Rose gold engagement rings offer a classic romantic style with timeless elegance.
While rings made with rose gold reached their heyday in the Mid-Victorian era, today rose gold wedding bands are a somewhat unique choice compared to the more popular white and yellow gold wedding ring styles.
Fun Fast Facts About Rose Gold Rings!
The color of rose gold can be lightened or darkened depending on the recipe of a rose gold alloy.
Rose gold wedding bands are often more affordable than white gold wedding rings.
Rose gold alloys are made with a mixture of yellow gold, copper and silver or zinc.
If you are considering rose gold wedding rings, find the facts about rose gold here including the best rose gold alloys for wedding rings, comparisons to yellow and white gold, durability info, valuable shopping tips and more.
And if you have any questions about rose gold engagement rings or wedding bands, just use the comment box at the to send in your questions!
What is Rose Gold?
Rose gold does not exist in nature. Instead, rose gold is created using an alloy – or mixture – of metals which includes gold (natural yellow gold), copper and sometimes silver and zinc.
The color of rose gold wedding bands range from a deep almost copper-red color to a light radiant blush pink depending on the recipe of metals used in the rose gold alloy.
For instance, a light pink rose gold wedding band is the result of mixing yellow gold with copper and sometimes silver. The darker rose gold colors contain a higher copper content and the lighter pink gold colors contain a lower amount of copper and sometimes an addition of silver and/or zinc.
Types of Rose Gold Karats in Rose Gold Wedding Rings
The highest karat of rose gold is known as crown gold - which is 22k rose gold. Crown gold is a mixture of 91.667% gold by weight alloyed with copper. Unfortunately though, this type of high karat rose gold is much too soft to create long lasting rose gold engagement rings and wedding bands.
For men's rose gold wedding bands and women's rose gold wedding rings, the types of gold karats available include 18k, 14k, 10k and 9k rose gold. To see how these different types of rose gold karats compare to one another and yellow and white gold in terms of durability, scroll down to the table below.
18K Rose Gold
The highest rose gold karat which can be used to create rose gold wedding rings is 18k rose gold. This type of rose gold alloy always includes 75% yellow gold by weight mixed with varying amounts of copper and sometimes silver and zinc.
The alloy recipe can be adjusted to create different colors – for example, an 18K pink gold wedding ring could contain 18 parts yellow gold mixed with 3 parts of copper, 2 parts silver and 1 part zinc in the alloy or 18 parts yellow gold mixed with 2 parts of copper, 3 parts of silver and 1 part zinc.
14K Rose Gold
Made with 58.3% yellow gold by weight mixed with copper, silver and/or zinc, the 14k rose gold wedding ring is the most popular type of rose gold ring. Just like 18K rose gold, the specific recipe of the alloy can vary to create light pink to dark rose gold wedding bands.
10K Rose Gold
Crafted with 41.6% yellow gold by weight alloyed with copper, silver and/or zinc, alloy recipes for 10k rose gold can be modified to create light pink to copper-red 10K rose gold engagement rings and wedding bands.
9K Rose Gold
Outside of the United States, 9K rose gold alloys (known as 9c or 9 carat rose gold) are made with 37.5% gold by weight alloyed with copper, silver and zinc. A rose gold wedding ring made with 9 carat gold can also range in color from pale pink to deep rose red.
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Comparing Yellow, White and Rose Gold Wedding Rings
So how do rose gold engagement rings and wedding bands compare to yellow and white gold wedding rings? Very well actually!
In terms of cost, rose gold wedding bands and engagement rings are typically on par with yellow gold rings – and they can be less expensive than white gold wedding rings depending on the alloy recipe.
In terms of durability, it depends on the types of gold alloys used to create the rings. White gold rings which are alloyed with nickel have a higher resistance to scratching than yellow or rose gold rings, but nickel can cause allergic reactions (nickel is being phased out in many white gold ring metal recipes because it carries a small risk for allergic reaction).
For the most part though, rose gold engagement rings - and wedding bands - are quite durable, especially the 18k and 14k rose gold ring.
