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Rose gold has experienced a resurgence in recent years because of its immense appeal to women. It has always had this trendy and girly metallic color that looks amazing on jewelry and accessories. Rose gold is used in various settings, from engagement rings, wedding bands, bracelets, necklaces, and the like. Rose gold jewelry has always been the choice of sophisticated women, so it is not surprising that rose gold has always been in high demand, and it is one of the most sought after forms of gold, right next to white gold and yellow gold.

The main advantages of using rose gold are:

  • This type of gold is stylish for both men and women (not just for the girls)
  • Rose gold is associated with romance and flair
  • Rose gold is considered more affordable mainly because copper and silver are alloyed along with the gold
  • Is the most durable of the three variants of gold (again, because of the copper content)
  • Rose gold is a right choice for jewelry regardless of your skin tone

The only downside that we can think of for rose gold is that it is not as abundant in the market as other kinds of gold, so there will be times that you will have a tough time finding it in the design that you want. The most widely available form of gold is still yellow gold, followed by white gold, with rose gold (all varieties) bringing up the rear.

What is Rose Gold?

Rose gold is a variety of gold made from alloying copper and/or silver with pure gold. If you are not yet aware, pure gold is almost never used in creating jewelry because of gold’s naturally high malleability. Super malleable metals can easily be bent and damaged, so pure gold is not suitable for jewelry at all. This is why jewelers and manufacturers create alloys with gold to strengthen the base metal, so the resulting jewelry is more durable and readier for daily wear and tear.

What about the color of rose gold?

The combination of silver and copper create the rosy hue that rose gold is famous for. Silver tones down the yellow in gold, while adding more copper to the alloy forms a redder and rosier shade. So should you happen to see rose gold that has a beautiful reddish tone, that is thanks to the copper that was added to it, which not only modified the color but also made the gold more durable?

How to tell if rose gold is 14k or 18k gold?

The term “karat” or “KT” refers to the purity of gold when you are shopping for rose gold jewelry. The term karat is specifically the ratio of gold in relation to the other metals that have been used to create the alloy. Karats are measured on a scale, starting from zero to twenty-four.

If karat values confuse you, all you need to remember is the higher the karat number, the more gold that was put into it. 24k gold is the purest form of gold that you can purchase in any jewelry market – and it is likely also the softest because it was not alloyed with another metal (or very little was used comparatively speaking).

It is impossible to tell what the karat of gold is by just looking at a piece of jewelry. When buying rose gold, there should always be full disclosure from the side of the store or seller as to how much gold is really in it, especially if you are buying jewelry with a price tag of several thousand dollars. The following values are easy to remember should help you understand the percentage of gold when buying rose gold jewellery:

  • 9K – 37.5% gold
  • 10K – 41.7% gold
  • 12K – 50% gold
  • 14K – 58.3% gold
  • 18K – 75% gold
  • 22K – 91.7% gold
  • 24k – 99.9% gold

Other terms in the jewelry market may be confusing at first, so we have rounded them up to give you a better idea of what you are buying:

  • GF – GF means gold-filed. The gold is pressure-bonded to the alloyed metal. Much 10K gold jewellery is GF.
  • 375 – 37.5% gold/9k
  • 417 – 41.7% gold/10K
  • 585 – 58.5% gold/14K
  • 750 – 75% gold/18K
  • 916 – 91.6% gold/22K
  • 999 – 99.9% gold/24K

The exact values for rose gold are:

  • 18-karat pink gold – 75% gold, 20% copper, 5% silver
  • 18-karat red gold – 75% gold, 25% copper, no silver
  • 18-karat rose gold – 75% gold, 22.25% copper, 2.75% silver

As you can see, the values are interchangeable, and you may encounter different variants of the same thing when looking at the tags of jewelry. Never be confused again, as the numbers can easily be connected with their appropriate karat values.

Now the big question: does more gold (karat) mean that you have better quality jewelry? This can be misleading because what do we mean by higher quality jewelry? If we were to base our evaluation on the durability and longevity of the said jewelry, then we would have to say that higher gold content does not automatically equate with better jewelry, overall.

We have to remember that all kinds of gold, whether it is rose gold, white gold or yellow gold, are only as durable as the metals that they are alloyed or combined with.  24K gold, which has the highest possible purity, is very soft and will obviously not be able to stand up to regular use, unlike jewelry in the 14K and 18K range.

Now, what about tarnishing? Tarnished jewelry tends to look old or antiquated. This is where higher gold content has an advantage. Gold jewelry with higher purity does not tarnish easily and can withstand time better than jewelry with lower purity. The same goes for the value of gold jewelry. If you want to invest in gold jewelry because you want a real investment, aim for higher purity gold because the lower purity ones have fluctuating values. The purer the gold, the more stable the price over time, and the better your overall investment.