mixture.
While the rose gold ring made with copper, gold, and silver grows a little dark over the years, the color change is nothing bad, and it doesn’t destroy the rose gold. On the contrary, the darkening of the rose gold goes a long way in enhancing the value of the rose gold because the piece will acquire a more vintage feel with time. Also, the copper added to the gold makes rose gold a harder metal compared to white and yellow gold, meaning that rose gold will last longer, naturally.
It’s also worth noting that as a result of the durability of rose gold, the rose-colored gold is a preferable option for engagement rings – you can wear the rose gold ring on your finger for years, and it will look better with time.
What is 14k rose gold made of?
14k rose gold is a popular version of rose gold because it is significantly more affordable than 18k, and more blush, compared to 18k rose gold.
The reason for the differences has to do with the fact that the 14k rose gold contains only 58% of pure gold, and the alloys make up a whopping 42% of the rose gold. The 42% concentration of alloys means that you have more copper and silver incorporated into the 14k rose gold. As a result of the composition of the 14k rose gold, this version of rose gold tends to be more blush and pink, unlike the warm 18k rose gold.
In terms of the durability of the rose gold, the 14k rose gold is more durable than 18k. With a lower content of pure gold and more of the alloys, 14k rose gold is more durable and strong, and it won’t be that much prone to scratching in the same way that the 18k gold is.
Now, looking at the pricing of the 14k rose gold, you will be happy to know that this is a more affordable version of rose gold, and it costs a lot less than 18k rose gold because it contains less pure gold and more alloy. Note, however, that the thickness of the band would affect the pricing, and a thick 14k rose gold ring may cost as much as a thin 18k rose gold.
What is 18k rose gold made of?
If you are looking for rose gold jewelry that boasts more warmth and a deeper color, then the 18k rose gold might be a preferable option for you.
18k rose gold is made of 75% pure gold and 25% metal alloys. This combination of metals results in a rose gold that still has some hues of yellow because there is more pure gold present and the metal alloys added will not cause extreme color changes, although you still get to enjoy a warmer rose gold color.
As a result of the higher percentage of pure gold in the 18k rose gold, this type of gold is significantly more prone to scratching than the 14k rose gold. It may also warp and bend easily. The makeup of the 18k rose gold contributes to the higher price tag on the 18k rose gold pieces of jewelry, with thicker pieces of the 18k rose gold rings costing more than the thinner pieces.
Why does rose gold start to look yellow or pinkish
Though elegant and known for the vintage feel that’s naturally acquired after some years, the rose gold pieces tend to fade and attain a pinkish or a yellowish tinge after some time. The reason for the color changes has to do with the copper in the rose gold. Basically, as the copper molecules in your rose gold jewelry react with the gold, the result of the reaction is the discoloration of the rose gold. The reactions will result in the slow color changes in the external surfaces of the rose gold, and a piece that was once reddish will look a little more blush/ pink.
The good news is that that you can restore the original color of that rose gold piece of jewelry by polishing it. As long as the jewelry is not rose gold plated, polishing will expose the untouched rose gold base, leaving you with a piece of jewelry that is as good as new.
Pros and cons of rose gold
Though one of the strongest gold alloys, rose gold, is imperfect. Before you buy rose gold jewelry, you need to look at the features that make rose gold and whether you can live with the disadvantages or not. In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of rose gold jewelry.
- Durability– the copper alloy gives rose gold an immense amount of strength, which is the rose gold jewelry that will last a lifetime. The copper incorporated into the gold is the other reason why the rose gold doesn’t require plating.
- Affordability– mixing gold with copper means that you have a gold alloy that’s more affordable overall. The copper not only adds color but also makes rose gold largely affordable compared to white and yellow gold.
- Romantic allure– the other reason why you may want to buy rose gold has to do with the fact that the rose gold pieces ooze a nice romantic allure. If you are into sentimental and romantic things, you may like a rose gold engagement ring. Also, it’s timeless, and it will never go out of style.
- Complements all skin tones– one of the challenges faced when looking for jewelry is finding jewelry made of metals matching your skin. If you have been struggling with your skin tone and finding the perfect pieces of jewelry, you will be happy to know that rose gold complements all skin tones and complexions, whether dark or pale/ light. The reason for this is that the amount of copper in the rose gold gives off just the right amount of tint to complement your skin tone.
- Gem set– rose gold not only allows for easy setting of gemstones but also enhances the appearance of all gemstones, from pink diamonds and rose quartz to pink topaz, morganite, etc. Rose gold makes an excellent backdrop, which means that the gems shine beautifully.
- Trendy option– if you are wondering what trends to follow, you wouldn’t go wrong with the rose gold trend.
- Nickel-free– rose gold is made with copper, silver, and gold, meaning you don’t have to struggle with nickel allergies.
- Not hypoallergenic because it contains copper, and you may react with copper and struggle with green discoloration on your skin.
- It’s not the most common form of gold because its manufacturing process is delicate.
And, there you have it. If you weren’t sure about rose gold jewelry, this article sheds light on all the important things you need to know about rose gold and why it might be an excellent option for you.