To compare one aspect of durability between these metals, take a look at the table below. This table shows the Vickers Hardness Values (HV) - which measures a metal's resistance to scratching – for different types of rose, white (without nickel) and yellow gold alloys commonly used in gold wedding and engagement rings.Rose/Pink Gold Yellow Gold White Gold 18K
Higher karat alloys are, in most cases, stronger than lower karat alloys.
18k and 14k rose gold has a slight edge in terms of scratch resistance over yellow gold - while white gold has a higher scratch resistance than yellow and rose gold.
Gold alloys of 9 carat have an HV rating of 70 - 105 depending on the alloy recipe. Sterling silver has an HV rating of 75, and so in some cases 9 carat rings can have a lower resistance to scratching even than sterling silver.
Keep in mind that resistance to scratching is just one part of the durability puzzle. But for the most part, a higher karat gold wedding band – whether it is rose, yellow or white – will wear better with time than a lower karat gold ring.
If you are looking for a rose gold wedding ring with the highest durability potential, stick with 18K rose gold for the best results. A 14K rose gold engagement ring or rose gold wedding band is also a lovely option, and less expensive than the 18k rose gold rings.
If you decide to go with a 9c or 10k rose gold ring keep in mind that the ring may thin out over time and will need a little extra TLC to remain in good shape for years to come.
To sum up - rose gold engagement rings and wedding bands are an excellent choice for a long lasting every day wear wedding ring, particularly the 18k and 14k rose gold rings.
One more added bonus is that rose gold will maintain its radiant color for the lifetime of the ring. (Unlike white gold which requires a rhodium plate to keep its reflective white sheen).
Care for Rose Gold Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands
Rose gold wedding rings need the same level of care as yellow gold rings. Avoid exposing rose gold wedding bands to hard knocks or blows – if scratches, dings or even bends in the rings occur, the rings can often be repaired by a professional jeweler. (One of the benefits of rose and yellow gold wedding rings is that they are usually easier to fix and repair than rings made with other metals).
To keep your rose gold wedding ring clean, occasionally wash the ring in warm water with a small amount of gentle soap - then thoroughly dry the ring with a soft cotton cloth. If the ring needs to be stored, place the ring in a separate soft jewelry pouch so it cannot be scratched by other pieces of jewelry.
Rose gold engagement rings and wedding bands will not tarnish. Instead, these lustrous rings develop a rich patina over time – it can take a lifetime for the patina to begin to develop, and a patina on a vintage or antique rose gold ring is highly desirable and adds to the value of the ring. To maintain the patina, antique rose gold wedding rings should not be professionally cleaned or put in an ultrasonic bath.
Shopping Tips for Rose Gold Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands
To find beautiful rose gold wedding rings crafted with high quality workmanship that will be loved for a lifetime, keep these tips in mind while you shop!
Remember that it is impossible to tell what type of gold karat a rose gold wedding band is made from based on the ring's color. A 10k pink gold wedding ring can be just as bright and as light as an 18k pink gold wedding ring. So use caution if someone tries to tell you that a ring is 18k rose gold just because it is a light pink color.
Avoid any type of ‘rose gold plate’ rings. These rings are usually made of silver, or even brass or pure copper, and then plated with an extremely thin layer – usually much less than the width of a human hair – of rose gold. The outer plate will wear off in a matter of months, and these types of rings are usually manufactured with the cheapest metals and materials in addition to low standards of workmanship.
A rose gold diamond ring should come with a certified diamond (preferably certified by the GIA, AGS, EGL or IGI) - if the diamond ring is antique it should come with an appraisal.
It is not possible to tell how old a rose gold wedding ring is by its color. In shady antique or vintage markets, cheap rose gold rings - sometimes with a fake patina applied to the bands - are sold as antiques. If you are interested in antique or vintage gold wedding bands, stick with reputable antique jewelry businesses you can trust.
Even though rose gold rings are unique - men's rose gold wedding bands and women's rose gold wedding rings are available in a large selection of styles. Take your time, and stick with reputable retailers that offer at least a 30-day refund policy on the rings.
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