Rose gold is an attractive and fairly common alternative to yellow or white gold, but can it be 24k?
For gold to be 24k (karat), it must be 100% pure gold, and rose gold is technically an alloy metal, made from a mixture of gold and copper. However, while it cannot be categorized as 24k, it can reach the level of 22k, which is known as ‘crown gold’, a variant of rose gold with a lighter hue.
Read on to learn more about rose gold, how it’s made, and why it’s so common throughout the world of jewelry.
Everything’s Coming Up Roses
Gold is undoubtedly the most common element used in jewelry today – it’s a staple for rings, necklaces, bracelets, and anything else you might buy. It’s a relatively malleable precious metal that can be polished to a remarkable shine, making it perfect for jewelry.
It’s thought that the history of golden jewelry stretches back some six thousand years, to ancient civilizations that are now long-gone. There’s something inherently universal about jewelry, and almost every culture or civilization has created it in some way, shape, or form.
As the centuries wore on, jewelry became more intricate and luxurious, incorporating various precious metals and fine gemstones. There were countless experiments with shapes, styles, and combinations, some of which still exist today.
During the 19th century, legendary jeweler Carl Faberge created his iconic Faberge eggs using a variant of rose gold. This is thought to be the first appearance of rose gold throughout history, and it couldn’t have come from a stronger source.
Carl Faberge was a master among masters, creating bespoke bejeweled eggs for the rulers of Russia, and building intricate and incredible clocks that went unrivalled. It would take a while for rose gold to gain popularity outside of his creations, but when it came, it came on in earnest.
If you’d like to learn more about the masterful creations of Carl Faberge, you can read an article we wrote discussing the massive value of his Faberge eggs.
Throughout the 20th century, rose gold climbed in popularity, being made available as a fine alternative to the traditional yellow, or more modern white gold options. It made for attractive viewing, arguably more feminine and graceful than yellow gold.
In 1924, Cartier, the famed jeweler, created the ‘trinity ring’, three individual bands that joined together in a unique and inventive way. Each ring was a different variant of gold: white, yellow, and of course, rose.
Don’t Be Fooled
Today, thanks to the likes of Faberge and Cartier, rose gold is a popular and fairly common alternative to traditional gold. But how is it actually made, and why is it that color?
Basically, rose gold isn’t a naturally-occurring thing, and it’s created when copper is mixed in with pure gold, giving it a reddish hue. For example, if you were to purchase an 18k rose gold ring, it’d be composed of around 75% 24k base gold, approximately 20% copper, and around 3% silver.
However, that composition also means that rose gold is never going to be pure gold – it’s an alloy, meaning it’s made up of various elements. If you’re looking for a 24k gold ring (or some other item of jewelry), you’ll be searching for something made with 100% pure gold.
If you purchase a 24k rose gold item of jewelry, you’ve almost definitely been scammed, as there’s no such thing. Although you’re now the owner of a romantic and elegant piece of jewelry, you might have been swindled when it comes to the cost.
With that fact in mind, an item of rose gold jewelry will be a little cheaper than a yellow variant. It’s worth noting that this fact also applies to white gold, which is another alloy, being made of gold mixed in with nickel or zinc.
Although, it isn’t all bad news – the copper infusion within the rose gold metal gives it a higher durability over standard, yellow gold. It also means that the rose gold won’t tarnish as easily as yellow or white gold, but it may darken slightly as the years wear on.
Reportedly, a piece of rose gold jewelry is extremely versatile and can be matched with pretty much any outfit or style. It’s another arrow in the quiver of the modern and attractive option that helps set it apart from the competition.
Speaking of alternative jewelry options, have you heard about moissanite, the leading alternative to traditional diamonds?