What is rose gold?
In the world of jewellery, there are few things quite as amazing as pure gold. The ideal metal for jewellers to work with for almost any type of jewellery, it’s been the top choice for centuries. While pure gold is typically yellow in colour, there are other options for those who aren’t quite sure what they want, and one of the more popular recent choices has been rose gold.
A pinch of this, a dash of that
In order for gold to go from a mined substance to a gorgeous piece of jewellery, it must be combined, or alloyed, with another type of metal. Pure gold, also known as 24 karat gold, cannot stand up to the rigours required in jewellery making. Gold is naturally very soft, so adding another metal means a strong choice that can deal with the rough practices so often involved in the formation of jewellery.
The type of metal added can change the natural colour of gold, allowing for other choices like rose gold. A departure from gold’s normal yellow tint, rose gold tends to take on a beautiful pink colour that catches the light in a way nothing else can. The pink is a direct result of the copper that is added to the gold to strengthen it. The highest karat version of rose gold you can get is also called crown gold, and it is available in 22 karats.
If you are looking for a rose gold engagement ring, though, you will not be able to find it at 22 karats. Instead, you can only find it in 18 karats, as a 22 karat piece is still too soft for something like a ring. Real rose gold is usually 75% gold, 22.5% copper, and 2.5% silver, giving it a much lighter touch than red gold.
A long history
Despite its recent popularity, rose gold is hardly a new concept. The first use was initially discovered in Russia in the early-1800s. It was used throughout the country for some time, leading to the idea that it was “Russian Gold” only. Later, however, trends began to shift, and Russia stopped using rose gold. It quickly lost the link to its history, and this beautiful metal began popping up in other parts of the world with the moniker it carries today.
In the mid-1920s, jeweller Cartier brought it to real fame with the Cartier Trinity Ring, famously sported by French filmmaker Jean Cocteau. After that, it began to appear almost everywhere for decades. As many metals do, though, it suffered a brief decline in popularity before being rediscovered within the last decade and used by many famous jewellery designers in their collections.
A bright future
These days, you can find rose gold in a variety of different pieces, including gorgeous vintage engagement rings. While not yet as widely available as other gold options, it is highly sought after and utilised in settings across the world.