Rose-Gold is not pure gold, but a mixture of metals or alloy made from a combination of approximately 75% gold, 2.5% silver and 22.5% copper.
The word ‘Rose’ is representative of the red, rose and pink shades which create the rose-gold colour. It is the addition of copper which creates the rose-gold hue, such as shown in the caged pendant below.
The term ‘rose-gold’ is most synonymous with jewellery and the terminology is understood to derive from Russia in the 19th century, hence the term ‘Russian Gold’.
‘Rose Gold’ is actually gold-plated jewellery and should not be confused with gold or gold-filled jewellery. Gold-filled jewellery is formed by taking a sheet of solid gold and wrapping that gold around a base metal using intense pressure. Whereas, 'plating' is created using electroplating technology.
Shades of Rose-Gold
If you were to compare an 18K rose-gold jewellery item with a 14K rose-gold piece, you would see a distinct colour difference. The 18K item contains a greater weight (proportion) of gold, whereas the 14K by nature has slightly more copper. The copper introduces a reddish tone, hence the ring will be more ”rose-gold” or redder in appearance.
‘Karat’ value (with a “K”) is measured by the percentage of gold used in the alloy.
24 karat gold is 100% pure
18 karat gold is 75% pure
14 karat gold is 58.3% pure
The word “carat” with a ‘c’ (not to be confused with ‘karat’ is a measure of the weight of a gemstone - such as a diamond.
Rose-Gold - availability
Rose-gold can be expensive, but is often more affordable than other metals because the copper used to make the rose-gold costs less than other metals.
Most rose-gold jewellery is either 14K (mainly USA) or18K (mainly offered in Europe).
By its very nature, all rose-gold jewellery is "plated". That is, a layer of the rose-gold material is used to coat a base layer such as brass.
Rose-Gold - how to wear it
Rose-gold can be worn in all forms of jewellery, particularly earrings, rings and necklaces.
Rose-gold has a soft feminine look and works with most skin tones.
To retain the shine and brightness of your rose-gold jewellery, extra care should be taken. Anything plated will eventually tarnish with time and constant wear.
Things you can do to prolong the life of your rose-gold jewellery;
Clean your jewellery using a cotton ball or very soft cloth
Never use a polishing cloth as this will cause eventual loss of the gold plating.
Avoid soap with unknown ingredients. Warm, mild soapy water can be applied for additional cleaning.
Do not use jewellery cleaners or other chemical components on rose-gold plated jewellery.
Don’t allow perfume or other sprays to come into contact with your jewellery.
Wait until sprays or lotions are dry and have absorbed into the skin before wearing your jewellery.
Sweat, nail polish, oils, chlorine or other applications may all react with metal-plated jewellery.
Remove your jewellery when exercising, swimming, gardening or doing heavy work.
Storing your Rose-Gold Jewellery
Store your rose-gold jewellery in a soft-lined jewellery box. If you purchase good quality jewellery, you should have been provided with a suitable box for this purpose. This will ensure that the jewellery is not scratched or dented by other jewellery.
Avoid storing your jewellery together as different metals may cause a reaction when in contact - such as tarnishing.
Showering with Rose-Gold Jewellery
It is not recommended that you shower with jewellery on. If you do so, the water and soap can reduce the shine, so it is not recommended. Constant showering with jewellery will only further wear the gold layer.
Items such as hand lotions are also known to accelerate the loss of brightness and cause tarnishing.
Allergic reactions to Rose-Gold Jewellery
A number of metals are known to cause an allergic reaction with some people. These metals include:
rose-gold (gold and copper alloy)
brass (copper and zinc alloy)
gold (comprising a variety of colours which means a variety of alloys)
Like food allergies, not everyone is allergic to the same thing.