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Rose Gold Rings – Is It the Right Metal Choice?

Rose gold engagement ring and wedding band

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Rose gold is one of the most popular options for engagement and wedding rings today. Its unisex, versatile color lends itself to a wide variety of ring styles, it suits all skin tones and is much more durable than other varieties of gold.

With all that being said, rose gold is an excellent option for engagement and wedding rings. Here’s a detailed look at this alluring metal.

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What is rose gold?

Rose gold, pink gold, red gold and even Russian gold – these are some of the names of this unique and gorgeous variation of the classic yellow gold.

Rose gold has been a popular option in jewelry and especially for engagement and wedding rings for the past two centuries, ever since it was first created in Russia in the 1800s.

The metal quickly rose to popularity around the world in the 1920s but has cycled in and out of fashion in the past 100 years. At one stage, it was even viewed as “outdated” and “old-fashioned” in the 1990s together with the standard yellow gold.

But as with all things fashion, rose gold has come back strong and is one of the most popular options for engagement and wedding rings today.

How is rose gold made?

Unlike some of the other gold color variations, rose gold isn’t a gold alloy that’s been coated with another metal to create an outer layer of a non-gold color. Instead, rose gold gets its color from copper. The alloy for rose gold contains gold and copper and sometimes a bit of silver.

The typical ratio that goes in rose gold is 75% yellow gold, 22.5% copper, and a small portion of 2.5% silver. It’s the 25% of copper that create the rose color in this gold variation, and adding more or less copper to the alloy can further tweak the color.

Rose gold is typically found in 14K and 18K variations. The 14K has a higher copper content and tends to be more durable than 18K. However, because it has less gold, it’s not as valuable as 18K gold.

Rose Gold Engagement and Wedding Rings

Here’s what some of readers say about rose gold:

Janice: I am in love with rose gold! There’s just something about rose gold rings.

Heather: I have a rose gold wedding ring and I love it. It matches my skin color and I get a lot of compliments.

Vaina: I didn’t get a rose gold ring because I felt they were too trendy. But I regret that now because I think it’s a classic color that’s here to stay.

The beauty of rose gold is that it looks gorgeous on any skin tone. In addition to this, it also pairs well with other metal colors for contrasting looks.

Rose gold engagement ring on dark skin tone
Rose gold engagement ring on white skin tone

The same rose gold ring looks beautiful on two different skin tones. See it here.

If you aren’t sure how rose gold looks on you, you can make use of With Clarity’s Home Preview service which allows you to design up to two engagement rings and have replicas mailed to you completely free of charge. You can then try out the replica rings for a few days to see how they look against your finger.

Cushion cut engagement ring in rose gold
Rose gold engagement ring

See more rose gold ring designs here.

Note that you won’t be getting a real rose gold ring but only a replica that looks and feels like the real thing. If you don’t like the look, simply return the rings with no commitment to buy. However, this service is only available for engagement rings and not for wedding bands.

Rose gold color

As you can see, the unique color of rose gold is largely determined by the copper in the alloy. The more the copper there is, the more saturated the pinkish and reddish tones in the final alloy are going to be. The presence of silver also matters for the color, albeit slightly – it gives it the signature silvery shine and makes the copper’s rose tinges a bit cooler.

Rose gold engagement ring vintage

Rose gold engagement ring. See it here.

What makes this unique combination of gold, copper, and silver so special for jewelry is how versatile it is. The beautiful rose color of this gold fits very well with virtually every skin tone – warmer and cooler tones alike.

Swirl finish rose gold men wedding band

Men’s rose gold band with a swirl finish. See it here.

Another point to note is that although rose gold is a feminine and delicate color, it’s also perfect for men’s wedding bands, easily adapting to more masculine designs. This versatility makes rose gold ideal for a wide range of designs and styles.

What is the value of rose gold?

In terms of value, rose gold tracks similarly to regular yellow gold of the same karats. A 14K piece of rose gold will typically be the same value as 14K yellow or white gold. However this differs based on the retailer you choose to go with.

For example, on the James Allen site, rose, yellow and white gold tend to have the same prices. However, on Blue Nile, white gold tends to be more expensive than rose or yellow gold.

Brushed rose gold wedding ring

This rose gold ring is significantly less expensive than its white gold counterpart. See this ring here.

What determines the value and the price of rose gold is the amount of gold in the alloy. Granted, the other metals in the alloy can have an impact on the price as well, but copper and the small amounts of silver in rose gold are usually not that expensive to make a significant difference in the value and the price of the overall piece.

If you don’t want to spend on rose gold for your engagement ring, there are some great rose gold plated, rose gold-filled, rose gold rolled or rose gold vermeil pieces that are significantly cheaper than the signature 14K and 18K solid rose gold pieces. However, solid rose gold holds its value and is more durable. It’s the best choice of all these if within your budget.

Rose gold vs. yellow gold

There are two main differences between rose gold and yellow gold:

  • Durability. As we said, rose gold is typically more durable than yellow gold because of the copper content.
  • Color. The main difference between these two types of gold is purely subjective and it’s in the color. It’s all a matter of taste so if you prefer one over the other – that’s perfectly fine. We’re big fans of rose gold for engagement and wedding rings, in particular, both because of how well it suits most skin tones and because of its delicate, romantic color.

Rose gold vs. white gold

The same differences apply to rose gold vs. white gold:

  • Durability. The other main difference between the two is that white gold has a rhodium coating on top of it which tends to wear off after time and needs to be reapplied. With rose gold, this is not something you’ll need to worry about. This makes rose gold easier to maintain and more durable than white gold.
  • Color. The differences between rose gold and white gold also mostly revolve around color preferences – where rose gold has a warm and romantic color, white gold has a modern, stylish look that’s similar to silver or platinum. Which ones you should choose depends entirely on your personal preference – both metals can look great for engagement and wedding rings, as well as for other jewelry pieces.

How to look after rose gold

Rose gold engagement ring and wedding band

Rose gold is more durable than yellow gold, which means it requires less maintenance. However, It should still be protected from general wear and tear. Knocks and bumps can scratch rose gold and affect its luster.

Always take your rose gold jewelry off before you engage in physical labor or sports. When storing rose gold jewelry, keep it in soft cloth pouches or linen boxes that will protect it from unintended damage.

Down the line you may need to get your rose gold polished which will refresh it give it a nice and clean look again.

As far as cleaning is concerned, rose gold should be cleaned in the same way yellow gold is – with mild cleaning solutions only and no strong detergents. Something as simple as a soft, non-abrasive soapy water can clean any rose gold piece with ease.

Wrapping up…

Rose gold is popular enough to be easily found at most jewelry stores. Working with reputable and trustworthy vendors is a must, as with any other jewelry type and material, in order to guarantee the quality of the material. Always check the after sales policies of the retailer and the seller’s track record.