Rose gold is a type of colored gold that has a distinctive pinkish hue. Often referred to as pink gold or red gold, rose gold is a popular choice for jewelry.
What Is Rose Gold Made Of?
Rose gold is actually an alloy composed of pure gold mixed with copper.
There is no specific guideline for copper content that needs to be met in order for a piece to be considered rose gold.
Generally, the more copper in an alloy, the more pronounced its rose color will be.
What Are Pink and Red Gold?
Pink and red gold are varieties of rose gold.
Red gold pieces contain a high percentage of copper, and the more of this metal in an alloy, the redder it is.
Pink gold, on the other hand, contains less copper and therefore has a lighter hue.
What Is Russian Gold?
Russian gold is a name given to rose gold, and the term has to do with the popularity of this alloy in Russia in the 19th century.
However, nowadays this name is not widely used. Just keep in mind that if someone tells you that a piece is Russian gold, it is most likely a regular copper-and-gold alloy.
Rose Gold and Karats
Rose gold is available in the same karats as regular gold. Whatever color a gold alloy is, the term “karat” has the same meaning: The amount of gold a piece contains relative to other metals.
For example, 14-karat yellow gold and 14-karat rose gold have the same purity: They both contain 58.3% gold (14 out of 24 parts).
In general, the lower the karat of a rose gold piece, the more copper it is likely to contain.
As a result, rose gold pieces of lower purity usually look redder (although this might not always be the case if the jewelry contains more of other metals). Rose gold that has a higher karat will have a lighter, pinkish color.
22-karat rose gold is sometimes referred to as crown gold.
It contains 91.7% gold, and in the past, it was used to make coins in England. 22 karats is the highest purity you can get in rose gold – the next level of purity is 24 karats, which is pure gold, without any additional metals to color it.
What Is Pure Rose Gold?
Some people use the term “pure rose gold”, but in reality, there is no such thing as rose gold is an alloy, and as such, it always contains non-gold metals.
Actually, the purer the alloy in terms of gold content, the less of a rose color it will have because of the lower copper content.
Buying Rose Gold
When choosing rose gold jewelry, pay attention to its karat: The higher it is, the more gold content you will get (and the more you will pay).
However, purer rose gold pieces are also softer. So, although redder gold jewelry is less pure, it is harder and more durable. Our advice is to pick lower karats for rose gold pieces that will be worn often.
In contrast, higher karats (i.e., as in rose gold that has a lighter color) are preferable if the jewelry will not be worn every day.