Rose Gold is everywhere right now. It’s the most popular choice for modern engagement rings, and as a hot fashion trends it’s on everything from iPhones to hairstyles. This beautiful pink metal is really having a moment. However, there are a few things you may not know about this rosey-hued gold.
Rose gold is an alloy.
All naturally occurring gold is yellow. Meaning, if you were a miner and you found a nugget of gold, it would always be yellow. All golds other than yellow — green, red, white — are alloys. Alloys are different types of metal heated and bonded together. All rose gold is bonded with copper to give it that soft pink hue. Each alloy is different depending on the maker, but all will have copper, and a few other metals to ensure the gold is sturdy and pink.
Back in the day, it was called Russian Gold.
Rose gold got its start in 19th century imperial Russia. Carl Fabergé, renowned maker of Faberge Eggs is credited with bringing it into fashion. Faberge, then jeweler to the czars, used the metal in many of his ornate creations. The popularity of this pink metal took off, and spread throughout upper classes of Russia, earning it the nickname of Russian Gold.
The higher the gold content, the softer the hue.
Rose gold, like other golds, has a karat range indicating purity. The higher the karat, the more gold content is in the alloy. Rose gold ranges from 10k to 22k, lowest to highest gold content, respectively. Unlike yellow gold, whose yellow hue intensifies the higher you go on the karat scale, rose gold becomes less red and more pink the higher you go. This is because the pink color is from the copper, not the gold. So as you add more gold to the alloy, more yellow is introduced and the color becomes a softer pink, rather than a vibrant one.
The rose color will intensify with age
All metals patina with age. While silver oxidizes, gold gets a layer called patina on the outside. It’s part of what makes antique jewelry look old. Since rose gold is alloyed mainly with copper, this patina is a very coppery hue, which makes the piece of jewelry even rosier. My antique engagement ring sports a very coppery hue, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
OK, so you probably know this one, but I couldn’t help myself. Look at this stuff! It’s so pretty! As a woman who’s been obsessed with rose gold since childhood, I was so excited to see it come back into fashion. My wedding set is rose gold, and I stare at it everyday with admiration of how wearable this pink gold is. It looks good on most skin tones, and while pink, becomes neutral when worn. I can’t blame anyone for choosing this wonderful metal.